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Terra Cypria-the Cyprus Environmental Protection Foundation, with restrained optimism, considers that the Akamas Local Plan (LP), as it has been approved and published, seems to ensure that the protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network and the protection in general of the natural and semi-natural environment of the Akamas Peninsula and its unique landscape, preventing scattered development within the peninsula.

In the Akamas LP, all the legally binding conditions of the final ecological evaluation (Appropriate Assessment) and the final opinion of the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment issued by the Department of Environment on 20/2/2023 have been incorporated, and this leaves us satisfied.

Along with the promotion of sustainable development, the Akamas LP seems to promote the well -being of local communities, which was also a long -standing position and effort of Terra Cypria.

We would expect, however, along with the publication of the Akamas LP, to have the disclosure of the compensatory measures to be given, so to regulate the issue of private land.

Terra Cypria’s timeless suggestion was the regulation of the issue of private land to implement, primarily, through separate legislation for the transfer of the built-surface ratio, and on the occasion of the Akamas, could be a horizontal tool for regulating private property in protected areas throughout Cyprus. The proposal to transfer built-surface ratio is not a new one, as there is already a proposal for a bill that has been forgotten and unused by the Ministry of the Interior since 2011, “On the Transfer of Development Rights Law of 2011”.

There are still pending issues in Akamas that we will closely monitor in the coming months such as the quarry zone in Androlikou. Over three years, it will be examined whether there is an urgent need to create a new quarry zone in relation to available alternative locations and the state of conservation of species in the area in relation to quarrying activities. Upon completion, it will be decided whether to further discuss the creation of a quarry zone in that area.

Our efforts, to safeguard and protect the entire Peninsula of Akamas, but also for the sustainable development and prosperity of local communities, continues.

The extension of 6 months of the Akamas LP implementation, we hope to offer a solution to the problem that locals for so many years have been suffering from, and provide the appropriate compensatory measures there and wherever needed.

We call on the competent authorities to quickly proceed with the establishment of compensatory measures. The six-month period is an opportunity to complete the environmental evaluation of the, under preparation, Pegeia Local Plan. Only then, will we have a clear picture of the cumulative impact of the two Local Plans in combination with the Sustainable Development Plan of the Akamas National Forest Park.