Local authorities in Peyia, Paphos district, have given the green light for the construction of a pedestrian path right above sea caves which are within the Natura 2000 protected area.
The sea caves are also a birthing spot for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal and the pedestrian road’s construction is a direct violation of European Union environmental directives and laws, Phileleftheros reported on Monday.
The project has begun before even a study on its an environmental consequences gets to be reviewed and without the granting of a town planning permission, the paper also said.
This is a serious violation by the Republic of Cyprus of EU directives on the protection of nature and wild habitat which provide that any project not directly linked to or necessary for the management of an area which is part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas should be thoroughly assessed.
Because it may have a significant impact on the area in question – either on its own or in conjunction with other projects.
The competent national authorities should agree on a project there only after making sure that it will not harm the integrity of the protected area. And after public opinion is expressed on it.
In this case, the pedestrian path under construction also falls within the Beach Protection Zone and at a very short distance from the sea. And almost above the habitat of the rare, directly endangered and strictly protected species of the Mediterranean monk seal.
At the same time, the path is constructed with non-natural materials and specifically concrete and metal piles, with significant negative and direct effects on the protected area.