Grave concerns over Besparmak quarries

There is growing concern over the amount of uncontrolled quarrying along the Besparmak mountain range.

Environmentalists from both sides of Cyprus are warning that if the quarrying does not stop soon, the five peaks will gradually disappear.

Local environmentalists are frustrated about the number of stone quarries across the range.

“The situation is critical. There are currently 17* stone quarries operating across the Five Finger mountains in an unorganised, unsystematic manner,” Cyprus Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats chairman Orhan Aydeniz has said.

He added that mountains and foothills are disappearing and it was impossible to rehabilitate them.

No action has been taken to remedy the situation, despite repeated calls for urgent measures over the years.

“We can talk for another 20 years but soon we will have no mountain left. There won’t be five or four fingers left on the mountain. There will be nothing,” he said.

Environmental engineer Sibel Paralik said she believes an alternative needs to be found to the quarrying by using different techniques to obtain the raw materials.

 “Nothing has been done, they continue to quarry but it needs to stop otherwise the mountain could disappear and you might be able to see the sea from Nicosia,” she said.

* Other sources put the amount of quarries at 39

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