Akamas plan expected to get approval by end of 2019

The plan for the sustainable development of the Akamas national park, in the western shores of Cyprus, is expected to get approval by the end of 2019, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday. Works at the park are expected to start in 2020 and finish by 2022, he added.

The Akamas plan was unveiled during an event at the presidential palace, in the presence of government officials and representatives of political parties and local authorities.

In his address, the President spoke of a landmark day noting that after discussions held for decades, the government is now taking concrete action.

He added that the Local Plan with respect to the communities of Akamas is expected to be ready in the autumn of 2019, in a bid to strengthen the area’s economic activity, and address any concerns regarding the extend of the development allowed to take place. The opinion of all stakeholders is taken seriously into consideration, the President noted, while acknowledging the different opinions. The aim is to turn Akamas into a model for parks, both locally and on an international level, he added.

Minister of Agriculture Costas Kadis presented the provisions of the plan, comparing the current state of the park with future changes, expected to take place once the plan is implemented.

We proceed with the implementation of a plan that effectively protects the natural environment the Minister said. He also outlined his vision for effectively tackling the challenges in the region, in order to turn the national park into a model for all parks in Cyprus.

Among others, he noted that access to the area is not being monitored at the moment, there is no entrance fee and vehicles circulate everywhere in the park.

With the plan, the government aims to invest Euros 6 mln, while operating costs are estimated at Euros 450,000 annually.

When implementation starts, access will be possible through 8 designated entrances, while visitors will pay a small entrance fee, similar to other parks around the world, Kadis said. He added that vehicle traffic will be monitored, and access roads will be improved. Moreover 14 points with facilities for visitors will be constructed around the park.

Deputy Spokeswoman Klelia Vasiliou also addressed the event, saying that after 30 years of discussions the government now proceeds from planning to actions.

Source: Cyprus News Agency