European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Phil Hogan, highlighted the importance of addressing changing realities brought forward by climate change in 2016, especially regarding the increasingly worrying issue of quality and quantity of water. Coming from Ireland, Commissioner Hogan insisted that he understood a number of issues Malta faces, also being an island state, but he also mentioned the obvious differences in climate lending to varying solutions having to be found.
The Commissioner spoke about the importance of implementing the Common Agricultural Policy in Malta to assist Maltese farmers in seeking aid from the EU in order to better mitigate between them and the commission itself. Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, echoed Commissioner Hogan's sentiments in terms of water shortages and problems and spoke briefly about how important it is to address these issues in preparation for Malta's upcoming presidency.
The conference was also addressed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Roderick Galdes, who spoke about meetings held during the visit to ensure full collaboraton with the commission to address constraints of land and water for agriculture. Mr Galdes finished by saying that Malta is fully committed towards working for the environment and the sustainability of farming practices.
Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Leo Brincat, was the first to speak and introduce the topics being discussed. Mr Brincat also spoke of the importance of collaboration between the sectors of agriculture and the environment.
Photographs: Jonathan Borg