The Akamas Plan is expected to be approved before the end of 2019 with work on the national park expected to start in 2020 and be completed two years after that, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday.
Speaking at a presentation of the plan for the Sustainable Development of the Akamas National Park, Anastasiades spoke of a ‘landmark day’ as after decades of discussion, implementation of the Akamas Plan was moving from studies and consultations to specific projects.
He said that the local plan for the Akamas communities will be completed in autumn 2019 which he said would address any concerns as regards the breadth of the development that will be allowed, but with full respect to protection of the environment.
The reason the national plan on the Akamas has not yet been finalised is because it must be fully harmonised with the provisions of the local plan, he added.
At Friday’s event, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis presented the basic provisions and objectives of the Akamas plan and compared the current situation with what will apply with the implementation of the national park.
The project will cost an initial €6m and have annual operating costs of €450,000. There will be eight main entrances and a ‘symbolic’ entrance fee, as is the case in parks abroad. There will be 14 visitors’ centres with facilities.
The plan also sets out rules for the operation of the road and also provides for improvements to 88 km of access roads within and outside the forest.