Eight environmental NGOs Condemn Dwejra vandalism – 6th February 2008

The environmental NGOs Birdlife Malta, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Gaia Foundation, Light Pollution Awareness Group, Nature Trust (Malta) and Ramblers Association strongly condemn the vandal attacks recently held at Dwejra Heritage Park in Gozo where graffiti was sprayed on information boards and on rocks in the area. Dwejra is today a designated Natura 2000 site and a possible candidate as a World heritage site due to its paleontological, geological, ecological, ornithological , marine ecology and scenic importance.

Apart for its ecological importance, Dwejra is also one of the main tourist sites on the Maltese Islands, visited by thousands of visitors each year who contribute to the economy of the operators in the park such as diving clubs, tour operators, boat ride people etc. Over the last years over Euro 400,00 have been spent on the Park to stop the environmental degradation and start conservation measures for the full protection of this site. It is therefore a great shame that such vandalism still exists and is still practiced by very irresponsible persons against society and the environment.

The NGOs call on the enforcement authorities to step up their work towards the protection of such sites and investigate all vandalistic acts so that the criminals may be brought to justice. The NGOs also appeal to the authorities to strengthen units such as the Administrative Law Enforcement Unit so that more effective law enforcement can be upheld on our Islands