Cyprus Mail

NGOs urged government to finalise Akamas plan

feature paul view over akamas
View over Akamas

Environmental NGOs BirdLife Cyprus, Terra Cypria, Cyprus Natural Coastline and the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation have urged the government to present a final draft of the Akamas local development plan while expressing their concern regarding the serious delay over its urgent implementation.

The finalised version of the plan will be presented before the end of the current government’s term, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis and Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Wednesday.

However, in a joint statement, the NGOs said they have doubts on whether the government will keep its promise on the issue and whether the final version will have enough provisions safeguarding the area’s environment.

The Akamas local development plan presented in early 2021 contained a number of proposals for urban planning regulations which were incompatible with the sustainable management and protection of the area,” the statement said.

However, the NGOs praised the special ecological assessment on Akamas presented by the environmental department last August, as “it identified several problems in the plan and called for them to be removed or reduced.”

“We call on the interior ministry to adopt and implement to the letter the legally binding terms of the special ecological assessment issued by the environmental department, as its provisions represent the absolute minimum requirements to protect the area.”

The NGOs also urged the responsible local authorities to adopt extra measures and policies tailored to the local Akamas environment, adding that those “will genuinely help all Akamas landowners, while still ensuring the protection of the environment and the proper implementation of EU directives.”

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