Press Release – 10th July 2012
The Government has now formally announced its intention to accept expressions of interest from the private sector for land reclamation projects in order to boost the economy and will entertain innovative ideas for the extension and use for any areas of the coastline. Din l-Art Helwa, the heritage and environmental NGO, suggests that inviting developers to provide government with their own environmental and economic feasibility studies on such projects is extremely dangerous. Such proposals, if not properly and impartially assessed, can inevitably result in the loss of natural assets which will be sacrificed for private and short term speculation.
This is an extremely worrying proposal on the part of the Government who is advertising it on the media, says Din l-Art Helwa.
The government, said Din l-Art Helwa, must find solutions to enhance the economy without selling off the country’s major natural treasures, our coastline and the marine environment. Land reclamation should only be entertained if projects of major or national importance warrant it and only after serious economic and environmental studies have been carried out.
‘It is easy to generate wealth by exploiting the environment and the island’s beauty spots. Development can be endless, but our natural spaces are finite. Once these are lost, they are lost forever’, says Din l-Art Helwa. ‘Government must be able to do this without compromising these assets. It should continue to point the attention of development with serious incentives to the regeneration of all those many built areas that lie dilapidated and derelict. Such improvements could give rise to many years of sustainable employment and indeed result in increasing competitiveness and a better quality of life.’