Azure Window collapse should cause us to reflect on our national heritage
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The collapse of the Azure Window in Dwejra should cause us to reflect on our national heritage, the Interdiocesan Environment Commission said in a statement today.
“The political and public reactions to the collapse of the Azure Window should cause us to reflect on our attitudes toward the natural, historical, and architectural resources in Gozo and Malta.,” the Commission said.
The collapse of the Azure Window was part of a natural process that was expected. The question has always been “when” not “if” it would not fall. “The people and politicians feel that the country lost part of its national heritage. And rightly so!” The Commission said.
This event should however encourage both the public and politicians, to ask pertinent questions about what they can do to sustainably manage the resources we still have left. The Commission said that some of these resources, both natural and man-made ones, are also world heritage sites.
“The problem we have been going through for many years, is that, we were not shocked by any damage caused to the natural and built environment caused by an unsustainable project, policy, plan, or decisions to go against established plans or policies that had been drawn up sensibly.”
The Commission added, “this trouble was justified politically by several governments, even though organisations and individuals, who have at heart the national heritage, spoke courageously against it.”
“If we could suddenly see all that we have lost over the years due to unsustainable behaviour, the sorrow and anguish would be much greater than was expressed over the collapse of the Azure Window.”
The Commission said that the loss of the Azure Window reminds us that natural resources, in addition to intrinsic value, also have economic value, especially in the tourism sector, and hence are beneficial to both the local and national economy.
“The Azure Window is lost once and for all. But may this loss open a door to citizens and politicians to reflect and take action to manage more wisely the island’s natural and historical resources before it is too late,” the Commission concluded.
Photographs by Alain Salvary