Press Release 26 April 2014
Din l-Art Helwa believes that the main result of the forthcoming demerger of MEPA will be to enable the new Planning Authority to process development applications with less checks and balances. The implementation of this demerger is mainly geared towards serving the interests of the development lobby.
The new Environment Authority will be reduced to the position of an external consultee. Considering the complete lack of interest shown by the Environment Minister in the consultation process for the important new ODZ policy that is currently being drawn up by MEPA, this does not augur well at all.
The environment ministry seems to be aiming to wash its hands of any responsibility for planning decisions when land use is one of Malta’s major environmental concerns, especially due to the country’s small size and high population density.
The environment must be given due importance as one of the three pillars of sustainable development, yet this is certainly not the aim of the MEPA demerger. The great majority of the proposals for the demerger aim to lessen restrictions in planning decisions and to dismantle environmental safeguards.
No emphasis is being placed on positive and tangible measures which will work towards solving the environmental challenges that Malta is facing, many of which are caused by overdevelopment.
Din l-Art Helwa’s detailed comments on the MEPA demerger can be viewed on www.dinlarthelwa.org