Don’t hide studies from the public – KA

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Studies on environmental issues should no longer be hidden from the Maltese public, the Environment Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta has said.

KA says that the Maltese public ‘deserves greater respect,’ when it comes to environmental issues and that their opinions are ‘valued and respected’ rather that rely on consultant’s views and reports oftentimes carrying more weight than public opinions.

‘Moreover, they should never ignore what the people have to say when decisions are taken, especially if what the consultant says goes against the general public opinion,’ KA explains.

The Commission refers to the production of reports on the feasibility of continued building, the development of the Malta-Gozo tunnel and the Central Link projects, all of whom they either excused continued development or had been approved despite lacking a clear picture of their impact.

KA also pours scorn on the unhealthy focus on selling ‘solutionism’ to the Maltese public, something that would cure projects that come with damaging environmental consequences.

They say that such a focus blinds people from the actual requirement of such a project.

‘Cases in point are the presentation of revised plans for certain projects where the number of floors is decreased, where more access is given to the public, and where landscaping is rendered more conspicuous – a clear attempt at rendering the proposed project apparently more environmentally friendly leading us to forget that the project would still be eating away on our open spaces,’ KA explains.

Nothing doing enough for the environment

The Commission goes further by criticising the authorities for not doing enough to deal with environmental issues, adding that they perceive they are ‘either afraid or are cautious not to irk the electorate (or a particular sector of society).’

KA cites the current delays in the country’s action on stopping the use of plastic containers and packaging, as an example.

Focus on sustainability

In concluding their statements, the KA calls for growth to limited and development to be sustainable and ‘environmental, economic, and social interests,’ to be balanced.