X’Eco-Gozo hi din ?

proposed-site

Interessanti ħafna l-kumment li t-Times tal-lum tattribwixxi lill-Ministeru ghal Għawdex.

Alternattiva Demokratika permezz tal-kelliemi tagħha għal Għawdex Victor Galea qed tgħid li flok ma jiġi żviluppat wieħed minn l-aħħar spazji miftuħa fir-Rabat Għawdex (Pjazza l-Assedju 1561) ikun aħjar jekk il-Qorti f’Għawdex tmur f”dik li kienet il-fabbrika tal-MMU.  Sit li jista’ jiġi żviluppat mill-ġdid u jinkludi fih dak kollu li huwa meħtieġ.

Biex in-nies tinqeda aħjar AD qed tgħid ukoll li għandu jkun hemm shuttle service biex b’hekk jonqsu karozzi. Xi ħadd mill-Ministeru għal Għawdex  (li staħa juri ismu) qed jgħid li proposta bħal din iżżid it-traffiku.

B’dawn l-ideat nistgħu nifhmu iktar fejn ser iwassal eco-Gozo !

Mhux aħjar jgħidulna għaliex qed jiġi propost li wieħed minn l-aħħar spazji vojta fir-Rabat Għawdex qed jiġi propost illi jinbena? Ara ftit x’qal Victor Galea u x’jahsbu r-residenti !

 

http://gozonews.com/featured/safeguard-this-last-open-space-left-in-victoria/

Inqas ħsejjes

 aircraft

 

 

Jiena u Arnold Cassola dalgħodu iltqajna mas-Sindku u uħud mill-kunsilliera tal-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birżebbuġa. Iddiskutejna kif il-komunita ta’ Birżebbuġa hi effettwata mill-Port Ħieles u mill-ajruplani li jinżlu lejn l-ajruport tal-Gudja minn fuq Birżebbuġa.

 

Alternattiva Demokratika tappoġġa lill-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birżebbuġa huwa u jfittex soluzzjoni għal dawn l-impatti.

 

L-ewwel nett ngħid li kemm l-ajruport kif ukoll il-Port Ħieles huma essenzjali għall-ekonomija Maltija. Imma dan ma jfissirx illi għax dawn iż-żewġ entitajiet jiġġeneraw ix-xogħol allura nistgħu bħala pajjiż nagħlqu għajnejna għall-impatti li jiġġeneraw. Irrid ngħid li bi ftit ħsieb l-impatti fuq ir-residenti jistgħu jiġu mitigati.

 

Ser nillimita ruħi għall-ħsejjes ġenerati (acoustic pollution).

 

Il-Port Ħieles jiġġenera bosta ħsejjes kemm bin-nhar kif ukoll bil-lejl. L-inżul ta’ l-ajruplani minn fuq Bengħajsa għal fuq iż-żona residenzjali Tal-Papa ukoll jiġġenra ħafna ħsejjes minħabba li l-ajruplan ikun viċin li jmiss l-art. Tant ikun viċin li mill-art ikun possibli li jinqara n-numru ta’ registrazzjoni tiegħu !

 

Irrid ngħid li matul dan l-aħħar żmien kien hemm żvilupp posittiv mid-Dipartiment tal-Avjazzjoni Ċivili u dan billi fin-Noise Abatement Procedures tiegħu ifittex illi matul is-siegħat ta’ bil-lejl (11pm sas-6am) kull meta jkun possibli ma jawtorizzax li ajruplani jgħaddu minn fuq Birżebbuġa. Jiena infurmat li l-unika eċċezzjonijiet iseħħu meta l-qawwa u/jew d-direzzjoni tar-riħ ma jippermettux l-użu ta’ rota alternattiva.

 

Huwa neċessarju li l-ħsejjes li niġġeneraw ikunu regolati. Il-Gvern diġa għamel pass żgħir il-quddiem meta permezz ta’ avviż legali ppubblika regolamenti dwar is-siti ta’ kostruzzjoni li fihom fost oħrajn illimita l-ħoss massimu li jista’ jkun ġġenerat sa kilometru l-bogħod minn post residenzjali.

 

Jeħtieġ li nimxu iktar il-quddiem u nassiguraw li l-ħsejjes li niġġeneraw jonqsu għall-ġid ta’ kulħadd.

 

Bħala l-ewwel pass hemm id-Direttiva tal-Unjoni Ewropea (Direttiva 2002/49 tal-25 ta’ Ġunju 2002) intitolata Directive on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise.  Il-Gvern Malti waqa’ tlett snin u nofs lura u fil-fatt jidher li għadu ma bediex jimplimenta din id-Direttiva.

 

Għalhekk f’isem Alternattiva Demokratika fil-MEUSAC (Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee) jiena tlabt li l-Gvern jispjega kif fi ħsiebu jġib il-ħin li tilef u kif ser jimplimenta din id-Direttiva.

 

Meta l-Gvern jiċċaqlaq inkunu nistgħu nibdew noqorbu lejn tnaqqis tal-ħsejjes li qed idejqu lil kulħadd. 

Alternattiva Demokratika u l-Working Time Directive

 

Waqt diskussjoni bit-tema Ewropa Soċjali – Malta Soċjali, Arnold Cassola Chairman ta’ Alternativa Demokratika spjega l-posizzjoni ta’ AD dwar il-Working Time Directive tal-Unjoni Ewropea.

 

Din id-Direttiva tobbliga li għal raġunijiet ta’ saħħa fuq il-poist tax-xogħol ħaddiem ma jaħdmix iktar minn medja ta’ 48 siegħa xogħol ikkalkulati fuq perjodu ta’ sena.

 

Arnold qal li Alternattiva ma taqbilx li Direttiva bħal din tkun tapplika għal Malta minħabba l-pagi baxxi f’dan il-pajjiż. Għax minħabba l-pagi baxxi hi neċessita li ħaddiem ifittex xogħol addizzjonali (part-time) wara x-xogħol normali u dan biex ilaħħaq mal-ispejjes. B’pagi aħjar ikun possibli li wieħed jillimita l-ħin tax-xogħol. Imma sadanittant m’hemmx għażla.

 

AD consistent on hunting

adsmallText of AD Press Release issued this afternoon

Arnold Cassola, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party Chairperson, stated: “This is not an issue any longer. Over the past twenty years we have insisted and worked together with the European Greens to ensure that hunting in spring is abolished. For doing this, I was personally singled out by the Maltese government as an enemy of the Maltese people and arguments in favour of the abolition of spring hunting were then considered by the PN led government as politically extreme views. ”

(DOI Press Release: “Huwa ta’ ghajb li esponenti bhal Prof. Arnold Cassola jippartecipaw f’attivitajiet li jispiccaw ihammgu isem Malta ghax fihom jigu espresi argumenti estremi u mhux ikkonfermati. Huwa ta’ ghajb li persuni bhal Prof. Cassola, konxju mill-importanza ekonomika tas-settur turistiku, jaghmek din it-tip ta’ hsara ghal skopijiet politici f’mument tant sensittiv ghal dan is-settur” DOI, 30 June 2005)

Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros, AD candidate for MEP elections added: “It is absurd that some PN candidates are posing as champions against hunting in spring today, when hunting in spring has already been abolished. This is even more preposterous when one considers that these candidates are the same persons that, as top-MIC employees, spent five years of their life negotiating a derogation on Spring hunting with the EU authorities”.

Carmel Cacopardo, Alternattiva Demokratika spokesperson on Sustainable Development and Local Government, concluded: “Alternattiva Demokratika is a party that has worked consistently over the past twenty years in favour of our environment. The Maltese and Gozitan people are intelligent enough to distinguish between AD and its candidates and other parties and their candidates. AD has worked consistently on this issue; others are just presenting themselves now as “last minute” environmentalists in order to gain some votes”.

The Cost of Incompetence

times_of_malta196x703by Carmel Cacopardo

published Saturday, January 17, 2009

___________________________________________________________

Walking or driving through some of our roads during or immediately after heavy rainfall is no easy task. If you are lucky you will “just” encounter large quantities of ankle-deep rainwater. It may, however, be worse if the rainwater is mixed with sewage.

This is happening so often that it is hardly news any more!

Three issues should be underlined. The first is rainwater literally going down the drain!

Secondly, it is an issue of civil protection: life and property are endangered.

Thirdly, it’s a case of an overloaded public sewer and, consequently, an unnecessary increase in the costs of sewage purification.

Local building regulations applicable since 1880 established the capacity of rainwater cisterns that are to be provided as an integral part of a dwelling. Unfortunately, a number of residential properties constructed over the last 45 years have not been provided with cisterns for rainwater storage.

The major culprits are a substantial portion of the developers of blocks of flats and maisonettes. In particular, in cases where basement or semi-basement garages are constructed, the duty to provide for rainwater storage is very rarely complied with. In those instances where a rainwater cistern has not been provided, rainwater is being disposed of either directly onto the street or else straight into the public sewer.

When disposed of onto the streets, rainwater is a contributor to flooding whereas when discharged down the drain it overloads the public sewer which, subsequently, overflows onto our streets.

As a result, this adds a health hazard to an already alarming situation.

Mepa has since 1992 been responsible for determining and ensuring the observance of the conditions of development permits, which, in most cases, specify the required capacity of a rainwater cistern. Mepa shares this responsibility with the public health authorities.

The Water Services Corporation (WSC) has, during the last years, taken over the responsibility for the management of the public sewers from the former Drainage Department. This responsibility includes authorising owners of dwellings to connect their house drains with the public sewer.

Is the WSC verifying that it is only the house drains that are connected and, in particular, that rainwater pipes are not connected to the public sewer too? The answer is provided by our streets on a rainy day. No one is bothering to check.

This leads to the conclusion that, while the culprit for the present state of affairs is the building industry as, more often than not, it does not provide for rainwater storage in new development, it is not the only one to blame. The authorities and government departments have a substantial share of the blame for not shouldering their responsibilities.

A number of areas are out of bounds whenever heavy or continuous rainfall hits the Maltese islands. This is a source of danger and, in fact, the Civil Protection Department is heavily involved in assisting residents or motorists who are trapped as a result of flooding. The Birkirkara local council had some years ago installed a storm warning system to alert residents and passers by that “danger was on the way”!

Public authorities, unfortunately, have developed the habit of dealing with the effects but continuously ignore the cause of flooding!

Austin Gatt, as the minister responsible for the WSC, recently announced that the government will introduce a drainage tariff as of next year. He stressed that, in terms of the EU Water Framework Directive, the government has to recover costs related to the treatment of urban wastewater. Leaving aside for the time being the discharge of the treated wastewater into the sea (I have dealt with this elsewhere) it is clear that the cost of treating urban wastewater includes an expense which can easily be avoided if the public sewer is not overloaded with rainwater during the rainy season. All of us will thus be forced to pay the cost for the gross incompetence of the government through its authorities.

We have also been informed that part of the €855 million made available by the EU will be used to fund a project for the construction of underground tunnels through which it is planned to collect rainwater from our streets and roads. It is planned not only to store the rainwater underground but, possibly, also to make use of it in order recharge the depleted water table!

No one has yet explained how it is intended to deal with the contamination of rainwater by sewage prior to it being collected in the projected tunnels. But even if this is remedied, the EU funds will be effectively subsidising a number of developers who, once more, will shift their responsibilities and expenses onto the taxpayer. EU monies are taxpayers’ funds too!

This is the accumulated cost of incompetence!

Villa Barbaro f’Ħal-Tarxien

 villabarbarotarxien

Villa Barbaro f’Ħal-Tarxien hi waħda mill-eqdem binjiet f’Malta.  Partijiet minnha ilhom li nbnew mill-1530 – jiġifieri jiftakru l-miġja tal-Kavallieri ta’ San Ġwann.

 

Ir-ritratt ta’ hawn fuq, meħud minn ġol-villa stess juri kif il-bini madwar din il-villa qed jogħla b’mod li l-protezzjoni tal-binja tinħass dgħajfa. Għax m’huwiex biżżejjed illi tkun protetta l-binja nnifisha biss (kif ilha protetta sa mill-1996) iżda huwa meħtieġ li fejn jidħol il-bini storiku jkun protett ukoll l-ispazju tal-madwar.

 

Dan insejħulu buffer zone : jiġifieri dak l-ispazju madwar Villa Barbaro li fih għandu jkun regolat x’tip ta’ żvilupp jista’ jsir u dan biex ma ssirx ħsara. Il-buffer zone għandu jkun wieħed li fih il-bini ma jogħliex ħafna il-fuq u dan biex viżwalment tkun protetta u ppriservata d-dehra ta’ dan il-monument storiku.

 

Idealment dan kellu jsir waqt il-proċess tal-formulazzjoni tal-Pjan Lokali iżda dakinnhar ħadd ma mpurtah! 

 

L-istess kien ġara fil-każ ta’ Villa Bologna f’Ħ’Attard kif ukoll fil-każ tat-Torri ta’ Gourgion f’Ħal-Lija : għall-bidu dawn ukoll ġew injorati, iżda wara ħafna taħbit illum is-sitwazzjoni tjiebet u t-tnejn igawdu protezzjoni aħjar.

 

Issa waslet is-siegħa ta’ Villa Barbaro f’Ħal-Tarxien.  

Il-gass Russu w in-Nukleari

jaslovske-bohunice

 

Waħda mill-konsegwenzi tal-krizi dwar il-pipe tal-gass Russu għaddej mill-Ukrajina huwa li numru ta’ pajjiżi fil-Lvant tal-Ewropa iddeċidew illi jħaddmu mill-ġdid reatturi nukleari li  kien waqqfu.

 

L-impjant nukleari f’ Jaslovské Bohunice fis-Slovakkja, 100 kilometru minn Vienna. Dan l-impjant kellu jagħlaq bħala kundizzjoni biex is-Slovakkja tissieħeb fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Hemm fil-fatt referenza speċifika għal dan l-impjant nukleari fit-trattat ta’ adeżjoni. Dan l-impjant kellu jieqaf jopera fl-aħħar ta’ Diċembru 2008, kif fil-fatt għamel !

 

L-Awstrija, pajjiż li ma jaqbilx ma’ l-użu ta’ l-enerġija nukleari, kienet aċċettat li s-Slovakkja tissieħeb fl-Unjoni Ewropea bil-kundizzjoni li jagħlaq l-impjant nukleari ta’ Jaslovské Bohunice.

 

Eva Glawischnig li tmexxi l-Greens Awstrijaċi (Die Grünen) iddeskriviet dan ir-reattur nukleari bħala wieħed mit-tlieta l-iktar perikolużi fl-Ewropa.

 

Sadanittant il-Bulgarija jidher li qed titħajjar biex hi ukoll tħaddem mill-ġdid impjant nukleari tagħha li kellha tagħlaq f’Kozloduy.

 

 

Ara stqarrija tal-EGP – European Greens 

George Abela

leaders_hopefuls_jpg

Il-gazzetti tal-lum kif ukoll l-aħbarijiet ewlenin imxandra mill-PBS il-bieraħ fil-għaxija huma kelma waħda : li jidher li intlaħaq qbil dwar l-għażla ta’ George Abela bħala President tar-Repubblika.

 

Din l-aħbar hi waħda tajba, l-ewwel waħda tax-xorta tagħha għal ħafna żmien. Kien ilu li wasal iż-żmien li dan il-pajjiż joħroġ mil-politika tat-tribujiet Maltin u li partit fil-Gvern jagħżel membru ta’ Partit fl-Opposizzjoni bħala President tar-Repubblika.

 

Kienet xierqa għalhekk l-għażla ta’ George Abela.

 

 

Din l-għażla għandha l-ewwel u qabel kollox tgħaqqad lil Maltin kollha f’pajjiż wieħed u twassal il-messaġġ li l-pajjiż hu ta’ kulħadd. Konsiderazzjoni oħra pero, u importanti daqsha hi li nittama li din id-deċiżjoni tkun l-ewwel minn bosta li twassal għal mod differenti ta’ kif issir il-politika. Fejn it-twemmin politiku ma jibqax ikun ta’ ostaklu biex naħdmu iktar flimkien fl-interess ta’ dan il-pajjiż.

The Economics of Biodiversity

published in MEUSAC News : Issue No.1

distrubuted with The Times : Saturday January 10, 2009

 

by Carmel Cacopardo – AD representative on the MEUSAC Core Group

______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

 

 

global_warming_panic

 

 

Gary Strobel based at Montana State University in the United States is continuously on the go. Searching in rainforests he discovered a small red fungus which is capable of converting cellulose to hydrocarbon fuel, similar to diesel. Given that millions of tonnes of plant waste are produced each year this discovery, already patented, has great potential. The Patagonian fungus Gliocladium roseum has in fact been described as the “diesel that grows on trees”.

 

We live in a world which tends to ignore non-monetary value. This is the underlying reason for the general failure to appreciate the importance of ecology. In fact to some it is incomprehensible that we live in an eco-system and not in an economy ! To try and remedy this myopic approach the EU (directly as well as through the Member States)  has been trying to quantify the economic value of biodiversity.

 

In May 2008 a report drawn up by Ireland’s Department of the Environment  entitled Benefits and Costs of Biodiversity in Ireland concluded that biodiversity contributes  services worth not less than €2.6 billion per annum. 

 

In August 2008 the EU in conjunction with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment published a report entitled The Economics of Eco-systems and Biodiversity. An Interim Report. Pavan Sukhdev, study leader of the EU report emphasised that “we are still struggling to find the value of nature”. This struggle is reflected in the observed degradation of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity.

 

Notwithstanding the stop-gap nature of the 14th Climate Change Conference at Pozdan, still in process at the time of writing, one of the proposals being intensively discussed is the concept of “avoided deforestation” also known by its acronym REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). It is estimated that failure to halt deforestation could increase the climate change bill by $1 trillion annually by the year 2100.

 

Conservation and sustainable use of forests in the developing world could thus be part of a carbon emissions trading scheme. Yet the proposal is not without its critics. The Global Forest Coalition, a coalition of NGOs and indigenous peoples’ organisations considers the REDD initiative as premature. Will this be another privatisation of resources, a carbon colonialisation? The way forward has still to be detailed, but surely it must be based on the role of indigenous people who should be further encouraged to develop their traditional knowledge, cultural diversity and biodiversity within their territories.

 

Ilma moħli u perikoluż

 

 rainfall2

Ix-xeni riżultat tal-maltemp li għamel il-bieraħ m’humiex ġodda. Ilna naraw bħalhom. Illum saru ftit iktar spissi.

 

Kull meta tagħmel ftit xita iktar min-normal qed ikollna toroq li ma tkunx tista’ tgħaddi minnhom mingħajr ma tissogra li tagħmel il-ħsara lill-karozza. L-għargħar huwa ukoll ta’ periklu kbir għal kulħadd.

 

Dan kollu huwa monument għall-inkompetenza tal-amministrazzjoni pubblika ta’ pajjiżna. Għaliex għandna l-liġijiet li jekk ikunu osservati dan kollu jew ma jiġrix inkella jseħħ inqas ta’ spiss milli qed iseħħ.

 

Suppost li kull dar kollha bir għall-ilma tax-xita. Suppost ukoll li kull dar ġdida qabel ma tikkomunika s-sistema tad-drenaġġ tagħha mas-sistema pubblika tad-drenaġġ tikseb l-awtorizzazzjoni tal-awtoritajiet. Illum il-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma (KSI) hi l–awtorita’ responsabbli għas-sistema tad-drenaġġ. Suppost ukoll li  qabel mal-KSI tħalli li binja ġdida tkun ikkomunikata mas-sistema pubblika tad-drenaġġ tara li kollox huwa sewwa. Fost oħrajn li l-binja ser titfa fis-sistema tad-drenagg pubbliku drenaġġ biss.

 

 

Fil-permessi li toħroġ il-MEPA hemm kundizzjoni dwar il-qies tal-bir li jrid ikollha binja biex fiha jinġabar l-ilma tax-xita.

 

 

Min qed jara li l-bini jsir sewwa ?

 

Jekk m’hemmx bjar fil-bini l-ġdid jew jekk il-bjar huma iżgħar milli meħtieġ hu ovvju li l-ilma tax-xita (kollu jew parti minnu) ser imur fis-sistema pubblika tad-drenaġġ inkella fit-triq !

 

Huwa dan li qed joħloq il-parti l-kbira tal-problema li kien hemm fit-toroq il-bierah. Il-MEPA u l–KSI huma responsabbli ta’ l-inqas għal kemm kibret il-problema fiż-żmien li ilhom jeżistu.

 

Il-problemi ewlenin huma tnejn : dik ta’ periklu għal min juża t-toroq u ta’ ħela ta’ kwantita kbira ta’ ilma.

 

Hemm xi ċans li xi darba jkollna tmexxija serja ?