Cabinet on Thursday approved the objectives and basic provisions of the Akamas National Park which Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said will be ready at the end of 2022.
Speaking to reporters, Kadis said the plan was developed by a group of consultants, including academic and foreign experts, and adapted following consultations with local communities and environmentalists.
Kadis said the plan has three main pillars:
- Conserving the biodiversity and preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the park
- Creating the conditions for the sustainable development of the wider region and of the local communities through the operation of the park
- Improving visitors’ experience. The aim is for visitors to have a pleasant and safe experience, he said.
National and EU funds will be used to finance actions to conserve the biodiversity of the Akamas, Kadis added.
There will be eight entrances to the park, with the fee due to be set in the near future. Some categories of visitors will be exempted while the money raised from the entrance fee will be go to managing the park and actions to benefit local communities.
There will be an 85 km road network which the minister said will be repaired or built based on environmentally friendly techniques and after studies.
There will also be 14 visitor centres with facilities that will include parking and rest areas.
A consultative committee will help manage the park. “There is a timeframe which begins today and will be completed at the end of 2022 when we will deliver a modern and functional park,” he said.
Provision has been made for the funds needed in the ministry’s budget and the park’s plan will be finalized and approved by cabinet together with the local plan for the region which is underway to ensure the two are in harmony, he concluded.