The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Miżieb and Aħrax petition gets over 10,000 signatures

Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 11:25 Last update: about 9 months ago

Over 10,000 signatures have been collected in a petition calling on the government to defend public access to Mizieb and Ahrax.

It was recently reported that Prime Minister Robert Abela had resurrected a proposal to turn over the two areas to the hunting lobby under a formal agreement. According to reports, issue was brought up in Cabinet and there were no objections.

The FKNK has laid claim over the wooded area at Mizieb for decades. The agreement would see the two areas formally given to the hunting lobby for the spring and autumn hunting seasons. Critics say this will effectively mean that public access to the areas will be closed off for several months.

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Last week, the Lands Authority confirmed with independent candidate Arnold Cassola that, to date, the FKNK holds no title over Ahrax and Mizieb. According to reports, however, the authority is currently formulating an agreement with the hunting federation.

A petition started by the Outdoor Recreation and Camping has so far surpassed the figure of 10,000 signatures. The petition, also hosted by NGO Coalition Spazji Miftuħa, is demanding that access to l-Aħrax and Miżieb remains open all throughout the year instead of being sealed off to a lobby for nine out of twelve months.

In just a few days since its launch, Spazji Miftuħa has also received the backing of more organisations, reaching a total of 30 groups endorsing the coalition and its demands.

The petition, survey and endorsement form can be found on www.spazjimiftuha.org. Spazji Miftuħa's Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/spazjimiftuha/.

In the meantime, the coalition has sent out a second open letter to the Prime Minister reminding him of the request for a meeting about the issue, sent on Tuesday 28 April, to which no official reply has been received.

In the letter, the PM was told that the decision will deprive the general public of two very important public open spaces.

"It will spell the end of outdoor activities in these areas, in a country where outdoor space is already very limited due to our size and also the repeated encroachment on such areas by various lobbies."

The groups said they are also disappointed at the fact that the PM has not found the time to meet a single environmental NGO since taking over 100 days ago.

"This jars with the fact that you have met, more than once, various other lobbies including developers, business communities, and other bodies. Unfortunately this is understood as a sign that the concerns of the general public about the national environment are being ignored."

 

 


 

 

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