joi, 4 iunie 2009

Malta: AD asks EU Commissioner to investigate mismanagement of Natura 2000 sites

Alternattiva Demokratika have written to Commissioner Stavros Dimas about Special Areas of Conservation and lack of management plans for these areas. A copy of their letter is shown below:

From: Perit Carmel Cacopardo
To: Commissioner Stavros Dimas
Subject: Implementation of provisions of Habitats Directive in Malta
Date: Wednesday, 3rd June 2009

Mr Dimas,

It is with regret that on behalf of Alternattiva Demokratika (AD), The Green Party in Malta I would like to draw your attention to the general mismanagement by the Competent Authority in Malta of Natura 2000 sites.

In particular I would like to refer to three of the sites, originally designated as Special Areas of Conservation-Candidate Sites of International Importance on the 26th September 2003 (Government Notice 877 of 2003) in terms of the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations 2003 which transposes the EU Habitats Directive. These were eventually incorporated in the Government Notice presently in force, dated 9th February 2007 (Government Notice 112 of 2007) in terms of the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations 2006, which replaced the original GN of 2003.

The sites in question are:
Ix-Xaghra tal-Kortin, ref. INT 008
Buskett and Girgenti ref. INT 014
Malta Coastal Cliffs 1/8 Qammiegh Area ref. INT 016.

As you are undoubtedly aware in terms of subarticle 4 of Article 4 of the Habitats Directive, the Competent Authority has as soon as possible, but within 6 years of the designation of a site as an SAC, to establish priorities for the sites' maintenance and restoration in the light of the threats of degradation or destruction to which those sites are exposed. Almost 6 years have elapsed since these sites have been designated as SACs and the Competent National Authority has not as yet drawn up these priorities as detailed in the Habitats Directive. Management plans for these Natura 2000 sites have not even been initiated.

Of particular concern to Alternattiva Demokratika is the organisation of open air discos late at night in the following sites:

* at Mistra: within Ix-Xaghra tal-Kortin ref. INT 008
* at Buskett: within Buskett and Girgenti ref. INT 014
* at Paradise Bay: within the Malta Coastal Cliffs 1/8 Il-Qammiegh Area ref. INT 016

The use of high powered laser beams and/or high tech sound equipment in the open air, together with the trampling by large numbers of people, notably at the Buskett Natura 2000 site, is surely not conducive to proper management of these Natura 2000 sites which Malta is internationally obliged to manage on behalf of future generations.

Alternattiva Demokratika believes that permitting these activities, especially without any public appropriate assessment by the Competent National Authority - the Malta Environment and Planning Authority MEPA - is a further infringement of the obligations of the Directive, considering that no management plans are presently being considered for such sites.

In view of the above Alternattive Demokratika would like to ask you to investigate such mismanagement by Malta of its Natura 2000 sites in breach of its obligations as defined in the Habitats Directive, and that necessary and appropriate measures are taken to ensure the appropriate for full adherence thereto.

Thanking you for your attention.


Mr Carmel Cacopardo
AD Spokesman on Sustainable Development


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