NGOs demand an environmental stand
The environmental NGOs, Nature Trust (Malta), Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers’ Association, Din L-Art Helwa, Friends of the Earth, Birdlife Malta and Greenhouse Malta have urged all political parties to express their position on major projects some of which are being used as electoral bait while others are shrouded in silence.
The NGOs issued a statement listing the projects in question holding that these will have a huge negative impact on the environment, are against the principle of nature protection and cannot be classified as sustainable development.
The statement lists the following projects and reasons and insists that both parties air their views about these projects:
• Ta Cenc with its hotel expansion and bungalow development which will destroy the ecology of Ta Cenc Cliffs – now a Natura 2000 site.
• The Hondoq ir Rummien project which will not only destroy an entire area and create a lot of traffic but also have a negative impact on the high landscape value of the site.
• The Ramla Gozo project, which although halted, is still in the pipeline and if approved will ruin yet more important landscape and the ecology of Ramla, another Natura 2000 site.
• The Armier illegal boat houses issue on which the two main political parties are keeping a low profile.
• The Fish farming and tuna penning industry where marine ecology is being severely impacted and some of our coastline destroyed.
• The Manuel Island mega development.
• The Gozo airstrip.
• The Gozo tunnel which was promised without sufficient studies and will generate tons of rubble waste possibly leading to the excuse of land reclamation at sea.
• The big conference centre at Ta Qali, which is entirely misplaced and unnecessary
The NGOs urged the parties to come clear on their environment credentials and not use the environment as a political ball but apply the necessary responsibility to guarantee the local environment for future generations.