Tag Archives: community media

“Karpaz is being destroyed”, says CCMC member

The Biologists’ Association, a Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) member, made the news this week, with its strong condemnation of what it calls the “destruction” of the Karpaz national park in the northeast of Cyprus.

“The authorities are distributing the Karpaz national park as presents to some people,” said Niyazi Turkseven, general secretary of the Biologists’ Association. “The area was announced as a national park in 1977, then in 1995 it was declared as a site of historical and environmental importance and in 2007 as a Specially Protected Area. However we are still failing to protect the area.” Mr. Turkseven added that “one of the main reasons for failing to protect the area is because the authorities want to give away valuable land to their allies, supporters and cronies.”

The construction of electricity infrastructure, road widening, filling up of the Ronnas river, and donation of land for a university campus has begun to erode this sensitive ecosystem. “It is just not acceptable to see the authorities destroy an area which is incredibly important for cultural heritage and the environment,” said Turkseven. “It is not only one of the most important sites for Cyprus but it is very valuable for the entire world.”

The Biologists’ Association website

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CCMC’s opening party!

What a night! On the 9 December 2009, the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) had its opening event at its new premises in Nicosia’s buffer zone. The centre was officially opened by three members of the eminent ‘Elders’ group, Lakhdar Brahimi, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.

Hundreds of people came along to celebrate with us, and hear directly from the Elders themselves, who were in Cyprus to support individuals and organisations seeking to build greater trust and dialogue between the communities of the island. The Elders expressed their support for the new centre, and their desire to see a positive outcome to current political negotiations.

Speaking at the event, Desmond Tutu said that Cyprus was full of untold and beautiful stories and that he hoped “the community media centre could be a vehicle for these stories to surface.” The guests, which included media professionals, artists, creatives, and members of the diplomatic community, also had the opportunity to see the work of the CCMC through multimedia installations, video projections, photographs and stories collected from across Cyprus.

Were you there? Did you have a good time? Let us know!

Desmond Tutu, Lakhdar Brahimi, Nadia Karayianni, Ilke Dagli and Jimmy Carter, 9 Dec 09.


Honorary guest Desmond Tutu, at the CCMC opening event, 9 Dec 09.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jumpstarting peace

23 October was the kickoff party for the Jumpstart Peace Bus Tour. The CCMC has put together an audioslideshow of the events, which you can watch below. Activities took place on both sides of Ledra / Lokmacı street in Nicosia, and was organised by Youth Centre Union and Future Worlds Center with support from the European Union. There were jazz and rock acts, fire dancing, a drumming circle and street juggling. For more information on the peace bus tours that will be travelling around Cyprus soon, please visit http://www.jumpstart-cyprus.org

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cyprus joins Earthdance 2009

This year, Cyprus joined the largest globally-synchronised dance event in the world – which took place in over 300 locations in more than 60 countries.

The Cyprus Network for Youth Development led by its Youth Activism project, contributed by organising basketball players for peace, 12 music and dance groups, 50 performers and an audience of 2,000. The theme was living, appreciating and celebrating diversity. You can watch the video below:

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Engaging in Peace – Video

Watch this great short film about Thursday’s event in Nicosia, made by Alana Kakoyiannis.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hope in spades

Preparing for the leaders to plant the olive trees

Watering cans ready

Nobody has any illusions that tree planting ceremonies will change the world. But today’s event in Nicosia’s United Nations Protected Area had a different feel to it. It was an opportunity for over 50 civil society organisations from both communities, to express their support for the ongoing peace negotiations and convey their message to the leaders that ‘every decisive step taken in the [peace building process] will contribute to deeper understanding between the two communities’.

Mr Christofias, the Greek Cypriot leader and Mr Talat, the Turkish Cypriot leader planted the trees firmly in the ground, and chatted to the assembled representatives of the organizations. The atmosphere was jovial, with jokes and repartee flying back and forth between the leaders, the journalists and the NGOs themselves. “Give us a kiss”, shouted one photographer, after the customary hand-shaking. “Demetri, you’re not digging hard enough”, said another, referring to the Greek Cypriot leader who was busy chatting with one delegate, who reminded him that the people of Cyprus wanted to ‘start harvesting the olives soon!’

The leaders, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat applaud the initiative

The leaders, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat applaud the initiative.

A statement, signed by the participating organisations, was then read out in both Turkish and Greek. It spoke of joint intercommunity efforts and trust building measures that are being initiated by both communities ‘to discuss and exchange ideas in a manner which can contribute to the debate at the grassroots level.’ It also urged the leaders to keep the public well informed of any progress and to address emerging difficulties in a constructive way that would not adversely affect the outcome of the talks.

UN soldier standing by with the olive trees

UN soldier standing by with the olive trees

 ‘Civil society seeks to embrace a catalytic role,’ the statement concluded. ‘To contribute to a new impetus in realizing a bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal Cyprus.’

Yes, tree planting ceremonies don’t change the world. But a large group of non-governmental groups, representing their views and speaking directly to power, are a strong reminder of what these talks really are about: the people. A seasoned peace campaigner recently said to us ‘We don’t need any more olive trees that are planted for peace and later die from lack of watering.’

With all the cynicism and failed hope already around us, perhaps it’s time to start believing again. With the right nurturing, there’s everything to play for at the moment. Let’s keep watering those trees.

by Sarah, Cyprus Community Media Centre

Representatives of civil society organisations, holding the banner.

Representatives of civil society organisations, holding the banner.

Mr Talat and Mr Christofias plant the trees

Mr Talat and Mr Christofias plant the trees

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: