For the last two decades, Malta’s natural environment has been neglected by every administration in power and therefore it urges the authorities to put the environment and social issues higher on the agenda and at par with the economy, stated Nature Trust Malta.
The organisation published this statement in view of the budget for next year which the government is expected to announce in the coming weeks.
“If the government is stating that the coming budget will give attention to the environment, we hope to honestly see this.” Nature Trust said it wants to see concrete results in the preservation of the few green open and protected spaces that remain and demands a political will for proper law enforcement and action.
Nature Trust said that “greed has taken over sustainable development interests;”
- Green open spaces have been taken up by over-development
- Air quality levels have gone down due to our politicians’ lack of vision and strategy on sustainable transport
- Village cores have been lost with trees chopped down for more roads and unsightly high-rise buildings
- Law enforcement has always been and still remains little more than a joke with regard to environmental laws in Malta
- ‘Sustainable development’ has been misused in every possible way, with only the economy being put on a pedestal, completely forgetting the social and environmental dimensions
In its pre-budget statement, the organisation mentioned how few remaining green areas and Natura 2000 sites face a multitude of problems which include development pressures, pollution, illegal dumping and littering, off-roading, and squatters taking over some of the best natural areas as their own without any title.
It also mentions how even the diving industry, one of the main tourism attractions of Malta, is today facing a lot of challenges through illegal fishing.
“Our marine ecology is left to fend for itself without any enforcement of protective laws and regulation, and is being heavily impacted by littering on the coast and at sea, coastal erosion and development, and degradation of the seabed,” explained Nature Trust.