Press Release 14.07.2015

Malti / English
Stqarrija Stampa 14 ta’ Lulju, 2015

Il-Qasma tal-MEPA: Bzonn ta’ Konsultazzjoni ta’ veru mhux propoganda

Waqt li l-Front Ħarsien ODZ jirrispetta l-mandat elettorali tal-gvern li jsaħħaħ il-ħarsien ambjentali billi jwaqqaf awtorita’ separtata għall-ambjent, il-Front Ħarsien ODZ qed isejjaħ għal studji dwar l-impatt tas-sostituzzjoni tal-liġi preżenti permezz ta’ tlett liġijiet ġodda.

“Flok jeħli flus il-poplu f’riklami li m’huma xejn ħlief propoganda favur il-qasma tal-MEPA, il-flus għandhom jintefqu f’ informazzjoni, konsultazzjoni u studji dwar l-impatt ta’ din il-bidla.”

Il-Front Ħarsien ODZ jisħaq li l-ħarsien ambjentali hu marbut mal-użu tal-art u l-ippjannar. L-użu tal-art għandu impatt fuq l-konservazzjoni tal-ilma, l-kwalita’ tal-arja, t-traffiku, l-ħarsien tal-veduti, il-bio-diversita u l-ħolqien ta’ skart. Il-liġijiet il-ġodda għandhom ukoll impatt fuq l-ODZ għax jippermettu r-regolarizazzjoni ta’ żvilupp illegali f’dawn iż-żoni. Il-qasma bejn l-ambjent u l-ippjannar m’għandiex iddgħajef is-sinerġija ta’ kuljum bejn esperti fl-ambjent u esperti fl-ippjannar u li l-esperti fl-ambjent ikunu parti f’kull deċiżjoni li titieħed dwar pjanar, mil-bidu nett tal-proċess u mhux bħala fl-aħħar nett.

Dan jista’ jsir permezz Strategic Environment Impact Assessment (SEA) li hu rikjest mil-liġijiet Ewropej għal kull pjan u programm tal-gvern li jkollu impatt ambjentali ta’ dan it-tip u li jinkludi wkoll konsultazzjoni pubblika. Front Ħarsien ODZ jinnota li ma kienx sar SEA meta l-MEPA kienet ħarget dokument vag u qasir dwar il-pjanijiet tagħha għall-qasma tal-MEPA.

“Il- gvern Laburista hu marbut bil-manifest elettorali tiegħu li jsaħħah il-protezzjoni ta’ l-ambjentali ta’ pajjiżna u li jifred il-MEPA. Fil-waqt li huwa car li il-liġijiet ser jifirdu il-MEPA, ma jidher ċar xejn li dawn l-istess liġijiet ser itejbu l-ambjent. Anzi f’ħafna każi jidher li ser jiddħajjef il-mandat għal-ħarsien ta’ l-ambjent. Jeħtieġ stħarriġ serju li jixtarr jekk, u kif dawn il-liġijiet ser iwettqu il-mandat elettorali tal-PL.”

Fl-isfond ta’ dan, Front Ħarsien ODZ qed itenni l-appell tiegħu lil gvern biex iwaqqaf id-diskussjoni fil-parlament dwar it-tlett liġijiet ġodda sabiex il-konsultazzjoni issir qabel id-diskussjoni parlamentari.

*

Press Release 14th July, 2015

Real consultation not adverts needed on MEPA reform

While respecting the government’s mandate to strengthen environmental protection by creating a separate authority dedicated to the environment, Front Harsien ODZ is calling for the assessment of the impact of replacing existing legislation by 3 new, separate bills.

“Instead of wasting tax payer’s money on paid adverts which serve as propaganda in favour of the demerger of MEPA, tax payer’s money should be spent on proper assessment, public information and consultation.”

Environmental protection is intimately tied with planning and land use. Land use has a bearing on water use, air quality, bio diversity, landscapes, the protection of ODZ areas, traffic congestion and waste generation amongst other impacts. The planning bill as proposed also includes provisions to allow the sanctioning of ODZ development. Therefore it is of paramount importance that the daily synergy between environmental experts and planners is not lost and that every planning decision takes in to account the views of environmental experts from the start, not simply at the end of the process.

This assessment can be carried out through a Strategic Environment Impact Assessment (SEA) which is required by EU law on plans or programs with similar environmental impacts, and which would also include full public consultation. Front Harsien ODZ notes that no SEA was conducted when MEPA issued a short and vague document in March 2014 outlining its demerger plans.

“Labour’s manifesto commitment was clearly that of using the demerger to enhance environmental protection. While the demerger is clearly on the cards, there is no evidence that the laws will strengthen environmental protection. To the contrary, the removal of certain clauses from the previous Act will weaken environmental protection. There needs to be a careful assessment of whether and how the new laws honour the electoral commitment of enhancing environmental protection.”

Front Harsien ODZ therefore calls on government to refrain from any further discussion in parliament on this issue until the environmental impacts of the new laws are assessed, and the public and civil society is duly informed and consulted.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s