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Cyprus

Environmentalists against new golf course stage protest

Wearing masks of the president and government officials, environmentalists staged a demonstration outside the agriculture ministry on Tuesday protesting against the construction of a golf course in Limni, near the Akamas.

The protest took place while the environmental assessment board discussed the updated impact study for the approval of the project Limni Bay Resorts and Golf Courses.

In a statement, The Initiative for the Preservation of Natural Coasts said they opposed a new round of environmental and urban licensing for the proposed project by the Shacolas group, which they referred to as Sharkolas in the protest.

The development includes two 18-hole golf courses, two club houses, sports facilities, shops, car parks, holiday villas and a luxury hotel of 160 beds.

The protestors were wearing masks with the faces of President Nicos Anastasiades, the minister of the interior, the minister of agriculture, the director of the environment department, the director of the town planning and housing department and the executive chairman of the Shacolas group.

The marine and coastal area between Polis town, Argaka lake and Gialias in Paphos was declared a site of community importance in May 2014 and March 2008 respectively. The protected area has a total area of 1,750 hectares, of which 96 per cent is water and four per cent land.

The site features four types of habitat, while the dune ecosystems are home to several endemic species of plants, many of which are ammophilous and their populations in Cyprus have decreased significantly due to intensive exploitation of sandy beaches.

The region also includes an important nesting beach for turtles and is an important grazing area for the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

The mayor of Polis, Angelos Odysseas, is in favour of the project.

“The implementation of such an important project,” he said, “is of utmost importance for the whole country, which can contribute directly to restart the economy and create new jobs.”

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