More biodiversity destruction with EU funds – confirmed

March 10, 2019

Alfred E. Baldacchino

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

Following my latest blog of 4th March 2019, regarding the destruction of Maltese biodiversity by the Ministry for Transport, with the use of EU funds,  Infrastructure Malta, in the portfolio of Dr Ian Borg, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, have issued a statement saying that the works being carried out are being done “within existing road footprint” and ” “in line with applicable road works permits”.

On the other hand, the Environment and Resource Authority in its press statement  dated Tuesday 5th March, 2019, confirmed that the government road agency’s work had been carried out without the necessary permits, resulting in “environmental destruction”.

ERA’s press release confirmed that: Because of these works, it resulted that there is the destruction of the natural habitat suffered from the laying of construction material on the land which before was colonised by natural vegetation; leading to a physical change of the valley and the water course’s profile.

Besides, these works are all taking place without the necessary permits from the Authority (ERA).

For ease of reference to those who want to see for themselves, this is the link of the ERA press release.

I am sure that the Ministry for Transport officials have brought this ERA statement to their Minster.

Minister Ian Borg knows the site very well because it is in his constituency. A visit to the site, would at once reveal that the Ministry for Transport agency Infrastructure Malta’s press-release is totally incorrect, not only scientifically, factually, but also politically.

The gutter on the right shows to what extent the rich valley bed has been reduced to. And according to Ministry for Transport, this is a footprint of the once farmer’s country path. 

By all means let the farmers be given a helping hand, but not by widening a country path to two or three lanes. And certainly not by obliterating a valley bed, so rich in indigenous Maltese biodiversity, and disrupting the hydrology of the area, impeding the contribution to the water table and the farmers’ wells, if this is of any importance to the Minster’s experts in road widening.

Neither is it in the farmers’ interest in having their rubble walls destabilised, which eventually will be so detrimental to them.

Which professional architect, (unless of course over-ruled), would plan, and approve such damaging works which will lead to the eventual destruction of the rubble wall, and say it is in the interest of the farmers.

Renowned botanists friends of mine have confirmed that a rare indigenous protected tree was destroyed and annihilated, in the parts where the works were carried out by the Ministry for Transport.

A number of environmental NGOs and individuals have also all expressed their concern, dismay and anger against such damaging works by this Ministry.

I am sure Minister’s Borg ‘experts’ have drawn his attention to a number of EU Directives all of which have obligations, even with regards to the works in valleys. Just in case they did not, I would like to draw the Minster’s attention to the following:

  • Valleys are all subject to the EU Water Framework Directive. The local Competent Authority recognised by the EU for surface water in the Maltese Islands is The Energy and Water Agency, in the portfolio of the Ministry for Energy and Water Management, Joe Mizzi. Has the Ministry for Transport discussed the hydrological impacts of their works with this Ministry?
  • Biodiversity management, protection and enforcement is under the responsibility of the Environment and Resources Authority – ERA, in the portfolio of the Minister for Environment, Dr José Herrera, mainly through the EU Habitat Directive, and other International Conventions. Has the Ministry for Transport discussed the impact of their works with this Ministry. Definitely not, according to ERA itself.
  • Wied l-isqof is adjacent to the Natura 2000 site of Buskett and Girgenti. This means, according to the EU Habitats Directive, that any works even outside the boundary of the Natura 2000 site which can have an impact on the Natura 2000 site has to be discussed with the Competent Authority recognised by the EU, that is, ERA. Has Transport Malta discussed the negative biodiversity impacts of their works with this Ministry? Definitely not.
  • The newly appointed AmbjentMalta, is also responsible for valley management. It is also in the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment. Has Transport Malta discussed the impact of their works with this Ministry. Again definitely not as also confirmed by The Ministry for the Environment itself.
  • I would not like to mention the Planning Authority because as far as I am concerned, this authority, coincidentally in the portfolio of Dr Ian Borg Ministry, is more of a rubber stamp than anything else, with only paper professionalism not reflected in decisions taken.
  • The question is: from whom did the Ministry for Transport obtain the necessary permits as stated in their press statement?

I cannot image that the Energy and Water Agency responsible in Malta for honouring the obligations of the EU Water Framework Directive, agreed to render the valley at Wied l-Isqof to a gutter. Perhaps the Ministry for Transport can explain.

I have known Dr Ian Borg since he was a Mayor at Dingli Local Council. We had long discussions regarding the environment. I was convinced that he would be in the front line to protect our natural and international heritage for the good of our country Malta. I still do believe this, unless of course I am corrected by Dr Borg himself.

That is why I ask myself, how is it possible that such biodiversity damaging works are being carried out under his political responsibility, which are far from being environmental friendly in any way.

This make me think that the Minster is not being kept up to date and made aware of the damages being done by his Ministry’s, funded  by the EU.

I am sure that his biodiversity ‘experts’ cannot distinguish between a Sonchus and a Sambucus, and are completely unaware of environmental obligations Malta has, both nationally and internationally.

The damages being done is not just environmentally. It also reflects lack of good governance. It highlights the degradation of the biodiversity of Malta, who as a member of the EU, is obliged to safeguard biodiversity by 2020, according to the EU biodiversity Strategy 2020, This is not done by using EU funds to destroy biodiversity in the name of ‘help to farmers’.

Such works are also embarrassing those Ministries responsible for EU Directives above mentioned, who were not even consulted, not to include the whole country vis-a-vis the EU, if this is of any concern to the Ministry for Transport.

Infrastructure Malta has issued tenders for resurfacing works of various rural roads (IM001/2019). Can the Minister, who has the ultimate responsibility, ensure the Maltese people that such works will not continue to destroy more biodiversity with EU funds, but will be undertaken in line with Malta’s national and international obligations? Can he also take action to restore the damages done in country paths by his Ministry?

Photos have already appeared on the social media with regards to biological diversity massacre at il-Lunzjata.

More biodiversity destruction in il-Lunzjata Malta (subject to correction this is also in the Minister for Transport constituency). One can see the old footprint, and the additional widening resulting in the destruction of biodiversity, presumably with EU funds also. One can also see the butchering of trees undertaken. Can ERA please note and take necessary action. (photos Courtesy of V Abela Facebook/09.03.2019)

https://www.etenders.gov.mt/epps/cft/viewContractNotices.do?resourceId=5258763&fbclid=IwAR2YqL7wX72IATtkm_AVXFwVR0ik-heisQtCZ45fbTzjdAQ6WIYZdFboVgA

If the Minister can bring this electoral poster to the attention of his officials, perhaps they can remember this electoral promise.

One thing is very very obvious. Infrastructure Malta are carrying out works in the name of the Minister, without any professional expertise in biodiversity, or hydrology, no awareness of national and international obligations, and no consultations whatsoever, either with official entities, like ERA, and the Energy and Water Agency, or with individuals and NGOs. The fact that they are undertaking road works with EU funds, does not justify the bulldozing of biodiversity as is being done.

I will still be following the development of such works, not only in the farmers’ interest, but also in the interest of the protection of our national natural heritage, in line with national and international obligations, for the benefit of this and future generations who have lent it to us. And knowing Dr Ian Borg, I do expect his help in achieving this.

aebaldacchino@gmail.com

related article:

EU funds destroy Maltese biodiversity


Il-bexx kimiku, is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent – 2

May 11, 2015

 

NewsBookit-Tlieta, 2 ta’ Ġunju, 2015

Il-bexx kimiku, is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent – 2

 Alfred E. Baldacchino

Kif rajna fl-ewwel parti, il-kimika glyphosate qed tintuża dejjem aktar kemm biex toqtol ħaxix li huwa meqjus ‘ħażin’ u kif jingħad ukoll biex ikun hawn aktar ikel biżżejjed għan-nies! Wieħed mill-prodotti li fih din il-kimika u li jintuża madwar id-dinja kollha huwa r-Roundup. Rajna wkoll studji internazzjonali li saru dwar l-impatt ta’ din il-kimika fuq is-saħħa tan-nies u tal-ambjent.

Fl-imsaren il-bniedem għandu miljuni u miljuni ta’ organiżmi mikroskopiċi ħajjin (batterja). Dawn jgħinu biex iżommu l-ġisem tagħna b’saħħtu, u fost oħrajn, biex mill-ikel li jiekol il-ġisem jieħu nutrienti u vitamini meħtieġa, kif ukoll biex iżommu u jwaqqfu l-batterji oħra milli jagħmlulhom ħsara. Instab li l-glyphosate ikisser dan il-bilanċ bejn il-batterji tajba u dawk ħżiena fl-imsaren tat-tjur.

Naraw illum kif din il-kimika glyphosate, skont studji li saru u li ġew ippublikati fil- Journal of interdisciplinary toxicology, jista’ wkoll iwassal għall-marda seliak.

Il-marda tas-seliak hija marbuta ma’ dan l-iżbilanċ ta’ dawn il-batterji fl-imsaren. Dawk li jbagħtu minn din il-marda tas-seliak huma aktar faċli li jkollhom il-kankru taċ-ċelluli bojod tad-demm, u jistgħu isofru minn infertilità, korriment, u wlied immankati. Dan b’xi mod huwa marbut ma’ din il-kimika. Sintomi oħra huma diareja, ħmura fil-ġilda, depressjoni u ħedla, kollha marbuta ma’ xi nuqqasijiet fl-ikel. Problemi fil-kliewi qed jiżdiedu wkoll fuq skala dinjija, u anki dawn huma marbuta mal-marda tal-seliak.

Dan l-istudju jagħti ’l wieħed x’jifhem li l-glyphosate li jistab fir-Roundup jista’ qiegħed iwassal għal dan.

Ta’ min wieħed jistaqsi x’qed isir f’pajjiżna f’dan il-qasam. Nafu li dan ir-Roundup jintuża kemm minn individwi kif ukoll minn entitajiet uffiċjali mħallsa kemm mill-gvern ċentrali kif ukoll minn gvernijiet lokali. Wieħed ma jistax jgħid li l-istudji li saru barra minn Malta ma japplikawx għall-pajjiżna wkoll.

bexx-fit-toroq

bexx fit-toroq imħallas minn flus pubbliċi

bexx-flurban

bexx fl-urban ma tmurx tikber xi werqa.

Ta’ spiss wieħed jara nies bil-maskra għaddejjin ibexxu kimika fit-toroq, fuq il-bankini, madwar is-siġar, fl-għelieqi, insomma kull fejn tikber xi ħaxixa li hija meqjusa bħala ħażina. Wieħed jara wkoll medded maħruqa kannella wara li dawn jiġu mbexxa minn din il-kimika. Ta’ spiss ngħaddi minn numru ta’ toroq fejn jidher dan it-tapit kannella ta’ ħaxix li safa mbexxex biex jinqered il-ħaxix u fjuri slavaġġ.

bexx-agrikolu-1

bexx fl-agrikultura

Postijiet li jiġu f’moħħi mill-ewwel huma d-daħla għall-ajruport, li tisfa’ mbexxa sena wara sena, u anki l-medda f’nofs it-triq l-Imrieħel. Darba hawn kienu jikbru u kien ikun hemm tapit ta’ leblieb roża u ieħor ta’ ħubbejża li tant kienu jkunu sbieħ. Illum tara xi tapit kannella ta’ ħaxix maħruq u dawn il-fjuri ma jikbrux aktar. Minbarra li qed jinqerdu dawn il-fjuri slavaġġ, dan qed iwassal ukoll biex anki n-naħal li jirgħu fuq dawn il-fjuri biex jagħmlu l-għasel ukoll qed isofru u jinqerdu. U mgħandniex xi ngħidu annimali oħra li jieklu dawn l-insetti mċappsa bil-kimika, bħal għasafar u anki rettili.

Dan ix-xogħol isir, fost oħrajn, mis-sieħeb kummerċjali privat tal-gvern li jingħata €8 miljun fis-sena biex ‘isebbaħ’ ’l-Malta.

bexx-fuq-il-bankingi

bexx fuq il-bankini anki bi ħsara għall-ħaddiem innifsu. Tgħid għax dan mhux Malti?

Xogħol ieħor bħal dan isir minn xi Kunsilli Lokali li jqabbdu wkoll xi kuntratturi biex ibixxu bi prodott li fih din il-kimika fir-raħal jew belt tagħhom. U hekk naraw ukoll nies bil-maskra jbexxu bankini, passaġġi, madwar siġar, insomma kull fejn tikber xi ħaxixa li hija meqjusa ħażina fil-konfini tagħhom.

Dan il-prodott jintuża wkoll fil-qasam tal-agrikoltura b’impatt negattiv ukoll fuq in-naħal u l-industrija tal-għasel, u fuq annimali oħra li jieklu l-insetti milquta.

Kemm għaqdiet mhux governattivi, kif ukoll individwi u anki jien, ktibna u tkellimna kemm-il darba dwar din il-ħela ta’ flus pubbliċi b’dan il-bexx, li huwa ta’ ħsara kemm għas-saħħa tal-poplu kif ukoll għall-biodiversità. Minkejja wkoll li anki mort ma’ oħrajn inkellmu lill-uffiċjali ta’ entitajiet governattivi responsabbli, dan il-bexx kien isir u għadu jsir. Ir-risposta mill-entitajiet li ngħatatilna kienet “mhux jien” u sfajna mibgħutin minn Qajfas għand Pilatu. Ħadd mhu responsabbli u ħadd ma jaf minn hu responsabbli! Ma ttieħdet l-ebda azzjoni biex tindirizza t-trażżin ta’ dan l-aġir. Wieħed ma jistax ma jgħidx u ma jaħsebx li hemm aktar interess biex dan il-bexx kimiku bl-impatti negattivi fuq is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent ikompli jsir, milli hemm xi rieda biex dan jitwaqqaf fl-interess ta’ saħħet il-poplu u tal-ambjent.

bexx-f'mater-dei

bexx fl-Isptar Mater Dei biswit fejn in-nies jistennew il-karozzi tal-linja. Forsi dan xi riklam għall-isptar?

Tal-anqas wieħed jistenna lill-Ministru li huwa responsabbli mill-Ministeru tal-Landscaping minn fejn jitħallas l-użu ta’ dan il-bexx; lis-Segretarju Parlamentari responsabbli mill-agrikultura fejn jintuża dan il-bexx; lis-Segretarju Parlamentari li huwa responsabbli mill-Kunsilli Lokali li jħallsu biex jintuża dan il-bexx; u lis-Segretarju Parlamentari li huwa responsabbli mis-saħħa tal-poplu li qed isofri minn konsegwenzi ta’ dan il-bexx; u l-aħħar imma mhux lanqas lis-Segretarju Parlamentari li huwa responsabbli mill-ambjent naturali (il-biodiversità), li jieħdu l-passi meħtieġa u urġenti biex jaraw li l-poplu u l-ambjent ma jibqgħux iħallsu kemm finanzjarjament kif ukoll fiżikament biex jaqdu lil dawk li jridu jibqgħu jużaw din il-kimika.

hubbejża-tar-raba'

Ħubbejża tar-raba’ li wkoll kienet issebbaħ il-madwar – għebet ukoll bil-bexx

leblieb-tar-raba'

Leblieba tar-raba li kienet tikber mingħajr ebda spiża. Meqruda bil-bexx.

L-ghibien-tal-leblieb-u-l-hubbejż-wara-t-tqaxxir-u-bexx

Il-fjuri slavaġġ li kienu jikbru, mqaxxrin u meqrudin, bil-ħlejjaq kollha li kienu jwieżnu. U dan sar bi flus puibbliċ u bil-barka politika.

Imma, ma niskanta xejn jekk ikun hemm xi politiku intelleġenti aktar milli naħseb, li jgħidilna li kemm-il poplu kif ukoll l-ambejnt iridu jħallsu xi ħaġa, anki b’saħħithom, biex ma jwaqqfux il-progress u ma jintilfux l-impiegi. U wara kollox il-kura fl-isptarijiet mhix b’xejn?!

Nafu kif dan il-pajjiż jitmexxa politikament. Nistennew il-bajtra taqa’ u mbagħad nagħmlu studju biex naraw għaliex din waqgħet. U jekk l-istudju ma jogħġobniex, nerġgħu nagħmlu studju ieħor. Sadanittant il-bajtar ikompli jaqa’.

U hekk is-saħħa tal-poplu u tal-ambjent jibqgħu jmorru lura waqt li l-kimika tkompli tintbexx, sakemm…

2015.05.23---march-against-Monsanto---Valletta

Mixja fil-Belt Valletta minn għaqdiet ambjentali li saret is-Sibt 23 ta’ Mejju. 2015, kontra minn jipproduċi din il-kimika.

ara wkoll:

Il-bexx kimiku, is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent – 1   http://wp.me/pL6Mk-Rw

 

 

aebaldacchino@gmail.com