A few words about Akamas
With our very lives depending on it, the effective protection of our natural environment is everyone’s business.
Akamas is a natural treasure that we can and must protect. In Akama there are 650 plant species, of which 42 are endemic. Also, 5 different species of bats, 29 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and 2 species of turtle thrive in the area.
The area of Akamas is world famous for its fauna. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded in Akamas, some of them being the Spitz eagle and the beautiful kriga. Akamas is also home to colonies of the Mediterranean seal, the Nightingale (a species of bat) and important nesting beaches for green and loggerhead turtles. At the same time, foxes, snakes and various other reptiles live in Akamas.
At the same time, Akamas with its pristine landscape, the wide variety of flora and fauna, the steep mountain slopes, the beautiful natural beaches, becomes a small paradise to explore especially for nature lovers. Rare endemic plants grow in Akama that are not found anywhere else such as the Akama tulip. The dominant trees of the area are the pine, the invisible and the wild olive. In the area there is also a variety of bushy vegetation along with many other wild flowers such as tulips, cyclamen, daisies, lilies etc. which when they bloom in the spring create a feast of colors.
Also, the cultural element in Akamas is equally strong. As the area has been inhabited since ancient times, the cultural and natural heritage of the place are strongly intertwined, with Akamas being an example of the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Akamas is essentially a miniature of the whole of Cyprus, combining rocky beaches, gorges, pine forests, traditional crops and much more, which make Akamas a mosaic of habitats.
It is the westernmost cape of the island, dominated by the newest and tallest lighthouse in Cyprus, built in 1989, an iron structure with a height of 21 meters.
According to one version, the name of the area of Akamas came from the Trojan hero Acamadas, son of Theseus and Phaedra, who came to Cyprus and built a colony. Another version of the origin of the name states that it came from the negative a and the verb akamos (==uncultivated), while a third version states that it came from the negative a and the verb to burn, because according to tradition, Akamas was the only area of Cyprus that had not been burned by the arson of the Arabs.
Around Akamas are scattered small traditional villages such as Inia, Druseia, Pegeia, Kathikas and Arodes, villages with incomparable picturesqueness and beauty.
As can be seen, the issue of protecting the environment in general and Akama in particular is deeply political with the environmental struggle being a struggle for the survival of humanity, which will decide the future that the present and future generations will experience.
The neoliberal policies followed by the governments of the majority of developed countries have stripped away any concept of environmental protection at the altar of the profit of large private companies. In the context of the capitalist system, the exploitation of the environment aims at the rapid increase of profits and not the preservation and protection of the natural landscape in combination with the social benefit.
Our country is no exception, with environmental problems having worsened recently due to unregulated development and predatory economics. Unfortunately, for the sake of profit and money, through the project promoted by the Ministry of Environment, some are sacrificing the natural lung of our island.
Regarding the Akama Peninsula specifically:
· Scattered ecological educational buildings throughout the country, not only in Akamas. These constructions will be able to accommodate people and will have a limited number of beds, eg hotels with sports facilities.
· The right to rebuild agricultural warehouses, opening a loophole in the law for the construction of small detached houses.
· Construction of environmental information or training centers in which there will also be the possibility of additional construction of parking areas and refreshment stands.
· Open sports facilities which provide for a secondary road network which will be under non-special status.
· The construction of wineries, cheese factories and fruit packing plants will be allowed.
As EDON for the Akamas peninsula we specifically propose:
• The complete expropriation and compensation of privately owned properties that will be contained within the zoning boundaries of the municipal park.
• Preventing the construction of infrastructures that will be incompatible with the local environment. The properties that will serve the operation of the national park should be limited to the residential boundaries of the neighboring communities.
• The tightening of penalties for arbitrary interventions in the boundaries of the national park and the complete demolition of existing arbitrary buildings or constructions.
• The implementation of a single strategy of upgrading projects which will contribute to the sustainable development of the communities of Akamas and the Municipality of Peyia.
• The complete harmonization of the Republic of Cyprus with the relevant EU directives. for effective biodiversity conservation.
• The maintenance of the existing road networks of the area and the prohibition of the asphalting of roads and the implementation of public infrastructure projects such as electricity, water supply, etc.
We believe that the definitive solution to the environmental issue cannot come about unless the dominant model of capitalist development is changed and that it is necessary to intensify the struggle for international peace and disarmament, with the aim of avoiding destructive wars and the establishment of military bases and facilities that they destroy the natural environment.