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Move to allow car rallies in state forests in summer

Cabinet has given the green light for international car rallies to be held in some state forests in the summer, satisfying a long-standing demand of organisers. But the measure is a compromise as it does not cover all of Cyprus’ forests.
Rallies were previously prohibited in the state forests in June, July and August.  Under the new regime, the director of the Forestry Department will be able — in exceptional cases and under conditions — to allow them because of the keen interest of staging such events in Cyprus.
In its decision, the Council of  Minister said such events attract a large number of participants and spectators, benefiting the economy by promoting Cyprus abroad and boosting tourism.
Forestry Department head Charalambos Alexandrou said the decision was a balanced compromise. The forests of Troodos, Adelfi, Paphos  and Akamas which make up 90% of the island’s forests are excluded because they are difficult to access.
Effectively this means that summer rallies will be permitted in the forests of Stavrovouni, Macheras and Limassol.
Moreover,  with a proposed amendment of the Forests Regulations, organisers  will bear the cost of any additional fire safety measures needed as well as road repairs.

Under the new regulations which will be submitted to parliament for approval,  permits to stage events in state forests in the months of June to August will be issued is exceptional cases  provided the event organiser has made every effort to hold the event in the period of September to May but this proved impossible.

 

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