NGOs to rally for enforcement of environmental laws

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NGOs to rally for enforcement of environmental lawsEight 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.

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    3 Responses

    1. jason says:

      I will certainly be there as we here in Gozo the environment is at it`s worst in regards to the threat imposed by ODZ applications

    2. Astrid Vella says:

      Hi,

      Those who wish to attend from Gozo might be interested to know that transport is going to be organised for the 8.30am ferry to Malta. The transport will be from Cirkewwa to Valletta and back, more details to book will be given later.

      We look forward to seeing a big contingent from Gozo where so much is at stake. Not just Ramla, Hondoq, Xerri l-Bukket, Dwejra, Gharb Mushroom farm … the list is endless.

    3. Lesley Kreupl says:

      The people of Malta and Gozo are very lucky indeed to have such a dedicated group of NGO’s who try to protect and preserve the environment, the history and the integrity of the country. As I do not live there, I cannot list the atrocities that have been averted in Malta, except to say that among other things, St. John’s Co-Cathedral might well have disappeared into a hole.

      However in Gozo, I know that if it hadn’t been for these dedicated, hard working people, Hondoq ir- Rummien bay and the Tal Marga valley would have been completely destroyed by the proposed villas, hotel and self-catering complex and marina, Ramla Bay would have been polluted with the effluent and garbage of numerous villas and pools not to mention the scenic aspect, Ta’Cenc would also be covered in villas and apartments and possibly a golf course. To name but a few of the atrocious things that might have happened.

      Unfortunately work on the cemetery in Nadur has continued, thus destroying the springs and water supply to the farmers below, despite ongoing legal objections; the proposed high rise complexes in Marsalforn also seem to be continuing without thought or planning.

      The Mgarr Hotel has been reduced to a pile of rubbish in a quarry – what an appalling waste of stone and other resources – the Andar Hotel has been turned into a horrific white monster sitting inelegantly on the cliff – an eyesore for all the tourists passing by.

      The Dwejra disaster is happily rusting into the Inland Sea! The complex in Fort Chambray continues to be an expensive, uncompleted ghost town with a magnificent view. I could go on and on……

      I make a plea to the residents of this archipelago to join in the rally, protest, whatever you want to call it, to try and prevent further atrocities and illegalities happening in and to your islands.

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