Economic interests are behind fires that were deliberately set in Akamas over the last couple of days in a bid to sabotage plans to declare the area a national forest park by 2022.
This is what Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis told Radio Active on Thursday before sending the message that the Akamas plan is on track.
Kadis also said that brainless, self-interested landowners in the region put their own economic interests above that of the state and the environment at large.
He then appealed to hunters, but also citizens at large, to report to police and state authorities any suspicious or strange moves that they may come across.
This is not the first time that fires have been set in the environmentally sensitive area on the mostly undeveloped north-west coast of the island.
In a period usually marking the end of the fire season, the first two weeks of November last year also saw five fires in the Akamas. In all these cases, the evidence pointed towards arson.
In the meantime, a meeting on Thursday by the Steering Committee of the Akamas National Forest Park Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture showed that significant progress has been recorded on the action plan.
And that 2019 set actions were proceeding successfully and within the timetables.
“We hope that the park will soon be in operation, with concrete and controlled entrances for its own security and an improved and well-defined road network,” Kadis said.
Park rangers will be there on a 24-hour basis to ensure that rules and regulations are implemented…no matter what my ministry is determined to move on with the Akamas plan,” he added.