NGOs slam agreement between PL and FKNK
The recent agreement between the PL and FKNK on hunting and trapping on the Maltese Islands has become a bone of contention with BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA), Friends of the Earth Malta, Gaia Foundation, Greenhouse Malta and Nature Trust (Malta) voicing their concerns over it.
Recent statements from both PL and FKNK indicate that the agreement is the result of two years of private negotiations between the political party and the hunting lobby, however the environmental NGOs do not consider this as an open and transparent process and do not regard it as an appropriate way to shape the environmental policies of a potential future government. There have been no similar long-term and on-going discussions between the PL and the above named environmental NGOs on wildlife and countryside issues therefore the NGOs are concerned that PL is developing policies which have not taken account of the expertise of all appropriate stakeholders, especially those organisations who care for and manage Malta’s outstanding natural heritage.
It is of great concern to the NGO’s that the agreement between the FKNK and PL is likely to cause more harm to birds, wildlife and the countryside and that this forms the basis for a future government’s priorities on wildlife and countryside issues. Aarhus Convention rules state that environmental decisions must be taken with public consultation and participation, and therefore no negotiations are to be conducted and concluded without such participation
BirdLife Malta’s analysis of the agreement between FKNK and PL conclude that if the agreement was to be fully implemented bird conservation on the Maltese islands would face a bleak future, while issues such as the safe access to the countryside of the people of Malta would become more difficult because the illegal occupation of the countryside by the hunters and trappers was not addressed in the agreement between PL and FKNK.
PN have today published an advertisement criticising the agreement between PL and the hunters, however while PL has made its position at mildly clear, the PN's position on hunting and its impact on wildlife and the people of Malta requires more clarification than has been provided in today’s advertisement. While AD have a clear policy on spring hunting, there are other issues relating to hunting and trapping where their position requires some clarification too, the statement read.