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Activists hold mock funeral for environment in front of MDA offices

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Moviment Graffitti activists slam planning processes, urge people to attend protest

Developers’ greed is “killing” the environment, activists said on Friday morning as they held a mock funeral for Malta’s environment and quality of life.

Moviment Graffitti activists carried three caskets representing “nature”, “health”, and “quality of life” in a short procession to the Santa Venera headquarters of the Malta Developers Association.

Each of those five state agencies is involved in planning processes.

Three grim reapers coming for nature: the Planning Authority, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.
Three grim reapers coming for nature: the Planning Authority, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.
 
Three grim reapers coming for nature: the Planning Authority, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

“The PA is a permit-issuing machine that bulldozes over the needs of communities and the environment instead of being an institution for planning and regulation,” Moviment Graffitti said.

They said ERA’s recent approval of the Hili Group project in Comino is a clear sign that the institution, there to protect the environment, is “bowing to developers’ greed.

The demonstration comes as Moviment Graffitti and other eNGOS gear up to hold a national protest against rampant overdevelopment. 

In a statement, Moviment Graffitti called on the public to attend Xebbajtuna! Bidla fl-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar ISSA! on Saturday 27 May at 10.30 am in Valletta.

 

Among these policies are those that allow building on ODZ, such as the so-called sheep farm in a protected valley in Bidnija, massive blocks of commercial apartments in villages, like those of Joseph Portelli in Qala and in Sannat, and intensive commercial buildings in residential areas, such as Michael Stivala’s hotels in Gżira and Sliema and the db Group monster development in Pembroke“. 

“The Height Limitation Adjustment Policy for Hotels, the Rural Policy and Annex 2 of DC15, among others, have had a devastating impact on our cities, towns and countryside,” they said. 

The 'so-called sheep farm in Bidnija' is one of the projects activists campaigned against. File photo: Chris Sant FournierThe ‘so-called sheep farm in Bidnija’ is one of the projects activists campaigned against. File photo: Chris Sant Fournier

They said that a new legal notice which allows for the regularization of illegal buildings on ODZ is making matters worse.

“There is no justice in losing our country to the rule of greed. We are facing an environmental situation that is rapidly getting worse and requires genuine action, not empty words and cosmetic changes,” they said.

Source: Times of Malta