NGOs to rally for enforcement of environmental laws
|Email item||Print item||
Eight environment Groups are calling on the public to join a National Rally in Valletta on Saturday, the 13th of March, to raise the issue of ongoing environmental abuse and lack of law enforcement.
The rally in Valletta will call on the government to effectively enforce existing laws and put an end to ongoing environmental abuse. Construction encroachment Out of the Development Zone, violation of Malta’s Structure Plan and of the EU air pollution Directive, illegal hunting and trapping, destruction of heritage and Natura 2000 sites, and unauthorized groundwater extraction have become acutely unsustainable.
The NGOs draw attention to the fact that the MEPA Enforcement Unit to deal with environmental crimes has been drastically downsized while illegal extraction of groundwater, widespread killing of protected birds and illegal occupation of the countryside have gone unchecked. The NGOs also condemn the fact that a number of permits have recently been granted for major projects which in many cases violate the Structure Plan and MEPA regulations as well as the EU Directive on public consultation.
Despite the Prime Minister’s promises for better protection of Malta’s natural environment, the situation has reached unacceptable proportions, with MEPA giving irrational interpretations of its policies in order to suit private and not public interest.
For these reasons, BirdLife Malta, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Greenhouse, Graffitti, MOAM, Nature Trust Malta and Ramblers Association of Malta are calling on civil society to join their members for a National Rally that will start at 10am on Saturday, March the 13th at City Gate, Valletta.
The Environment NGOs appeal to the competent authorities and institutions to ensure citizens’ rights to law enforcement in accordance with environmental standards operative in the European Union.