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Breathing new life into mountain areas

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The idea is to attract more visitors to the mountains

Initiatives costing €397 million in the works

A whopping 194 initiatives at a total cost of €397 million are in the process of being implemented in an effort to re-develop and jumpstart life in Cyprus´s mountain villages, said Mountain Community Development Commissioner Costas Hambiaouris.

Speaking at an event in Stato-Agios Fotios in the Paphos district on Friday evening, Hambiaouris said the government, recognised the problems faced by mountain communities and the consequent high cost of their abandonment. But on the other hand, he stressed that the government was also aware of their potential, thus paving the way for a comprehensive policy for the development of Cyprus´s mountain regions.

“Tonight we are presenting to you the course of implementation of the National Strategy for Mountainous Areas, a course that will be followed for your areas as well, and as you will understand, it is a substantial and brave model of development, which is neither monothematic nor static, but, as we will see later, it is constantly enriched with a structured, holistic and targeted programme of projects and actions, as well as support plans prepared by the Ministries,” said Hambiaouris, who was referring to the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Mountain Communities and its extension to the Paphos and Larnaca districts and other communities in the Limassol and Nicosia districts.

Hambiaouris noted that 194 initiatives have either been completed or are in the process of being implemented, at a total cost of €397 million.

He said that these are bills and studies of strategic importance, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2022, with significant contributions from the Legislation Commissioner Louisa Zannetou and the cooperation of the ministries of interior, energy, agriculture and the deputy ministry of tourism.

The commissioner highlighted initiatives which he considers to be of strategic importance, to promote alternative forms of agricultural activity and increase the income of rural families, enrich the unique tourist product of Troodos and increase the number of visitors, as well as create conditions for retaining and attracting population to the region.

Among these initiatives, Hambiaouris said work is underway that will recognise home-based industries as a secondary production sector and the identification of specific conditions and specifications for the development and operation of multifunctional farms that would be open to the public. He added that preparation of a Strategic Environmental Impact Study for the National Strategy for the Development of Mountain Communities and an Integrated Development Plan for the Tylliria area are also in the pipeline.

 

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