BIO-DER, otherwise known as the Cyprus Turkish Biologists Environment Research and Protection Association, is an extremely passionate organisation aimed at bringing attention to environmental issues that should concern us all in North Cyprus. Having been originally formed in 1999, they are now a potent force for all things environmental.
With support from the United Nations Development Programme and the US AID organisation, BIO-DER plays a very important role in bringing environmental issues to the table, both to the general public and the government – and they are vocal in their protestations about the destruction of the countryside and rural way of life in North Cyprus.
All of the association’s members are qualified individuals, with biologists and environmental experts making up the main branch of the organisation. They are frequently in the press discussing issues close to nature and how the impacts of road building for example are affecting the biological shift in North Cyprus, as well as the condemnation of donkey slayings in the Karpaz region.
They are also active in the field of campaigning and fund raising, recruiting both adults and children to help with projects like the clearing of beaches from rubbish prior to the Turtle nesting season, and are also available to offer support to other organisations with project advice and expertise.
BIO-DER also have their own quarterly publication, which at present is only available in Turkish, called Kıbrıs Bilim (Cyprus Science) – it’s full of content covering subjects like wildlife, ecology, genetics and botanics, and can be found on most supermarket shelves.
They are tireless in their dedication to the protection of the environment for all of us and our children to enjoy in generations to come, and they are grateful for all interested parties to become involved in any way they can. Their efforts have been rewarded recently too, having been awarded in 2008 with the best Environmental Organisation amongst NGO’s from both the north and south of the island.