The Malta Independent 29 February 2024, Thursday
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The coast belongs to us all – ADPD

Saturday, 25 March 2023, 12:52 Last update: about 12 months ago

Commercialization of the coast should cease immediately lest we allow the takeover of every open space remaining along the coast, the ADPD- Green Party said Saturday. 

Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the coastline has been the target for commercialisation for quite a long time now. Some of the glaring examples include Manoel Island, Balluta Bay, the Birgu waterfront and yacht marina, the Valletta Waterfront and proposed marinas for Marsaskala and Kalkara. On a smaller scale we have also seen the takeover of pavements and open spaces by commercial entitities all over the country.

Some four years ago Parliament approved legislation to safeguard the coastline by declaring it as public domain. Environmental NGOs had also identified a number of sites that qualified for protection but no action has been taken by the authorities. Not even one site has been declared as protected under this law yet. “Why approve such laws if there is no intention to implement them?” asked Cacopardo.

The common excuse for such projects is to offer more beds for tourist accommodation, this is no longer a valid excuse. A Deloitte study commissioned by the MHRA found that Malta would require 4.7 million tourists annually if all the current projects achieve an occupancy of around 80 per cent – this is pure madness. It would mean more than doubling the current number of tourist arrivals!

Even the government-stated target of 3 million tourists per annum is too high. The Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) would be more on target if it would raise the alarm that unbridled speculative development is killing the goose that lays the golden egg – our country’s character.

Commercialization of the coast should cease immediately  lest we allow the takeover of every open space remaining along the coast. Enough is really and truly enough – we want the coast, or, what’s left of it, to be protected  for the enjoyment of all and not just for those who can afford it. The coast belongs to us all, concluded Cacopardo.

 

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