The Malta Independent 8 August 2020, Saturday

Government launches light pollution guidelines to improve Maltese urban, rural environment

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 11:19 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning has issued a public consultation on light pollution guidelines, which are to improve the Maltese urban and rural environment.

“Light is crucial, when there is no light we realise the repercussions and importance light has on our daily lives,” explained the Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia. “When artificial light is used badly, this can have serious effects on our daily lives, but also on our surrounding environment and fauna and flora.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On Tuesday morning, the Minister announced this public consultation at Migra L-Ferha, on the outskirts of Rabat.

The guidelines have been published for the general public and NGO’s to be able to have their say. Farrugia explained that the guidelines have been published after a period of consultation and discussion between the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority.

The public consultation on light pollution guidelines will be open for the next six weeks and any comments can be posted on the ERA website.

“Slovenia, Croatia, Spain are countries which already have similar guidelines and legislation on light pollution. France too, will be implementing similar legislations by next January.  That is why we wait for the public to provide us with feedback on these legislations so that in a short period of time we can implement these guidelines.”

Martin Saliba, Chief Executive of Planning Authority explained that consultation regarding these guidelines on light pollution have taken over a year. “We are aware of the light impact on our environment and our lives, and we wish to bring this awareness and attention of artificial light on our lives and our surrounding biodiversity.” He explained that the guidelines will look into reducing or regulating such artificial light. He said that there is a proposal that big planning projects will also have to fill a light pollution report, which will study on how the light which will be part of the building will have an impact on the areas surrounding it.

Michelle Piccinino, Chief Executive of ERA highlighted a specific example of how artificial light can affect our environment. “Artificial light on our coast lines can have a huge impact on birds which are migrating, and certain birds can be distracted by such bright light and disrupt the route of a species.” She emphasised that the guidelines are not just focused on the impact artificial light has on urban areas or people, but also on the rural and coastal areas.

 

  • don't miss