The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

‘We have to plan Malta’s tomorrow together’, Environment Ministry opens policies for public scrutiny

Karl Azzopardi Wednesday, 8 July 2020, 14:45 Last update: about 5 months ago

Environment and Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia has opened two policies for public scrutiny saying that the government cannot be the only one to carrying the responsibility of Malta’s future as “we have to plan Malta’s tomorrow together.”

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday morning, Minister Farrugia said that in the past six months, the ministry together with the Planning Authority (PA) and Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has been working on a number of documents and policies focused on intelligent planning for the Malta of tomorrow.

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This includes a Waste Management Plan and a Zero Carbon Strategy which will be announced in the coming days.

Additionally, they have worked on a National Strategy for the Environment that will run till 2050 and a Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED), both of which have been opened for public consultancy on Wednesday.

“We have been working at taking a bottom-up approach in our work so that our discussion not only involves important stakeholders but also the public,” he said. “This is an important message we are trying to deliver with our decisions we will be taking.”

Touching on the National Strategy for the Environment 2020-2050, the minister said that there were four choices for the goals we wanted to achieve by 2050 “and our stakeholders, the public and the ministries agreed to go for the most ambitious one – a well-being approach that will see the environment, civil society and the economy at equal level.”

Farrugia said that the strategy will go through 3 cycles until 2050 of 10 years each and after public consultancy, the ministry will be looking into dividing future projects accordingly.

With regards to the SPED, which he referred to as a Bible for a lot of things like local plans or master plans of where construction can take place or not, he said that this document plays a vital role in helping the ministry move towards more sustainable development.

He explained that the ministry alongside the authority took a long term approach for this document, saying that they are aiming to lead more varied and ambitious studies that look at population demographics and economic trends in order to give an idea of the type of construction that will be needed for a more sustainable future.

“The responsibility to plan out the future of our country does not rest on the government alone, we have to plan Malta’s tomorrow together,” he stated. “These are trying times we are facing that require us to show what we believe in and where we are headed so that we do not plan for the election but for the future of our country.”

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