Cyprus Mail

Akamas master plan to be discussed at Palace

By Evie Andreou

A MASTER plan which is hoped will put an end to a 25-year dispute over the fate of the Akamas peninsula, will be presented at the Presidential Palace on Friday by the coordinating committee comprising the Akamas landowners and the local community councils.

The coordinating committee will meet with Under-secretary to the President Constantinos Petrides to discuss the final stage of the project.

In the proposal, the committee suggests the creation of a strategic plan for the development of sustainable ecotourism for the whole Akamas Peninsula, incorporated within a management plan which will protect the Akamas forest and biodiversity, with the formation at the same time of a compensation and land exchange committee.

“If the government adopts these steps it will be the right path that will lead to the solution of a 25-year-old problem,” the committee said in an announcement.

The coordinating committee will also express its concerns over the one-sided activity which took place after the project was delivered to the Agriculture ministry.

It claims that the Environment department has not consulted with the communities and affected landowners of the area after the project was prepared and that officials only considered the opinions of the various departments of Agriculture and Interior, as well as the senior officer responsible for the Akamas plan.

“If this information is correct, it will be an unprecedented scandal within the Agriculture ministry,” the committee said.

In April, residents and landowners of the region agreed to approve the EU Natura 2000 environmental protection programme.

Akamas was designated a protected natural habitat within the Natura 2000 network, much to the displeasure of those residents who owned land within the territory.

In the last 25 years, various administrations have repeatedly presented the land owners with expropriation proposals but the owners have rejected them every time.

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