CYPRUS: Activists say beach parties are not for the birds

Conservationist group BirdLife Cyprus is deeply concerned about a concert scheduled to take place without any environmental permit on 23 June at Lady’s Mile fearing the impact on vulnerable bird species in a protected area.

In the summer, beaches like Lady’s Mile are a popular destination for bathing, dining or even events. But what may seem to many like an everyday or innocent use of the beach can be harmful to the wildlife of the area, said a Birdlife statement.

It said that on 23 June, a concert with Greek performers is planned to take place without an environmental permit at Captain’s Cabin at Lady’s Mile.

Lady’s Mile is located within the protected area of Akrotiri Peninsula, one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Cyprus. It also lies within sovereign British Bases territory

Events falling within or near protected areas can only be carried out after a permit has been obtained, which is issued after an assessment is carried out and which shows that there will be no significant impact on the valuable and often vulnerable wildlife of the area, said BirdLife.

It said the organizers are going ahead with the concert, without having obtained the required environmental permit.

The concert at Lady’s Mile, which is almost sold out, will have an impact on the Kentish Plover, a small and vulnerable shorebird that is currently nesting there. Lady’s Mile is one of the most important breeding areas for Kentish Plovers.

Their nests are located on the ground near the water and are completely exposed and almost invisible to the eye.

These small and sensitive birds are particularly vulnerable to disturbances and are already suffering a lot because of the degraded state that this natural area currently is in.

Conservationists argue that Lady’s Mile already suffers greatly from misuse (high number of visitors leads to increased vehicle flow and disturbance, vehicles entering the Salt Lake, illegal extension of parking areas, illegal parking of trailers).

BirdLife called on the organisers to respect the wildlife of the area and move the event to an alternative venue located in a non-environmentally sensitive area.

Wildlife has a right to the beach also, and not for recreation, but for survival.

Source: The Financial Mirror