The sustainable management of the natural and cultural heritage, offering unique experiences to visitors and providing tangible benefits to local communities, is Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis’ vision for the Akamas, he said on Sunday.
In an interview with Phileleftheros, he said for 40 years efforts have been made to correctly had the area although they have sometimes been detrimental.
We are at the point, he said, “where with a lot of careful work, extensive consultation with all stakeholders, utilisation of the work done over the years and with full respect for the European acquis, we formulate our proposal, which provides the opportunity and a unique opportunity to solve the Akamas issue that has plagued the region for so many years.”
He said this will not be achieved from one day to the next but is a process.
He said plans are formed in constant consultation with the communities in the area, while regarding visitors, he said it attracts about a million visitors every year, both from Cyprus and abroad, and supports a large economic activity in different sectors.
However, he added, inadequate regulation and control of traffic and activities lead to unsustainable conditions for natural wealth and related cultural values.
Regarding strong criticism from environmental organisations, he said that if the issue of the Akamas is approached from only one dimension, “we will still be discussing a management plan for the area for the next 40 years, which will have negative consequences for the area itself and its inhabitants.
“I believe our plans approach the problem holistically, recognising the realities on the ground.”