Infringement procedures welcomed -
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nature Trust (Malta) has expressed satisfaction at the European Commission's decisions to start infringement procedures against the Maltese government over a number of environmental issues.

The trust said Ramla l-Hamra, the Nadur cemetery, the Mellieha development, the approval of development in outside development zone areas and the lack of protection for sites such as Wied Moqbol and the Ta' Cenc plateau represented but a small fraction of the issues facing Malta's natural heritage.

Thanks to EU membership, civil society could today voice its concerns over the natural environment to the European Commission, the NGO said.

It noted that it had been lobbying with the EU to obtain protection status for the Ta' Cenc plateau area, as well as for Hondoq ir-Rummien and other ecological sites, all of which were facing the threat of unsustainable projects.

Nature Trust said the merger of the Planning Authority and the Environment Protection Department was a disaster, claiming more weight was now being given to development considerations.

Mepa board members, it insisted, should not be political appointees but be nominated from among planners and environmentalists equally. Only then would Mepa be considered as a guardian of the environment.
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08 Jul 2007 by