Spin Valley revisited

 

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Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s  Spin Valley is in the news once more.

 

MEPA has issued a permit for the use of a site at Mistra for a one-off open air disco party to be held this evening Saturday 30 May 2009 in an area protected in terms of the Habitat’s Directive of the EU.

11 months ago, on the 26th June 2008 the MEPA BOARD had withdrawn an outline permit for a permanent open-air disco on the same site in view of the fact that the proposed activities were not compatible with the same Habitat’s Directive of the EU.

MEPA has the duty to explain why it has changed its mind within the short space of 11 months when nothing else has changed : no changes to legislation, no changes to the boundaries of the protected area.

When the Government of Malta decided to designate a number of areas as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) it accepted that it had to follow the relative EU rules.  These included that the activities permitted in these SACs had to be compatible with the conservation objectives of the protected sites. Government also had to draw up management plans for the sites in order that priorities for the use of the sites is  established in such a way that the conservation objectives of the EU Habitats’ Directive are achieved.

These management plans have not been drafted to date with the result that the Competent Authority in Malta (MEPA) has effectively given itself a free hand to decide on each case separately without necessarily keeping in view the objectives of the EU Habitats Directive.

 This morning on behalf of AD together with Arnold Cassola and Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer, AD’s candidates for the EU Parliamentary elections, I explained the above during a press conference  at Mistra and announced that AD will be requesting the EU Environment Commissioner to investigate Malta’s mismanagement of SACs in breach of its obligations defined in the EU Habitats Directive.

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l to r : Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer, Arnold Cassola, Carmel Cacopardo

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The Press Conference with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando listening on in the background.