The Biologists’ Association, a Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) member, made the news this week, with its strong condemnation of what it calls the “destruction” of the Karpaz national park in the northeast of Cyprus.
“The authorities are distributing the Karpaz national park as presents to some people,” said Niyazi Turkseven, general secretary of the Biologists’ Association. “The area was announced as a national park in 1977, then in 1995 it was declared as a site of historical and environmental importance and in 2007 as a Specially Protected Area. However we are still failing to protect the area.” Mr. Turkseven added that “one of the main reasons for failing to protect the area is because the authorities want to give away valuable land to their allies, supporters and cronies.”
The construction of electricity infrastructure, road widening, filling up of the Ronnas river, and donation of land for a university campus has begun to erode this sensitive ecosystem. “It is just not acceptable to see the authorities destroy an area which is incredibly important for cultural heritage and the environment,” said Turkseven. “It is not only one of the most important sites for Cyprus but it is very valuable for the entire world.”