Raise your voice for Akamas
What is Akamas to you?
The Akamas Peninsula is a unique area of unparalleled beauty, retaining a naturalness and authenticity that has been lost from most coastal areas of the island.
Steeped in history and legend, Akamas has countless experiences to offer to locals and tourists alike.
Preserving all this requires both vision and political will.
Why is Akamas so important?
Rich in fauna
Rich in flora
Rich cultural elements
What is the issue with Akamas?
Akamas has been under pressure for development for decades. The inaction of the State and failure to take substantial action to protect nature and promote sustainable development in the area, while removing illegal structures, has led things to where they are today. What exactly do we mean?
The area designated as a Natura 2000 site is smaller than the area that should have been protected, on the basis of scientific data.
Even within the existing Natura 2000 area, the emphasis on protecting the state land, namely the Akamas National Forest Park, and managing it separately from the rest of the Natura 2000 area, creates a two-tier situation.
Projects are being promoted within the Park, such as refreshment kiosks in untouched areas, that threaten the protected status and proper management of the area.
Civil society, with support from thousands of citizens, secured that the worst development proposals included in the original Akamas Local Plan, were taken out or at least limited, at least for now. However, proper implementation of the revised plan, requires preventing quarrying in Akamas while at the same time we remain ready to carefully consider the pending Peyeia Local Plan, which also affects the area.
What do we want for Akamas?
The conclusion of the Akamas Local Plan discussion in early 2023 should mark a shift in focus towards promoting the long-term prosperity of local communities while protecting the area in a sustainable way.
Unlike other areas in Cyprus where planning mistakes were made, our vision for Akamas has always been that development should be limited within the boundaries of village communities. This approach ensures the sustainable protection of the area’s high ecological value while preserving its natural landscape, which is a big comparative advantage for tourism.
To achieve this vision, it is now crucial to convince local communities of the benefits of preservation while also providing appropriate compensation measures for landowners who are indeed deprived of development rights for the greater good.
We are calling on the state to:
- Conserve the Peninsula’s nature and landscape.
- Manage the whole area as a Natura 2000 site.
- Remove all illegal structures and restore the damage.
- Not carry out projects in untouched areas. Any projects within the National Forest Park be limited to access control, information and hygiene needs, and visitors to be encouraged to use the local communities for supplies, food & drink.
- Design and implement appropriate compensation measures to landowners who are indeed deprived of development rights for the greater good and ensure no more quarrying is allowed in the Akamas area.
- Ensure that the Peyeia Local Plan undergoes an appropriate assessment of its impacts on the Akamas Peninsula Natura 2000 site and that the final Plan reflects necessary restrictions.
- Focus on giving the local communities the tools and support to take advantage of the economic benefits that can derive from the preservation of the area.