Appeal against the Planning Authority’s decision

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Appeal against the Planning Authority’s decision 

5 September 2016

Towm square towers

Two of the projeced towers set to set to dominate views of the Sliema skyline.

PLEASE SHARE

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Aħjar (FAA) is standing up to the damage to be inflicted on our health and quality of life by the 22 towers planned all over Malta. FAA is joined by Ramblers Association, Friends of the Earth, and Qui is-Sana Residents Association and Din l-Art Helwa to take all legal and other action necessary to stop this assault. We will be appealing against the Planning Authority’s decision to allow the construction of high-rise towers where they will cause inconvenience and hardship to all who love Malta. We will raise the issue in every forum, before every board, to every entity. We will not give in. PLEASE SHARE

#ACauseWorthFightingFor#

Please stand up to protect your health and quality of life by donating to this cause by direct debit at:

– Bank of Valletta A/c 400-1851-6481, IBAN:MT03VALL22013000000040018516481

– HSBC A/c 061-253-217-050 or

By credit card at: https://ticketengine.faa.org.mt/

Or by sending a cheque to FAA, 23 St Anne Street, Floriana 9012, marked FAA/FoE/Ramblers Cause

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Kummissarju tal-Ambjent imħasseb dwar l-ambjent

3 ta’ Settembru, 2016

Nhar l-Erbgħa, 24 ta’ Awwissu, 2016, il-Perit David Pace, Kummissarju għall-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar, mill-uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman, bagħat ittra lill-Ministru għall-Iżvilupp Sostenibbli, l-Ambjent u t-Tibdil fil-Klima, u lis-Segretaju Parlamentari għall-Ippjanar u Simplifikazzjoni Amministrattiva, “dwar ir-riservi serji li għandi dwar l-effetti negattivi  lil qed jirriżultaw fuq il-protezzjoni tal-ambjent. ..”

Din l-ittra qed tiġi miġjuba sħiħa.

Ir-ritratti ġew miżjuda ħdejn dawk li ntbagħtitilhom u dawk li ġew ikkopjati.

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Natura Malta Agency

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Natura Malta Agency

 

Press Release 15th February, 2016Front Ħarsien ODZ

Natura Malta proposal welcome, but should not justify unacceptable development – Front

Front Harsien ODZ welcome the idea for a Natura Malta agency as proposed by the Today Public Policy Insitute (TPPI).

“TPPI is calling for an agency set up by, law, for the protection of Malta’s countryside and biodiversity. It should funded by government and run by a board including government representatives and nominations by NGOs, relevant university departments and local council”.

“As regards the proposal to have this agency decide who is to manage designated areas, this idea is welcome in principle. However, Front Harsien ODZ will not agree with proposals to justify irregular and unaccaptable development through the management of sites nearby. A case in point is the proposed Sadeen Institute at Zonqor. Front Harsien ODZ will not give its support to those who justify this unacceptable ODZ development by managing sites nearby. The best way to manage these sites is to protect them from unsustainable development”

eNGOS REFUSE SEAT ON CLIMATE ACTION BOARD

ENGOS QUESTION CREDIBILITY OF ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

IN REFUSING SEAT ON CLIMATE ACTION BOARD

Sunday, 10 January, 2016

Environment organisations will be refusing Minister Leo Brincat’s invitation to take a seat on the Climate Action Board as a sign of protest at the Government’s lack of commitment to environmental priorities.

 

five-eNGOs

Although the eNGOs realise that formally MEPA was not under Minister Brincat’s direct responsibility, they still maintain he has done far too little to ward off the worst excesses afflicting the environment. Minister Brincat’s participation in the three-Minister press conference at Ta’ Barkat to justify the take-up of the original large ODZ site at Zonqor being a case in point.  Similarly, Minister Brincat does not seem very concerned that the Environment Directorate has not been functioning effectively for the last two years, a fact highlighted repeatedly by the eNGOs. The parliamentary debate on the MEPA separation completely exposed the hollowness of Government commitment to the environment.

However the eNGOs’ final verdict was not decided by these factors, even though recent eNGO experience on boards weighed heavily: inevitably outnumbered, generally ignored and forced to watch helplessly as the rapid degradation of what passes for environmental protection in Malta gathered pace. The list stretches to the horizon: the Zonqor debacle; unnecessary high-rise buildings; illegal songbird trapping with hugely inflated catches permitted; new policies that facilitate building in ODZ; aiding and abetting criminal acts like the stealing of electricity at illegal boathouse shantytowns; the ongoing Montekristo charade.  Despite all this, the eNGOs had come to the conclusion that they would take up the offer of a seat on the Climate Action Board.

That frame of mind favouring cooperation was shattered by the developments regarding the new “Wild Birds” regulations designed to facilitate hunters’ and trappers’ killing of endangered species. These proposals coming from the Ministry with responsibility for Environment and Climate Change actions contradict the very ethos of the said Ministry. They are designed specifically to aid and abet the most uncivilised and lawless practices of our hunters and trappers. Indeed they have already done so: witness the recent finch trapping expedition by five Maltese trappers in Sicily, undertaken in the full knowledge that Italy banned all song-bird trapping last year. We maintain that this government is hell-bent on appeasing  these groups rather than doing the right thing by the environment.

The hypocrisy of allowing the killing of endangered species on the pretext that they are not protected by the EU has lost the Environment Ministry all credibility. This loss has been developing for some time through past activities of Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes. But not even he can refute the fact that allowing rich hunters to import birds killed in South America or Egypt will further undermine the survival of species. The increasing rate of extinction of several species is a well-established effect of Climate Change, hence the concern in the COP 21 final document:  The “integrity of all ecosystems” is noted, along with “the imperative of biodiversity protection”.  It should therefore come as no surprise that under such conditions no respectable eNGO would want to occupy a seat on the Climate Action Board.

The eNGOs will therefore  not be taking up the offer of a place on the Climate Action Board.

Din l-Art Ħelwa

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar

Friends of the Earth

NatureTrust Malta

FAA Statement on Parliament’s decision on Zonqor and Dock 1

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FAA Statement on Parliament’s decision on Zonqor and Dock 1

Il-Ħamis, 17 th December, 2015

Following Parliament’s hasty decision to hand over public land to the Sadeen Jordanian investors, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar maintains that the public has been deprived of its land for a pittance.  The public has also been deprived of its legal right to participate in the planning process according to the​ EU Directive, as the whole site selection process was a sham, ignoring alternatives that would have been much more beneficial to the national interest on social, environmental and also economic terms.

Added to the fact that the MEPA CEO acted as facilitator, and not regulator of this project, yesterday’s revelation that the application is not for a university but for a ‘higher education institution’ is one of the many irregularities that has characterised this project and has entrenched mistrust in the government’s handling of such matters.

The implications of this decision will be felt in the future, as traffic in Marsascala and Cospicua increases, bringing with it pollution and health problems.  Government is refusing to admit that this project will be changing the social dynamics of these areas in a radical and irrevocable way, to the detriment of the two communities and Malt​a​ in general.

Since Malta has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe, a project employing 300 persons, many of whom will be foreign, does not justify robbing the Maltese of their birth right and further raping the land. Having earned independence in 1964, Malta has now entered a new era of colonialism, ​with parcels land and heritage buildings being given away to foreign entities without the consent of the public and against the national interest.

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Stqarrija tal-FAA dwar id-deċiżjoni tal-Parliament fuq iż-Żonqor and l-Baċir Nru 1.

​​Wara id-deċiżjoni mgħaġġla biex il-Parlament jagħti art pubblika lill-kumpanija ta’ Sadeen, Flimkien għal Ambjent Ahjar jgħidu li l-pubbliku ġie mċaħħad mill-art tiegħu għal prezz ridikolu. Il-poplu Malti ġie mċaħħad ukoll mid-dritt legali tiegħu li jipparteċipa fil-proċess għax dan ma kienx ħlief daħq fil-wiċċ peress li ġew injorati alternattivi ferm aħjar jeċistu, sia mill-għad soċjali u ambjentali, kif ukoll ekononmiku.

Biex inżidu ma’ dan, huwa fatt li is-CEO tal-MEPA aktar kellu rwol ta’ xi ħadd li ffaċilita il-proċess milli regulatur. Dak li ġie revelat ilbieraħ – li l-applikazzjoni se ssir mhux għal università iżda bħala istitut ta’ edukazzjoni għoli – huwa biss wieħed mill-ħafna irregolaritajiet li kkaratterizzaw dan il-progett, li dejjem qed iwassal għal aktar nuqqas ta’ fiduċja fil-mod kif j​aġixxi l-gvern fis-settur tal-ippjanar.​

Għad inħossu r-riperkussjonijiet ta’ din id-deċisjoni fil-futur, hekk kif it-traffiku jżid fl-inħawi u jġib miegħu problem ta’ tniggiż u ta’ saħħa, u hekk kif biċċa oħra ta’ art tittieħed għall-bini. Il-gvern qed jirrifjuta li jammetti li dal-proġett ser ibiddel id-dinamika soċjali b’mod radikali u irrevokabbli għall-iskapitu tal-Maltin.

​Peress li Malta hija wahda mill-pajjizi bl-inqas rata ta’ qaghd fl-EU, dal-progett li ser jimpiega biss 300 persuna, fosthom hafna barranin, m’ghandu l-ebda gustificazzjoni biex jisraq il-wirt tal-Maltin u jkompli thassar l-ambjent. Wara li rbahjna l-indipendenza fil-1964, issa rgajna dhalna f-era ta’ kolonializmu, bl-ghotja ta’ bicciet ta’ art mdaqqsin u binjiet ta’ valur storiku lill-kumpanniji barranin minghajr il-kunsens tal-poplu u kontra l-interess nazzjonali.

Astrid Vella Coordinator, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar

17 ta’ Diċembru, 2015

 

FAA re Auberge de castille – FULL PR

Illumination of  the Auberge de Castille

Astrid Vella

Tuesday, 10th November 2015

Here is the full text of today’s PR re heritage which has not been carried in full: Flimkien għal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) strongly condemns the irreversible damage caused by the project to illuminate the Auberge de Castille. The Auberge is supposedly protected by Structure Plan Grade 1 scheduling: “These buildings are of outstanding architectural or historical interest that shall be preserved in their entirety. Demolition or alterations which impair the setting or change the external or internal appearance…will not be allowed.”

This law was blatantly ignored by the very persons responsible for protecting our nation’s heritage who hurriedly approved this highly sensitive project in 24 hours, instead of scrutinising it properly to Superintendent of Culture, ensure correct practice. In so doing the authorities have violated the Heritage Act which stipulates that the State in Malta has “The duty to protect, the duty to conserve, maintain, restore and to intervene whenever deemed fit, including in circumstances of misuse, lack of conservation or application of wrong conservation methods”.

The Heritage Act also establishes that “It shall be the function of the Superintendent to promote and ensure the best policies, standards and practices in the conservation and presentation of artefacts, museums, buildings, monuments and sites;… Before determining an application … the Superintendent may require such information including the results of such tests, examinations or inspection … as he may consider necessary. Any person who wilfully, or through negligence, unskillfulness or non-observance of regulations causes damage to or destroys any cultural property … shall be guilty of an offence against this Act and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine (multa)…not exceeding €116,468.67, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

In recent years such cases have shamefully multiplied – in September 2103 MEPA granted a permit to build a house within the boundary of the Ta’ Ħagrat Temples, a World Heritage Site. Thankfully, following FAA pressure, that permit is now inoperable. MEPA had also approved a massive development on the Zbibu lane archaeological site, just 50 metres from an archaeological buffer zone. In October 2014 MEPA granted a permit for the building of a telecommunications tower on the Victoria Lines, a protected Grade 1 monument set in an Area of High Landscape Value. More recently, FAA’s enquiries about the structure being built at Haywharf were dismissed on the grounds of it being a national security project. The carbuncle that sprung up there could have been built in a presently unused and less conspicuous part of the Grand Harbour, instead of ruining Floriana’s bastions vista, a prime tourist area designated for a quality yachting project.

In all of these projects Malta’s laws have been blatantly violated by MEPA, the responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary Dr Michael Falzon, who operates out of the Office of the Prime Minister. Shockingly, none of these developments were opposed by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, which is responsible for ensuring that restoration works are carried out correctly. Will these two, as the competent authorities, fine themselves? The silence of the Superintendence and the dormant Committee of Guarantee is outrageous in the face of the rape of our heritage.

The Heritage Act emphasises the need to “promote public awareness of the richness and extent of cultural heritage as an intrinsic part of humankind’s environment, and of the need to prevent the debasement of cultural heritage assets” Who will watch the watchman if the watchman has betrayed the cause?

castille fascade

Invasive works at Castille facade have led to a public outcry • Photo by Ray Attard

Comments on facebook:

FAA on Castille wires fiasco: authorities violated Heritage Act Heritage and environment NGO Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar strongly condemned the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage for allowing invasive works on Auberge de…

Joe Buttigieg, Angela Delia, Deborah Ratcliffe and 20 others like this.

Stephen J Avalyan Newton Concise and clear statement Astrid.

Astrid Vella While the lighting on the facade of Castile was not a deliberate act of damage to our National Heritage, it still should have been averted with proper consultation and reflection. From a purely ascetic point of view the façade is meant to be viewed as…See More

Henry Abela – Henry Abela Just got back from Madrid, and after seeing all those buildings lit p at night I cant help feeling so sick and disgusted.

Karl Zammit what bloody amateurs frown emoticon

Colin Hamer Organise a couldn’t brewery piss in up a!

Gert Dowling I have come to the conclution, that is Malta, people have no respect for the law. What a shame.

Alfred E. Baldacchino MEPA has now become the laughing stock of the country. It either approves all obscentities, or blames another entity, or does nothing about it. When one remembers that MEPA is paid out of public funds to protect the environment, indeed one can better understand the meaning of a pro business vision.

Joe Buttigieg pajjiz tal mickey mouse literally – there is something wrong in the administration of this country – action must be taken!

Elizabeth Micallef I made a comment on Malta in a previous post; no need to add another. Enough people are reflecting my feelings.

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Alfred E. Baldacchino