The Malta Independent 8 March 2021, Monday

Birdlife Malta disappointed by Bernard Grech’s environmental portfolio reshuffle

Wednesday, 20 January 2021, 18:38 Last update: about 3 months ago

Birdlife Malta said on Wednesday it was disappointed by how the environment has fared in Bernard Grech’s shadow cabinet reshuffle.

It said that the only two major changes were related to the removal of portfolios from two people who were vociferous against illegal hunting and overdevelopment.

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David Thake, who was environment spokesperson, is now responsible for the Green Economy. Kevin Cutajar is now Deputy Whip & Spokesperson for European Funds and NGOs.

It is so disappointing to note how the environment has fared in Bernard Grech's reshuffle of the Partit Nazzjonalista...

Posted by BirdLife Malta on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Birdlife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said: "The reshuffle by the Hon. Bernard Grech is disappointing on many levels and does not augur well for the natural environment and anyone who cares about it. Primarily because the only two major changes are related to the removal of portfolios from two people who were vociferous against illegal hunting and overdevelopment.”

Sultana said Thake and Cutajar had, on many occasions stated that environmental laws always need to be respected and serious enforcement is lacking.

“They also commented on the fact that overdevelopment is destroying our island and that better panning is crucial. I am not sure what those who took over will be doing for environmental protection but I encourage them to speak against the illegal killing of birds, the lack of enforcement, and in favour of protecting our natural footprint and its biodiversity,” Sultana continued.

“I am not hopeful because it seems that in Malta we are ready to advance in all aspects but not in protecting biodiversity. Because when it comes to hunting, politicians go weak at the knees and lose their spine.”

To add insult to injury, Sultana said, PN Leader Bernard Grech has also decided to have a Shadow Minister catering for the protection of the hunting and trapping 'pastimes'.

“Why not a Shadow Minister to protect other pastimes? What is so special about hunters and trappers over campers, swimmers, painters, artists, photographers? The message I get from the PN is that they are not pro-environment. Big pity! I urge all NGOs that aim to help the environment to prepare themselves for the long haul. Our mission has never been more needed, especially now that it is clear that there is no alternative in favour of the environment in any future political scenario. I hope to be proven wrong one day soon, but until then we shall continue with our work...we owe it to the country we love."

 

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