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Akamas group questions coastal protection delays

For years the government has done nothing to safeguard the coastline of the Akamas peninsula, Friends of Akamas said on Friday, calling on the interior and environment ministers to proceed immediately with new mapping of the coastline

The environmental group also called for a review of existing plans that are languishing in ministerial drawers.

On the occasion of Mediterranean Coast day marked annually on September 25 the group highlighted the importance of the protocol on integrated coastal zone management of the Barcelona convention.

“In Cyprus, for two years now, the department of environment is still waiting for opinions from the ministry of interior, the ministries of tourism, shipping, etc. on the strategy report for the integrated coastal zone management plan for 2018-2028, regarding the implementation through Cypriot legislation of the provisions of the seventh protocol to the Barcelona convention. An answer from the above authorities has not been given yet!” the announcement said.

According to the NGO, when the land registry department submitted a map with the new plans for the coastline which determines the width of the 100-metre beach protection zone based on the convention, it received instructions to stop mapping until further notice without giving any explanations.

“What intervened?” the group asked. “Relevant information states that high-ranking officials intervened, who have connections with land development entrepreneurs whose plots for which they plan to develop are influenced by this mapping. In other words, the well-known practice is repeated until no part of the coast of Cyprus remains intact.”

In addition to bowing to pressure from private entrepreneurs, the government itself promotes building on the Akamas coast, which is called ‘management’ of the national forest park, without taking into account the Barcelona convention protocol, the group added.

Friends of Akamas have been ringing alarm bells “from the day of the declaration of the forests of Akamas, that is a limited part of the peninsula, even of Natura 2000, as a national forest park, which is based on the obsolete Cypriot legislation and not a national park according to international standards and standards. And here are the results!”

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