Cyprus Mail

Tree felling in Paphos reaching epic proportions

Cutting down trees has reached epidemic proportions in Paphos as tens more trees have been reported as felled over the last few days, the local branch of the Green Party said on Tuesday.

Paphos Green party officer Doxoula Panayiotou said that complaints to the office on the issue have now become routine.

“A number of serious complaints have been made and as I understand it, it seems as if the trees which were felled in Acheleia were done with the permission of the forestry department.”

A statement from the Paphos Green party said the trees were “massacred” and excuses were “cheap”.

“A number of cypress trees were cut with the excuse that some were leaning, and others because they were supposedly blocking the sun from the other trees. We believe that is a poor excuse,” it said.

The statement also noted that another serious complaint has been made by residents of Ayia Marina Kelokedaron.

“In this area, the systematic cutting of trees (carob) is being carried out by individuals who seem determined not to leave anything standing,” it added.

The Paphos Greens said their concerns have been echoed by the local community leader, who told them although he has reported the tree cutting to both the police and the forestry department, the disaster continues.

The Paphos Greens sought an explanation from the forestry department for both cases but is still waiting for an answer. “The green in our district has become an easy target, damaged by poorly designed projects and abject tree felling. Deforestation is obvious and people who complain expect explanations, but they never seem to get them,” the party said.

The party slammed local authorities in December for cutting down a “magnificent” conifer tree which had stood outside the front of the town’s library, for the last 70 years. It said that tree was cut down following the renovation of the building in which the library is housed so as not to ‘spoil the view.’

In March last year, a large number of cypress trees growing adjacent to a main road close to Mandria in Paphos were felled, leaving residents and the Greens angered. The land was privately owned and a licence to cut the trees had been given by the forestry department.

A couple of years ago, more than 5,000 trees were felled in Paphos to make way for a new road which will eventually connect Paphos airport, angering environmentalists and locals.

“If we don’t do something to stop these actions, soon there will be no green areas or trees left in Paphos,” said the Greens.

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