‘Ministries too focused on own remit for Sustainable Development’ – KA

The Interdiocesan Environment Commission said that sustainable development should be included in the Prime Minister’s portfolio, seeing as Ministries “tend to be too focused on their own remit to respond to sustainability issues.”

In a statement regarding a consultation exercise on the Vision for Sustainable Development in the Maltese Islands for 2050 which took place last November, the Commission said that sustainable development should not only be the sole responsibility of the Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

The Commission suggested that a Parliamentary Committee be established made up of representatives of both sides of the House to decide on a national strategy for sustainable development and the policies which need to be enacted. It also explained that the Government is duty bound to implement policies which protect the environment and social interests.

The Maltese Council for Economic and Social Development should be transformed into the Maltese Council for Sustainable Development, and also those who consult on development projects should be chosen from among people who know what sustainable development really means, the Commission added.

While praising the Ministry’s initiative regarding a long-term vision for Sustainable Development, the Commission said that it thinks it strange that in documents addressing sustainable development in Malta, there doesn’t seem to be any reflection on the country’s limits and the need to restrict growth.

The Commission also appealed for the long-term consideration; the integration of environmental, social and economic policies; participation through wide consultation which involves the public and reflection by evaluation of what happened in the past.

Honesty was suggested to be the main principle for governance of sustainable development in Malta. The Commission also mentioned that other points need to be considered which weren’t mentioned in the document, including the excessive number of private cars in the streets, and the negative impacts of the construction industry.