The Malta Independent 30 September 2023, Saturday
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PN wants to introduce 'Right to the Environment' as a fundamental human right in Constitution

Monday, 29 May 2023, 15:15 Last update: about 5 months ago

The Nationalist Party aims to present a draft Law to amend the Constitution before the Maltese Parliament and introduce "The Right to the Environment” as a fundamental human right, for the first time.

The PN said that this development comes following a public consultation with the relevant environmental NGO’s and stakeholders.

This proposal comes a mere days after Labour mayors, NGOs and and thousands of residents joined forces in a national protest in an appeal to the government to stop prioritising “money and greed” and to put an end to the overdevelopment that is ruining this country.

The protest titled, Xebbajtuna! Bidla fl-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar ISSA! (We are fed up, we need a change in environment and planning now!), was organised last Saturday in the context of widespread public outrage on several environmental and planning decisions across Malta and Gozo

In a statement released on Monday, the PN “insists on the need for more responsibility and accountability in the government's administrative decisions concerning the Maltese environment.”

“In our country, it has become a practice that decisions affecting the environment are made solely by the government, without anyone else having the ability to do anything about it,” the statement went on.

The PN said that our country has never witnessed such environmental damage and decisions that go against the public interest as in recent years, despite many promises and propaganda that something would be done in favor of the environment.

To that end, the PN has initiated a public consultation campaign with a number of environmental organizations, “urging everyone with a genuine interest to contribute their suggestions on how to improve public administration on the environment.”

“At the end of this public consultation, the PN will present a Draft Law to amend the Constitution before the Maltese Parliament and introduce for the first time "The Right to the Environment” as a fundamental human right,” the statement said.

The reasoning behind this action is to “provide the highest level of protection to the environment,” as currently there is merely a declaration from the government that it will protect it. “This means an amendment that brings about a radical change in our country, both in how we protect the Maltese environment and in how we scrutinize the government's environmental decisions.”

Through this consultation, the PN aims to make a clear declaration of commitment to protect the environment, introduce accountability and responsibility from the government and relevant authorities, promote environmental education, and enhance cooperation with other countries for global efforts in environmental protection.

The statement concluded by claiming that in order to achieve all this “we need a radical change in our laws and tools,” and that “this is another step by the PN “to improve the quality of life for every person living in Malta and for future generations, not merely in words but actions.”

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