The Laona Project was conceived by Friends of the Earth (Cyprus) to demonstrate the feasibility of ecologically sound development in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Akamas Peninsula and the nearby Laona Plateau. It ran fron 1989 to 1994. Securing the interests of the local people has been vital to the successful protection of this unique and beautiful region, so the Laona Project sought to revitalise the declining economies of nearly villages by introducing sustainable development.
Rather than constructing new mass-tourist complexes which would devastate this fragile environment and swamp traditional cultural and social values, the project pioneered an alternative strategy in which local people are offered technical and financial assistance to enable them to restore traditional properties in existing villages, for uses as visitor accommodation and for associated small-scale industry. The Project itself also sought to improve the local agricultural base.
As of 1992 responsibilty for the Project rests was taken by the Foundation for the Revival of Laona, which, when more area became interested was renamed Laona Foundation for the Conservation and Regeneration of the Cypriot Countryside.
The Laona Foundation has received funding from the European
Commission (DGXI, MEDSPALIFE Programme), the A.G.Leventis Foundation
and other Cypriot supporters. It now offers guidance and assistance throughout
Cyprus, and can be contacted at: email@example.com. Its
website can be viewed at: http://www.conservation.org.cy/laona.htm