BirdLife Cyprus gave a talk on the importance of the protection of Androlykou gorges, located in Akamas Peninsula Natura 2000 site, during a workshop organized by the Cultural Heritage group of Neo Chorio village. The workshop took place on 9 April 2016, at the Community Council offices of Neo Chorio. The purpose of the workshop was to inform the people of the area about the destructive consequences of quarry expansion in their village and also for locals to demonstrate their opposition against the government’s plans for the area. Apart from BirdLife Cyprus, speakers included people from the Department of Forests, the Department of Geological Surveys and the Mining Service of Cyprus.
The latter two departments informed the participants about the proposed areas for quarrying and the intentions of the Government to proceed on the issue in order to use the mined rocks for the creation of breakwaters around Cyprus’ coast. The audience, obviously upset from the proposals, expressed their concerns and objections to the intentions of the government. BirdLife Cyprus shares the locals’ concerns and believes that the expansion of the quarries in Androlykou, should not go ahead, not only because it will destroy a magnificent landscape but also because of the negative and non-reversible effects this will have to the fauna and flora of the area.
BirdLife Cyprus believes that the efforts should focus on the examination of other alternative solutions such as alternative materials, quarrying from other areas outside Natura 2000 areas, and changes of standards for the materials used. BirdLife Cyprus also believes that the policy of constructing breakwaters around the coast has to be re-examined on the basis of a realistic and scientific model, bearing in mind that breakwaters just push the problem further along the coast, and surrounding the whole of the island with breakwaters is not a realistic solution.