The communities of the Akamas peninsula said on Friday they have decided to coordinate their actions to promote and achieve their common goals regarding the development of the Akamas national forest park.
According to a joint statement from Neo Chorio, Droushia, Ineia, Arodes, Androlikos and the municipality of Polis Chrysochous the common objective is to allow development in the Natura 2000 area, provided procedures and studies are followed.
For private areas in which protection is absolutely required owners should be compensated, as a decision dated by the council of ministers in 2009 specified.
The statement said the natural beauty of the area is the competitive advantage which should support future development in the region instead of being an obstacle to progress.
“It is necessary in order to effectively encourage employment and to create new prospects for the revitalisation and prosperity of the region to implement important coastal tourism projects that will actually bring economic benefits to the local population,” it said.
An essential prerequisite for the development and safety of visitors to Akamas is the creation of public roads accessible by all types of vehicles, the statement added.
It also referred to the promotion of the project for the construction of the Paphos – Polis Chrysochous road as something that is a basic necessity for the development of the region.
The communities recommend the speedy completion of a sustainable development plan for the Akamas National Park and said a local plan will also be completed within the next six months.
The 2009 cabinet decision offering the option to private landowners to expropriate land for fair compensation was overturned in June this year as it was decided it would violate a clear legislative framework that does not allow this.
Landowners in the area have since protested against the decision, saying the government has to explain to them how they are going to compensate them for the 30 years they have been deprived of the right to develop their properties.