A fire that broke out on Wednesday between the communities of Asomatos and Fasouri, threatening the Akrotiri marsh, was set maliciously, the Green party said in an announcement on Friday, attributing the motive to financial interests.
Speaking to Phileleftheros, Andreas Evlavis, coordinator of the Greens in Limassol and Paphos, expressed his disappointment and anger about what is happening in the area, describing it as a criminal act.
He noted that the Akrotiri Peninsula is an area of environmental importance, which, however, is being led to destruction due to uncontrolled development.
Evlavis also criticised the fact that during the fire, priority was given to protecting the area’s developments, ignoring its environmental value.
Asked about how the Greens intend to respond, Evlavis said that the party is holding meetings with responsible authorities and with environmental organisations to protect the area.
The fire burned more than a square kilometre of land with trees, wild vegetation, and eucalyptus.
Charalambos Alexandrou, Director of the Forestry Department, confirmed that there are suspicions that the fire was set maliciously.
The British Bases police (the fire was in an SBA-controlled area) said they continue investigations regarding the fire’s causes, noting indications are pointing to arson.
Akrotiri is one of the most important wetlands in Cyprus. The area is protected and is under the umbrella of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (signed in 1971 in Iran).