Cyprus Mail

Lady’s Mile wetlands under threat

Conservation foundation Terra Cypria on Tuesday asked authorities to refrain from tarmacking the road to Lady’s Mile beach adjacent to the Akrotiri wetlands and called for an environmentally sound development.

The comments were made in the wake of a protest on April 5 by restaurant owners who demanded improved access to the popular beach and a better infrastructure.

“The Akrotiri wetlands system is the most important wetland in the island, but also one of the most important wetlands in the eastern Mediterranean. Akrotiri recorded 27 natural habitats and every year it is visited by millions of birds during migratory periods, for food, breeding and wintering,” the foundation’s announcement said.

The group said that wetlands are particularly sensitive ecosystems and any human intervention must be made with extreme care to maintain the hydrological balance and vulnerable plant and animal species that they host.

With the proper care the area can attract many tourists looking for more than the sun-sea model. “Tourists are able to utilise the existing infrastructure but in turn should respect the natural environment.”

Terra Cypria suggest improving the road without paving it which is not an environmentally friendly option. They warn that under no circumstances should road lights be installed as this would adversely affect species such as migratory birds and sea turtles which are already lay fewer eggs on the beach because of disturbances.

“Immediate priority should be given to the master plan prepared by the House transport committee, which should regulate the functioning of the restaurants and parking spaces in a way that will not affect the wetland,” the statement said.

The House transport committee has discussed the issue three times, while a master plan for the area has been completed, but the approval of the British bases under whose jurisdiction Lady’s Mile falls is pending and the necessary funds have not yet been secured.

For more information contact Terra Cypria at 25-358632 or email [email protected]

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