“Constitution needs to address heritage” – Environment NGO

Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) is stating that a separate section must be added to the Constitution specifically to ensure that protection of Malta’s heritage, environment, archaeology and historic landscapes, is ensured and enforceable by the necessary structures, administrative resources and effective legal remedies. 

The Constitution states:

  1. The State shall safeguard the landscape and the historical and artistic patrimony of the Nation.
  2. The State shall protect and conserve the environment and its resources for the benefit of the present and future generations and shall take measures to address any form of environmental degradation in Malta, including that of air, water and land, and any sort of pollution problem and to promote, nurture and support the right of action in favour of the environment.

However, this is undermined with the Declaration of Principles (clause 21):

The provisions of this Chapter shall not be enforceable in any court…

This comes following the publication of the results of the public consultation on Constitutional Reform. It results that 25% of respondents were gravely concerned about the Malta Constitution’s lack of protection for Malta’s natural and cultural heritage.

FAA outlined that therefore, it was impossible to invoke the Constitution in cases of decisions that destroy Malta’s landscapes, heritage and quality of life, such as the Mistra Towers, the db ITS project, and the Mrieħel Quad Towers.The statement went on to say that major recent examples include include the threat of tall buildings engulfing Villa Barbaro in Tarxien, new road projects such as the Central Link and Sta Lucia Tunnels, as well as the Mercury Tower in Paceville.