Environment Groups are extremely concerned by the Authorities’ lack of protection of the environment. The first eight months of this administration have been marked by the introduction of several new policies in favour of more construction, relaxation of existing building regulations, condoning of illegalities and scant enforcement.

All this clearly reveals that the administration’s commitment is to the development lobby and not to the residents of Malta’s towns and villages or to the protection of our fragile environment.

Proposals are being made to facilitate construction in our town and village cores by demolishing traditional architecture and destroying urban gardens – essential urban lungs. The permit granted to build 744 apartments at Mistra is a precedent that will allow tall buildings on hills and ridges to change our landscapes for ever, while land reclamation will lead to our coasts becoming even more built up.

New regulations encouraging agri-tourism are full of loopholes to bring more building into our countryside, while businesses are to be allowed to encroach into residential areas.  Hotels are to rise without limit, reducing the light, air and solar rights of neighbouring homes. Both MEPA and the Lands Department are failing to curb rampant abuse, while trees continue to be damaged and destroyed. This all erodes residents’ rights and contributes to undermining our health and our quality of life. No studies have been carried out to establish why  our towns or countryside need more building  when these islands have tens of thousands of vacant residential properties  Without an overall strategic plan in place it is just short-term profit over long term benefit that is driving this government to encourage development.

Environment and residents’ groups cannot, and will not sit idly by while these laws are introduced that will further undermine our health and surroundings by the very authorities whose duty it is to safeguard the environment.

Therefore, the environment groups Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Ramblers Association, Friends of the Earth, NatureTrust Malta, MOAM, Graffitti, Greenhouse Malta, Birdlife Malta  call the public to join them on Saturday 30th November at 10.30am in protest against government’s intention to continue selling off Malta to speculators.