The ministerial decision of January 2016 on the Akamas issue foresaw the preparation of a Local Plan for the Akamas Peninsula. The Democratic Structured Dialogue, which was a part of the procedure for the preparation of the Akamas Local Plan, was held on 21 and 22 February 2017, at Neo Chorio village.
The Town Planning and Housing Department is responsible for drawing up a Local Plan for the area, while the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration was responsible for the coordination of this dialogue. Participants from more than 27 stakeholders, including Government Departments, local authorities, Environmental NGOS (ENGOs), landowners and the business sector, had the opportunity to discuss, perhaps for the first time at the same table, their vision for the Akamas Peninsula.
The aim of the Democratic Structured Dialogue was to identify goals, whose achievement will lead to the best possible use of the area of the Local Plan, taking into account the particularities of the Akamas Peninsula. During the process, each stakeholder set their goals on the table. BirdLife Cyprus and other ENGOs emphasized, among others, that the preparation of the Local Plan of Akamas should involve all eight communities of the area as well as the Municipality of Peyeia, allow for mild developments within the current development zones around the villages as well as include the inapplicability of the policy for big developments (chapter 9.6 of the Republic’s Policy Statement).
However, because of the great interest shown from all participants, it was impossible to finalize the procedure in two days; therefore, a second meeting was arranged, this time in Nicosia on 20 March 2017. There, we had the opportunity to finalize the dialogue and reach to conclusions. The results of this dialogue will be delivered to the Town Planning and Housing Department (TPHD) and a draft Local Plan will be prepared and will be sent to the Planning Board for a final decision. Public consultations will follow as well as a period for any objections.
At this point, we need to emphasise the opposition of all ENGOs to the TPHD decision to proceed with two local plans for the area (one for the eight communities and another one for Peyeia Municipality), something different from the obligation of the Ministerial Decision of 2016. The issue was raised several times to the TPHD and until now they have yet to let us know why they have decided to follow this procedure.
BirdLife Cyprus along with other ENGOs are closely following all actions taking place with regards to the Akamas Peninsula and they are committed to continue their efforts in order to save this unique area of Cyprus.