A frenzy of behind-the-scene activities, pressures, even political ones and interventions to change the positions of government departments are recently seen due to the discussion next week of the environmental consequences on the Akamas Local Plan.
The change of stance by Game and Fauna Service is also strange since it sent a new letter to the Environment Department, in essence cancelling its firm positions that had been repeatedly expressed. The Cyprus Hunting Federation criticized this change of stance, referring to possible private interests.
In an announcement, the Cyprus Federation of Environmental Organizations noted that the Akamas Peninsula is one of the few, nature and biodiversity protection, coastal areas remaining in Cyprus, adding that it should be declared as a national park, a biosphere reserve, or a protected area with comparable international protection status. The announcement added that the European Commission stressed the need for the immediate and adequate representation of important natural habitats, as well as species of wild fauna and flora, in the Natura 2000 network. Nevertheless, the plans promoted for the Akamas National Forest Park are not in line with the aim of its integrated, effective, and long-term protection, nor towards the sustainable development, prosperity, and empowerment of the local communities of the Akamas Peninsula.