22 April 2014 11:11

The Coordinating Committee of Akamas Communities and Landowners will hold a pan-community meeting in Neo Chorio today to discuss government proposals on the pristine peninsula.
The committee said the meeting comes after it held a series of contacts with government departments, political parties with parliamentary representation, the European Commission, the Commissioner for the Environment, and environmental organisations.
These has focused on a proposal to formulate a strategic plan for the sustainable and ecological tourism development of the Akamas Peninsula.
"The basic aim of the pan-community meeting is to inform the chairmen and community councils as well as the affected land owners about the Interior and Agriculture ministries' positions on compensation incentives and the Akamas Management Plan," the announcement continued, adding the two ministries had been asked to outline their positions in writing.
Today's meeting will also include a briefing on the outcome of the committee's meetings with political parties and  European Commission.
Committee spokesman Savvas Hadjiminas is, in addition, due to explain the proposal for the creation of a strategic plan for the sustainable and ecological tourism development of the Akamas.
A dialogue will follow towards putting together proposal for a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades and state departments for final decisions to be taken.
The landowners, particularly since crisis-stricken state coffers make their financial compensation unlikely any time soon, want to be allowed to develop land within the protected Natura 2000 areas of the Akamas.
The cabinet had in April 2009 decided to provide landowners with compensation or state land in exchange for zero development of any land included in the Natura 2000 protection areas of the Akamas.
The Agriculture Ministry's Environment Department recently announced its management plan for the Akamas Peninsula should be completed within May.
It said the plan aimed at protecting the area and "achieving a satisfactory conservation regime as well as showcasing and promoting the protected area and the correct undertaking of human-centred activities with the aim of both protecting the natural environment and creating viable development."
The announcement noted the Cabinet had in 2007 appointed an 18-member Management Committee made up of government services, the area's five communities, the Federation of Environmental Organisations and the Technical Chamber of Cyprus.  
The group was responsible for coordinating and implementing the management plan based on the strategy approved by the Cabinet in 2005.
The strategy aimed at the equal benefit of all communities and the creation of workplaces through projects that would have long-term viability. Many of these are expected to be eco-tourism related.
Meetings with the relevant authorities are continuing with the aim to include proposals to be implemented between 2014 and 2020.
These are understood to be connected to development outside the Natura 2000 protected area and closer to existing communities in the area.


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