Zonqor Point Development – Another environmental disaster?

A few days back our government welcomed plans for the development of a new American University at Zonqor point, north of Marsaskala.  The site should eventually cover around 90,000 square metres.

While we from ADŻ Malta Green Youth welcome such an investment which will be beneficial to the economy, we encourage sustainable development.  However, this project cannot be sustainable for many reasons.

Firstly we have the impact on land use and the landscape.  The fields in the area will be transformed into concrete.  Keeping in mind that the area around the proposed development site is defined as an area of scientific and ecological importance, the project won’t be sustainable.  Finding areas which are already developed and which include abandoned buildings which can be demolished would be a better alternative when compared to the grabbing of semi-natural or agricultural land.

fog2       DSCF8177

Secondly, the location and accessibility must also be discussed.  This area is relatively ‘isolated’ in the sense that when compared to other parts of Malta, such as the central part of the island, this area tends to be less accessible.  This, in turn, will lead to an improved infrastructure, in other words new road networks.  Increasing traffic in an area which was originally relatively quiet is also not sustainable, given the corresponding increase in noise and air pollution.

Thirdly, we also have the residents.  Before any development takes place residents should be included in the decision making process, just like NGOs, government and contractors alike.  The residents of Marsaskala will likely be unhappy to have a massive new construction site at their doorstep.

collage 1

Finally, we also have the ecological aspect.  Due to different habitats, which include coastal, garrigue and agricultural areas, the site earmarked for the project has a very characteristic ecology.  In fact it is home to several species of flora and fauna.

The area is also a good site for birds, especially in spring.  Personal observations include many Swallows, House Martins, Swifts, Bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtails, Quails and Turtle Doves which feed on insects as well as various seeds.  Several carob trees in the area are also used as perching sites by Golden Orioles and Woodchat Shrikes.  The area is ideal for raptors including Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and several falcon species.  These birds hunt for small mammals and insects in the area, but they also roost in trees or in fields.  In fact every spring the area is filled with Marsh Harriers searching for prey or seeking a roosting place. Hence developing this site will substantially impact birds, which in turn will also impact hunters in the area, who will eventually end up catching less birds.

collage 2

Due to the above-mentioned factors, the development of the new university at Zonqor point cannot be sustainable.  Preferably, an alternative site should be found, such as Fort Ricasoli or any other abandoned place, since we have already destroyed large tracts of our natural heritage and we cannot afford to lose more.  This cost is much greater than any other economic cost, since once we lose our heritage, we cannot bring it back.


Pascal Aloisio (ADŻ Malta Green Youth Executive Member)


6 comments on “Zonqor Point Development – Another environmental disaster?

  1. Keep up the good work. If many people object the government will think twice about the project.

  2. But where the hell were you when they built the sewage treatment plant at Ta’ Barkat, a few meters away from the Xghajra residents’ doorstep…….and besides the new University will not occupy all the land shown in the aerial film…… and I’ve never seen that many birds as you mentioned in that area neither……whom are you trying to take for a ride you hypocrites.

  3. Fejn kontu meta nbena magenbu stess l impjant tad drenagg, mater dei,lidl,skejjel tal gvern ukoll bhalissa hemm applikazzjonijiet ghall skejjel tal knisja,meta nbniet villa f nofs wied ta eks president tal pn,halferh,radisson gsands,dawn kollha nbnew f odz imma hadd ma tkellem li maghom ma sar xejn ghall pubbliku,u issa kull mhemm propost 90 tomna ta binja ghall universita u 500 tomna park naturali ghall kullhadd,x hemm hazin?noqghodu sejrin ghax nibzghu ghall insetti Malta nieqfu w qatt ma jsir xejn ghax malta zghira,naqbel li Lin nies ta dawk l inhawi jiehdu x ahaga lura mill hmieg li tawhom bhall power station,tisfijja tad drenagg,riciklacc tal iskart,kollox hdejhom,b dawn kollha I’ll valur tal propjeta hadet daqqa l isfel u bhekk bil mod jistghu jerghu bil mod jibdew ijtellghu I’ll valur tal binja taghom ukoll u jkunu jistghu jikru wkoll apartamenti,u bil park ikollhom fejn jirrikrejaw ghax mhux biss haqqhom power station imma haqqhom fejn imorru u jiehdu arja aktar nadifa u jmorru ahjar meta l power station taqleb ghall gass,u l pajjiz jiggwadanja minn boroz ta edukazzjoni b xejn u jkollnha university ohra ghalina fejn nistghu naghzlu, jien QED Nara ambjent ahjar ghar residenti u ghall maltin,ghazla ta universita,QED Nara edukazzjoni ta higher standard,flus fl ekonomija tal pajjiz u QED Nara iktar turisti,QED Nara lill malta centru tal edukazzjoni,QED Nara pozittivita fil progett, mhux QED Nara x ahaga hazina hlief li hemm art abbandunata kollha hmieg u grieden morru ha taraw u ha tinbidel f art b university u park nazzjonali ghall kullhadd,grazzi.

  4. When one elects the devil, one should expect deception and waste. This government does not give a sparrow’s butt about destroying the environment as long as they bow to those who helped elect them; and that’s not you and me, but developers and other special interest groups.

  5. What does one expect from a government that sells Maltese citizenship to any Tom, Dick and Harry, no questions asked as from were the money came from.

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