Consultation on national environment policy of Malta Republic.
|by Elaine Attard|
The government launched the first consultation phase of the national environmental policy, which is meant to listen to the public’s environmental concerns and address them in the final policy document.
The environmental policy aims to provide direction for the wide set of actors in the environmental field. “It will help us integrate our work, not only among environmental players, but also in order to seek congruency between the environmental and other national socio-economic goals. Finally, this policy will help us articulate and communicate our national environmental priorities in a transparent way,” explained Tourism, Environment and Culture Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco during the launch, yesterday.
During this first phase of work on the policy, the secretariat identified a number of environmental issues that are of public concern, but the public’s input to ensure that all the issues in the sector are exhausted, is required.
“Only after the public consultation will we be able to prioritise the issues, and indicate which of them need to be addressed in the short-term, and which need to be addressed over a longer time period.
“The issues are listed in what we are calling an issues paper. The document is the first step in that direction and lists what are considered to be Malta’s most hot issues in the environmental field, based on research and past communications with key stakeholders,” added Dr De Marco.
Meanwhile, the public is encouraged to submit their opinion regarding the new environmental policy and on all the issues that could be considered in the process leading to the final environmental policy.
The preliminary document, which has already highlighted a number of issues that need to be discussed is available on the website www.tsdu.gov.mt/environment-nep . In the meantime a number of public meetings will be held as part of the consultation process.
The national environmental policy was announced by Dr de Marco last March. The policy aims to be comprehensive and should integrate all governmental policies that relate to the environment. The final aim of the document is to cover all the environmental sector in its widest sense and to specify principles and priorities which are central for Malta.
“The sector offers opportunities for different governmental and public entities to work together and to identify how the environment could give us a competitive advantage. We have to find ways of using resources, producing and consuming products and services and reducing pollution efficiently. The environmental policy should be designed alongside the economic policies in a coherent framework,” he went on.
Comments and ideas about the preliminary document can be sent to postal address: National Environmental Policy Coordinator, Office of the Prime Minister, Auberge d’Italie, Merchants Street, Valletta, VLT 1170, or by email to email@example.com. One may also call on 2291-5033/5027 during office hours. All consultation submissions should be submitted by not later than 30 September.