The Cyprus Environmental Movement on Sunday condemned the community leader of Argaka and other officials of the region for getting involved in the work of a group of experts on the beach to protect nesting turtles.
On Friday it was revealed that the previous day the community leader of Argaka has interrupted the fisheries department and overseas officials from putting protective covers over turtles nests on the beach.
Community leader Spyros Pelopidas, along with several Argaka residents, verbally attacked the experts on the basis that there were fewer sea turtles than the group was accommodating for, and claimed that more cages were being placed so that they could collect higher sums from the fisheries department
The movement also hit out at the police for taking the side of the community leader and asking the experts to stop what they were doing and move away from the beach.
The incident “irreparably exposed” Cyprus since it took place in the presence of a representative of the Council of Europe and a group of foreign experts in Cyprus to attend a training programme for the protection of sea turtles implemented in Cyprus in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the movement said.
“We call on the government to take the necessary measures for the continuation of the programme to protect turtles and to ensure safe working conditions for those taking part. We expect to see in practice what government officials proclaim at public events and international meetings about their interest in the environment”.