Green credential do not grow on trees.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The following is my comment to the article Striving for green credential published in the Times of Malta of Thursday, 3rd March 2011, and written by Dr Mario de Marco, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism , Environment and Culture, . The article and other comments referred to can be accessed at the link at the end of this post.
I admire Mario DeMarco efforts towards the environment, but I am sorry to say I pity him for the buck that has been passed on to him. Vincent Gauci, Louis Vella and I were the heads of three sections within the Environment Department directing it through difficult times towards accession to the EU, despite the lack of resources. But when this was ‘merged’ with the Planning Authority, as I wrote and said a number of times, things started to be thrown overboard by some planning personnel who thought they hijacked the environment, and who just had a planning mentality. Yes, Dr DeMarco is right when he says that “What we gained yesterday we have to pay for today and tomorrow with interest”.
From past experience, and from the latest happenings, I am more than convinced that the Environment was ‘merged’ with PA just for the sake of being controlled, and to put a bit between its teeth. Vince Gauci and Louis Vella also echo this feeling, and we all were the last Assistant Directors in the EPD, before these posts were abolished and taken over by the planning entourage.
Dr DeMarco will be striving hard to find green credentials with the present set-up and planning mentality as the driving force. If he really wants to find these green credentials he has at the earliest possible to put Environment on solid independent bases, as it was before.
Another urgent measure he needs taking is to get help from experienced and qualified personnel. But I am sure he will have some pressure from ‘colleagues’ because this would upset their applecart.
This will make it possible for Dr Demarco in his striving for green credentials. These do not grow on trees, and one has to work hard to achieve this especially when as he so rightly said that “The environment is no longer the pet subject of some fundamentalists” as we used to be called when at MEPA.