Cyprus Mail

Environmental organisations criticise agriculture ministry for flawed Akamas works

Akamas, Akamas plan, construction
Construction materials in the Akamas

Environmental organisations lambasted the agriculture ministry again on Friday for failing to conduct works properly for Akamas and instead choosing to invite them to visit the site to see the flawed works up close.

On Thursday, contractors were ordered to halt all construction work within the Akamas national forest until December 18, while a group of experts review whether the tarmacked roads built are in breach of the development plan for the area.

The news came following the meeting of the cabinet. Other than the work stoppage, experts will visit the area on December 16 to assess the specifications of the built roads. A second on-site visit will take place in January, after which local government authorities will be briefed.

By March 2024 all the findings and recommendations of the team of experts will be presented. An ad hoc committee reviewing the Special Ecological Assessment (SPA) – comprising NGOs – will be briefed on these findings.

Environmental organisations: “We regret to note that, instead of receiving a response to our requests for immediate taking and implementation of corrective measures, within the framework of the statutory procedures of the Ad-hoc Committee on the SPA, the ministry invites us to an on-site visit, which is scheduled on 16.12.2023, for overview of the projects that have been implemented and re-evaluation to determine the geometric standards and/or other elements of the road, based on the recommendations of the experts, who have experience in environmental impact assessment and have designed and implemented roads within protected areas.”

They called on the ministry to clarify the objective of the on-site visit and state that the on-site visit for the inspection of arbitrary construction works, which have already been implemented based on flawed construction plans, is outside the statutory procedure of the SPA.

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