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Protect the Karpas reps invited to Brussels

11 April 2013

Representatives of the Protect Karpas environmental group have been invited the Office of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus to travel to Brussels with other non-governmental environmental organisations from all parts of Cyprus.

During the visit, the Protect Karpas group will be updating their fellow Cypriot environmentalists on the current destruction being caused by an illegal road widening scheme in Karpas, North Cyprus.

The EU has selected the Karpas as a potential Natura 2000 site due to the presence of important habitats and budgeted millions of Euros for its preservation.

The European Commission will be presented with the difficulties and delays encountered in seeking remedial enforcements through the courts of the Turkish Cypriot administration and by the conflicting, uncoordinated actions or reluctance to take actions by departments of the local administration: The General Directorate of Highways is pressing ahead with the road widening without permits from the Ministry of Environment and The Iskele District Office under Ministry of Interior is not fulfilling its duty of demolishing illegal constructions on the Karpas beaches.

Whilst in Brussels, the Protect Karpas group will be seeking support for a coalition with other Cypriot environmental groups for a formal and joint complaint against Turkey, as a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory of the Bern Convention on Nature Conservation, for the failings under the Convention, in the Karpas and in other environmentally valuable areas under its control.

In addition, the group will seek the advice of the European Commission on how to prevent serious legal breaches in North Cyprus such as the illegal festival permit and road works to prevent possible future damages, and hold the Turkish Cypriot government accountable for any actions leading to the current destruction.

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