EU funds destroy Maltese biodiversity

March 4, 2019

Alfred E Baldacchino

Monday, 4th March, 2019

Having received a number of photos from many environmental friends, I paid a visit to Wied l-Isqof, yesterday, Sunday 3rd March 2019 to see for myself what is being done.

The photos taken shows the great irresponsibility in the work being supported, and financed by the Ministry for Transport. To the extent that now I regard biodiversity destruction in the Maltese Islands as synonymous with the works undertaken by this Ministry (also keeping in mind that the Planning Authority is also in the portfolio of this Minsiter)

Following a lengthy exchange of emails with officials of the Ministry for Transport, all I could get from them is an apologetic reply:

Grazzi hafna tal-email tieghek u kif ghidtlek f’korrospondenza precedenti u anki meta ltqajna fil-passat, it-tnejn li ahna nixtiequ l-gid tal-bdiewa taghna li b’tant dedikazzjoni jiehdu hsieb l-ucuh tal-ghelieqi fil-pajjiz, xi haga li hija mportanti ghal biodiversità. 

Fuq sigar, sfortunatament dawn tqacctu bil-maltemp imma ser inkunu qed inhawlu sigar indigeni kid tajjeb irtakomandajtilna int f’rapporti li kkumissjonajnik biex taghmel ghalina.

 Meaning: Many thanks for your email and as I told you before in previous correspondence, even when we met in the past, both of us have the interest of  our farmers, who with so much dedication cultivate their fields in the country, something, which is important for biodiversity.

With regards to trees, unfortunately these were damaged by the storm, but we are going to plant indigenous trees as you so rightly recommended in your reports which we have commissioned you to compile for us.

NO,  definitely not, this is not in the interest of the farmers. They will have to pay a heavy price because of such works. And there were other suggestions in the reports mention. Works being undertaken are diametrically opposite to the recommendations made.

 Furthermore information forwarded by me to the Ministry for Transport, and others, have all been ignored, , which leads me to conclude that they are reluctant to stop the destruction being done:

  • the country paths in valleys are being turned into highways ;
  • some areas in the valleys seem more like urban squares – big enough to hold political or public meetings.
  • the complete destruction of vegetation and other fauna in the pathways have all been destroyed;
  • the concrete paths made are, in some places, lower than the foundation of the rubble walls. These will eventually all collapse;
  • The valley bed has been reduced to a gutter, with a four-lane concrete road taking its place;
  • European Union money is being used for this destruction of biodiversity. Something which the EU is, not only against, but has a program to conserve biodiversity by 2020.
  • It is not true that the trees at Wied l-Isqof were damaged by the latest strong winds, but by the irresistible chainsaws paid for by the Ministry for Transport.

All these are, according to the Ministry for Transport, in ‘the interest of our farmers’. NO this is not in the interest of our farmers as far as I am concerned. They will have to pay dearly for such mismanagement of the environment.  Most of the works can be done with more thought, more professionalism, and more attention to local and international obligations. But it seems this is not in the interest of the Ministry for Transport. It seems that they are having more fun in such destruction, and how they are spending the EU money, despite the public outcry and criticism of such destruction so loud on social media.

I believe that this follows the complete failure in managing transport by the Ministry for Transport who are now turning to exploit every country path, in ’the name of farmers’ to widen and give it a fresh covering of concrete so that it can be used as a by-pass for traffic. Naturally with a little bit of help from their Planning Authority.

This is being done in a number of valleys both in Malta and in Gozo.

Hope I won’t be disturbing the Environment and Resources Authority, but can they intervene please to stop such destruction of our biodiversity?

Some of the photos taken yesterday, of the works blessed, authorised and paid for by the Ministry of Transport, from public and EU funds, naturally for the ‘benefit of farmers’

rubble wall foundation exposed – naturally in the farmers’ interests

Valley bed filled in. No problem it is only destroying biodiversity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More effects of the strong winds? Why not tell this to the marines?

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the benefit of our farmers: a four-lane concrete road in the valley bottom!

 

The valley bed reduced to a gutter to make way for a four-lanes concrete road.

More destruction of the valley bed, naturally ‘for the benefit of farmers’ too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoice farmers, rejoice. This is all being done in your name. You can now also race your pickup trucks without any fear of having them scratched. Rejoice.

Future Ministers will have to apply for EU funds to restore collapsed rubble walls which collapsed through the help of EU funds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A country path for the benefit of our farmers! It has to be the Ministry for Transport to come up with such a vision, naturally with a little bit of help from their Planning Authority.

 

Will we be having horse racing in this country path built for the benefit of farmers, and also to accommodate the former too?

Ministry officials ‘experts’ say that this tree was damaged by the strong winds. The winds must have been carrying chainsaws to achieve this. And the winds must have been God sent to eliminate the tree which was obstructing the country path!

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Is-siġra nazzjonali u l­-politikanti Maltin

May 12, 2014

NewsBook

Is-siġra nazzjonali u l­-politikanti Maltin

Alfred E. Baldacchino

Is­-siġra tal­-Għargħar darba kienet komuni ħafna fil-gżejjer Maltin. Kienet tiksi wesgħat kbar f’Birkirkara u l-inħawi ta’ madwarha. Illum hija meqjusa bħala siġra rari ħafna u tikber fis-selvaġġ f’xi ħames postijiet biss.

Minħabba l­-kuxjenza pubblika dejjem tikber, illum insibuha tikber f’numru ta’ postijiet. Ma għandiex dubju li dawn tnisslu minn żerriegħa miġbura mis-siġar Maltin. Mhix sigra diffiċli biex titnissel u wieħed jieħu gost jinnota li minn meta din is-sigra ġiet magħżula bħala s-siġra nazzjonali ta’ Malta, qed tintuża aktar u titħawwel aktar biex issebbah ’il pajjiżna.

Illum wieħed jista’ jara li din is­-siġra qed tiġi wkoll imħawwla fit­-toroq u dan huwa pass ’l quddiem. IMMA wieħed ma jistax ma jgħidx li l­-aspett kummerċjali qed jgħeleb dak soċjali u dak ekoloġiku, meta siġar bħal dawk li tħawlu fit­-triq Diċembru 13, ħdejn il­-momunemt tar­-repubblika, ma ġewx imnissla minn siġar Maltin imma ġew importati. Dan juri li:

1. Il-­fragmentazzjoni li hawn fir­-responsabbiltajiet tal­-ambjent qed iwasslu biex jagħmlu ħafna ħsara u wasalt biex naħseb li din il-fragmentazzjoni mhix b’kumbinazzjoni. Dawn is­-siġar importati sejrin inniġġsu l­-għaġna ġenetika tal-popolazzjoni tas­-siġra nazzjonali Maltija li ilha eluf ta’ snin mingħajr ebda kuntatt ma’ siġar oħra bħala barra minn pajjiżna.

2. Dawn setgħu wkoll ġabu magħhom mard u speċi oħra li jistgħu jagħmlu ħsara kemm lis­-siġar tal­-għargħar infushom kif ukoll lill-biodivertsità Maltija bħal ma għamel u qed jagħmel il­-Bumunqar Aħmar tal­-Palm.

3. Dan juri wkoll li l­-Ministru tat­-Trasport u l­-Infrastrutta li huwa responsabbli għat­-tħawwil ta’ siġar u pjanti fit­-toroq, huwa fqir wisq fit-tagħrif xjentifku u professjonali meħtieġ biex l­-attivitajiet li japprova ma jkunux ta’ ħsara soċjali u ambjentali.

4. Juri wkoll li anki l­-kuntrattur li qed juża l­-Ministru lanqas għandu idea ta’ din ir­-responsabbiltà ekoloġika u soċjali, minkejja l­-kritika kontinwa li għaddejja mill­-pubbliku. U hawnhekk wieħed ma jistax jingħata tort meta jingħad li l­-viżjoni approvata mill­-Ministru responsabbli hija nieqsa u fqira minn kull viżjoni soċjali u ekoloġika.

5. Il­-Mepa li hija mħallsa mill­-poplu biex tħares l­-ambjent tagħna lkoll mhux biss ħaslet idejha imma ilha li xxotathom ukoll u tħossha aktar komda tindihes man­-naħa li tagħmel ħsara ambjentali milli ma’ dawk li jitkellmu fl­-interess nazzjonali. Forsi għax qegħdha taħt ir­-resonponsabbiltà tal­-Prim Ministru?

Jista’ jgħati l­-każ li l­-Ministru responsabbli ma fetħulux għajnejh u ma jafx bil-ħsara li qed issir b’dan il­-miżimmaniġġar tal­-biodiversità. Dan faċilment jista’ jikkoordina mal­-Ministru tal­-Ambjent, li jista’ jgħidlu u jinformah b’mod xjentifiku u professjonali fuq kif dan ix­-xoghol għandu jsir. Barra minhekk il­Ministru tal­-Ambjent jista’ wkoll joffrilu siġar tal-Għargħar imkabbrin f’mixtliet hawn Malta. Imma forsi jekk jagħmel dan iħoss l­-oppożizzjoni qawwija minn dawk li jgħidulu li dan sejjer inaqqsilhom il­-qliegħ mill-importazzjoni ta’ dawn is­-sigar. Dan minkejja li dan il­-qliegħ qed iħallas għalih il­-poplu u l­-ambejnt Malti. Forsi wkoll illum dan mhux importanti għat-tmexxija politika?

 

ritratti-tal-għargħar

1. ls-siġra ta l-għargħar fis-selvaġġ. 2 . Dehra tas-siġra mil­l-viċin. 3. il-weraq tas-siġra tal-għargħar. 4. il-weraq speċjalizzati nisa. 5. il-weraq speċjalizzati rġiel. 6. il-weraq bil-frott. 7. Dehra tal-fjuri tal-għargħar. 8. iż­-żerriegħa tal­-għargħar. 9. iz-zokk tas-siġra. Ritratti. Martin Psaila (1 & 8) Alfred E Baldacchino (2-7, 9)

 

Fis-16 ta’ Jannar tal-1992 l­-għargħar ġiet id-dikjarata s-siġra nazzjonali. Fl-1993 din is­-siġra ġiet imħarsa bil-liġi permezz tal-Avviż Legali 49 tal-1993. Hija wkoll imniżżla fil-lista tal-Kunsill tal-Ewropa ta’ pjanti rari, mhedda u endemici tal-Ewropa. Tidher fil-lista ta’ pjanti mhedda ppublikata fl-1998 mill-Għaqda Internazzjonali tal-Ħarsien tan­-Natura. Hija wkoll meqjusa bħala siġra mhedda u b’firxa żgħira fil-gżejjer Maltin. Tgħid illum f’Malta dan ma għadux jagħmel sens politikament fejn jidħlu l­-interessi kummerċjali?

Qrib il­-31 ta’ Marzu 2014, jum ir­-repubblika, bil­-approvazzjoni tal-Minsiteru tat­-Trasnport u Infrastruttura, il­-popolazzjoni tas­-siġra tal-għargħar Maltin ġew mhedda bl­-importazzjoni ta’ siġar bħalhom li sejrin iniġġsu l­-għaġna ġenetika ta’ dawk Maltin. U l­-MEPA bħal dejjem ma titniffesx quddiem ħsara ambjentali u soċjali.

L-għargħar hija siġra li tista’ ssebbaħ pajjiżna, kemm bi msaġar li hija tista’ tinseġ, kif ukoll bil­-preżenza tagħha fl-irħula u fl-ibliet tagħna. Saħansitra t-tfal fl­-iskejjel ikabbru din is-­siġra bla wisq diffikultà. Imma milli jidher, minn jingħata 8 miljun euro fis­-sena minn flus il­-poplu mhux kapaċi jnissel minn dawn is­-siġar hawn Malta u juża siġar miġjubin minn barra minkejja l­-perilku ambjentali u l­-ħsara soċjali.

Il­-fragmentazzjoni u l­-politika liberali f’hekk twassal. Il­-politikanti mingħajr pariri xjentifiċi u professjonali malajr jaqgħu vittma f’idejn minn ma għandu l-ebda interess ambjentli. Aktar u aktar meta l­-operatur jagħmilha ta’ regolatur ukoll. U dawn jippermettu lil dawk il-ftit biex jistgħanaw u l-poplu u l­-ambjent iħallsu. Ħadd ma jisma’ minkejja l­-wegħdiet. Tgħid inkun ottimist iż-żejjed jekk forsi naħseb li l-Prim Ministru jista’ jwaqqaf din il­-ħsara ambjentali?

aebaldacchino@gmail.com
alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com