Professor Andrew Azzopardi, Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, appeals for public spaces to be given special protection. He said this in reaction to the Miżieb and Aħrax woodlands being signed over to the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK).
He stated that he would normally laud the government for involving NGOs and other interest groups in the running, maintenance and environmental conservation of a public space. However, in this instance, the driving factor seems to be discounted political gain.
In a statement, the Dean went on to outline that public spaces offer opportunities whereby the various divisions which permeate our society ranging from politics to socio-economic status are allowed to blend. He added that public spaces are a chance to set aside the bile and rhetoric that tends to be taking over communities, allow reconnection with our shared humanity and restore our relationship with nature.
He concluded his statement by encouraging the Government to “take on the mantle of moral leadership and to forego short-term political gains and instead engage in value based, consensus building that ensures equitable access to all to the resources Malta and Gozo has to offer.” Moving on to a structural re-evaluation of the concept of space and equitable access will ensure that that social justice and social wellbeing become a priority.