No” to unacceptable Gheddafi blackmail

                                            unedited AD Press Release

Alternattiva Demokratika -The Green Party objects to the recent Gheddafi
blackmailing requests and calls upon Prime Minister Gonzi and Opposition Leader Muscat to stand up to such tactics.

Prof Arnold Cassola, Alternattiva Demokratika Spokesperson on EU and
International Affairs, stated: “It is totally unacceptable that Muammar
Gheddafi, whilst visiting Italy, has urged Europeans to convert to Islam. As a
political leader of his country Mr Gheddafi should understand that, in civilised democracies, we do not mix politics with religion”.

Arnold Cassola continued: “Gheddafi has also asked the EU to give him at least five billion euros a year, or else – he threatened – Europe could become
Africanized, through migration. The European Union should not give in to this backmail and indeed should insist on Gheddafi and Libya signing and ratifying the Geneva convention on human rights instead”.

“As for the Maltese Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, it is about
time that – rather than imitating Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi in his
servilism towards Gheddafi- they speak up against the disrespect shown by Libya to basic human rights”, concluded Arnold Cassola.

L-editorjal tat-Times jaqbel ma’ AD

Fl-editorjal tagħha illum 21 t’Awissu 2010 it-Times titkellem dwar il-politika nazzjonali ambjentali.

Hu ta’ sodisfazzjoni għalina f’AD li ninnotaw li t-Times qed issostni l-argument ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika u qed tgħid lil Gvern : għalfejn ser toqogħod tistenna 18-il xahar biex tfassal din il-politika ambjentali? Ma tafx sur Gvern li fl-2007 wara konsultazzjoni estensiva kienet konkluża l-Istrateġija Nazzjonali dwar l-Iżvilupp Sostenibbli liema strateġija tagħtik fuq platt l-informazzjoni kollha li għandek bżonn?

Dan huwa dak li qalet Alternattiva nhar it-2 t’Awwissu 2010, tlett ġimgħat ilu bħala l-ewwel reazzjoni tagħha għal publikazzjoni tad-dokument tal-Gvern dwar il-politika Ambjentali.

Huwa veru każ li l-id il-leminija tal-Gvern ma tafx x’għamlet l-id ix-xellugija!   

ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog : Thoughts for an Environmental Policy

Thoughts for an Environmental Policy

The government has published a number of policy documents for public consultation. Two deal with different aspects of water policy while a third deals with issues for a National Environment Policy.

Also of relevance is an Ernst & Young Report commissioned by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority on a 2008 Public Attitudes Survey. It is dated April 2010. Although recently published I do not recollect reading anything in the press about this survey. One of the conclusions of this survey should be an eye opener to policy makers as to the central importance which the Maltese public attaches to the environment.

In the 2008 Public Attitudes Survey it was concluded that 69 per cent of respondents held the view that the environment was as important as the economy. On the other hand 23 per cent of respondents considered that the environment was more important than the economy while only eight per cent considered the economy as being of overriding importance.

To my mind these are significant conclusions contrasting with current national policy which considers that the economy has an ­overriding priority over the environment. The Maltese public thinks otherwise: 92 per cent of respondents of the Mepa Public Attitudes Survey have understood that the economy should not be an overriding consideration in environmental policy formulation. Now this is what sustainable development is all about.

Contrary to what green-washers imply, being committed to sustainable development does not mean that one seeks to balance or mitigate environmental, social and cultural impacts of economic development. Sustainable development speaks another language altogether for which unfortunately there is still a lack of translators. Real commitment to sustainable development conveys the message that humankind does not own the earth. It shares the earth with other species together with which it forms part of one eco-system.

The way in which our society has evolved and is organised is such that it considers human activity as meriting overriding importance. In fact it is often stated that policies are anthropocentric. Both PN and PL environmental policies can be grouped in this category. AD together with other Green parties around the globe differs as it follows a eco-centric path. But then the ecology has no vote!

Sustainable development properly construed considers the need of an eco-centric environmental policy. This signifies that a holistic approach is applied through which impacts on the whole eco-system are considered.

Now this is completely different from the manner in which our society is accustomed to look at itself. An eco-centric approach leads us to take a long term view in contrast to the short-sighted view of our immediate interests. This does not only impact land use but also waste management, agriculture and fishing, light pollution, acoustic pollution, air quality, water resources, mineral deposits, transport policy, the protection of our ecological heritage and many other areas.

When one considers the above I cannot understand why the authors of the National Environment Policy Issues Paper ignored the National Sustainable Development Strategy when formulating the Issues Paper for public consultation. They considered the 2008 State of the Environment Report and the Parliamentary debate which ensued together with the Ernst & Young report above quoted as the basis for a discussion.

In so doing they ignored completely a consultation process spanning a number of years which answered most of the questions which the Issues Paper poses.

This is surely not a new way of doing politics. It is a way with which most of us are familiar as it does away with past achievements and seeks to start a fresh page, ignoring everything and everyone. Knowing that at least one of the drafters of the National Environment Policy Issues Paper was actively involved in the process leading to the National Sustainability Strategy, I must ask the obvious question: Is the Issues Paper the first step towards the scrapping of the National Sustainability Strategy?

The current Bill before Parliament which seeks to consolidate existing legislation on land use planning and the environment removes all references to the National Sustainable Development Commission. It was stated repeatedly that a separate legislative measure will be proposed dealing with issues of sustainable development. Yet to date this is nowhere in sight. Does this confirm that there have been second thoughts on the National Sustainability Strategy?

The Strategy should currently be in the process of implementation. Section 5 of the Strategy entitled “The Way Ahead” provides that ministers have to produce action plans for the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy in their portfolio within 18 months from the adoption of the strategy.

The strategy was adopted by Cabinet more than 18 moons ago yet the action plans are nowhere in sight.

I have never had any doubt that this government is being consistent with its beliefs: it says one thing, but when push comes to shove it proceeds with doing something else.

published in The Times : August 14, 2010

Bis-serjeta? Il-Politika Nazzjonali dwar l-Ambjent.

 

Il-Gvern permezz tas-Segretarju Parlamentari Mario Demarco għadu kif ta’ bidu għal proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika dwar il-Politika Nazzjonali għall-Ambjent.         L-ewwel fażi hi waħda ta’ konsultazzjoni dwar liema huma dawk il-materji li għandhom ikunu mistħarrġa u indirizzati.

Dan fih innifsu hu pass posittiv. Imma jekk tqiesu li ftit ilu (fl-2007/8) kien konkluż il-proċess li bih wara konsultazzjoni pubblika estensiva u fit-tul ġiet infassla l-Strateġija Nazzjonali dwar  is-Sostenibilita naħseb li malajr nifhmu li qed naħlu l-ħin niddiskutu biss. Xi kultant naħseb li din hi strateġija maħsuba biex jiġi iġġustifikat għaliex ftit li xejn qed isir.

Fl-Istrateġija Nazzjonali dwar is-Sostenibilita  diġa, wara konsultazzjoni pubblika ġew identifikati l-materji li għandhom ikunu indirizzati. Għaldaqstant minflok ma nerġgħu niftħu d-diskussjoni beraħ li kien hemm bżonn issa kien li jiġu pprezentati l-proposti konkreti min-naħa tal-Gvern, jekk verament jemmen li għandu jindirizza l-materja.

Ir-riżorsi li għandu dan il-pajjiż huma limitati u għalhekk hu iktar għaqli li l-enerġija u r-riżorsi ma naħluhomx.

L-istrateġija nazzjonali dwar is-sostenibilita diġa’ tistabilixxi l-prijoritajiet ambjentali li għandhom ikunu segwiti u dan fil-kuntest tal-politika ekonomika u soċjali tal-pajjiż.

Għadaqstant il-pedamenti għall-istrateġija nazzjonali għall-ambjent qegħdin hemm. Dawn huma r-riżultat ta’ proċess wiesa’ u estensiv ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika li ħa s-snin.

Din il-ħidma kollha ser tintrema ? Għax din hi l-konklużjoni loġika tal-emfasi li qed issir għall-konsultazzjoni mill-ġdid. Għax sentejn wara li spiċċa l-eserċizzju li wassal għall-istrateġija Nażżjonali dwar is-Sostenibilita ma terġax tibda mill-ġdid iżda tibni fuq dak li lestejt. Dejjem jekk trid li jeħduk bis-serjeta’.

Issa jiena ma nafx jekk il-Gvern iridx li neħduh bis-serjeta’ meta jitkellem dwar l-ambjent. Id-dubji li kelli qed jikbru!

Il-Gvern stenbaħ ….. dwar l-ilma

Qiegħed naqra t-Times tal-lum. Jidher li l-Gvern stenbaħ dwar l-ilma.

Fid-dokument pre-budget għall-2011 hemm dikjarazzjoni li ser tibda tiġi applikata l-liġi dwar postijiet li m’għandhomx bir skond il-liġi.

Din il-liġi li qed jirreferu għaliha ma saritx issa. Ilha hemm mill-1880.

Bosta residenzi li nbnew mis-snin 60 lil hawn m’għandhomx bir. Oħrajn li nbnew qabel għandhom il-bir mirdum.

Fost dawn hemm ħafna postjiet li bena l-Gvern. Mhux biss dawk li nbnew fis-snin 70 u 80 u 90 biss. Imma anke’ dawk li nbnew aktar reċenti ukoll.

Il-ġimgħa l-oħra stess kont f’post li nbena fl-2003-04 mill-Awtorita tad-Djar. Jikkonsisti f’‘numru ta’ maisonettes li tqassmu f’Pembroke wara sejħa pubblika li saret. Ikoll bla bir.

Issa naraw jekk il-Gvern huwiex ser jibda jirranġa l-problemi li ħoloq huwa stess meta m’għamilx bjar fil-postijiet li bena  jew kien responsabbli  għalihom huwa.

L-iżviluppaturi f’diversi każi gew jaqgħu u jqumu mill-bjar. Imma l-Gvern ma mexiex wisq aħjar!

Għal iktar spjegazzjoni tista’ tara s-segwenti fuq dan il-blog :

23 ta’ Mejju 2010           Water: A Long-Term View

17 ta’ Jannar 2009        The cost of incompetence

17 ta’ Novembru 2008         L-ilma tax-xita

8 t’Ottubru 2008          Sa fl-aħħar : strateġija dwar l-ilma.