22 January 2014 15:08

European Party representatives on Tuesday met members of the Coordinating Committee of Akamas Communities and Landowners to discuss the committee's proposals for "sustainable, moderate and environmentally friendly development of the area."
"The coordinating committee's proposal calls for limiting the national park to the edges of the forest and a low building coefficient on properties within the Natura 2000 programme with the aim of moderate development," the party said.
This "solves the Gordian Knot of this 25-year-old problem.
"The main thing is that the coordinating committee's proposal aims at developing Ecological Tourism."
The announcement said the European Party had expressed support for the committee's proposal, considering it to be "a promising and enforceable solution which will protect the environment and natural resources of the Akamas area and provide opportunities for moderate, green development."
The announcement said that the Development Plan Strategy suggested by the coordinating committee was "a good base which can assist the state's plans.
"The development that will come about will allow the communities and land owners to make use of their enclaved properties and contribute to the effort for financial recovery without deviating from the Natura 2000 framework and without causing problems to the environment."
Local and international environmental groups have long expressed concerns that further development of the Akamas area will irreparably harm one of Cyprus' last relatively unexploited locations.
According to JuniperCy, a project aiming to promote and enable the long-term conservation of the endemic forests containing Juniper (Juniperus spp.) trees in Cyprus, including in the Akamas area, the ecological value of Akamas Peninsula stems from its landscape diversity as well as from its geographical position at the westernmost coast of Cyprus.
"These factors have led to quite high habitat types and species diversity," a text on JuniperCy website notes, adding: "The site offers a representative example of generally well-conserved eastern Mediterranean ecosystems, both terrestrial and marine."
However, residents and landowners in the area complain they are being financially deprived by not being permitted to develop their land.


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