Alternative means of transport for Marsamxett and Grand Harbour area

Recently the government has called for proposals to improve transport links around Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour.  There are several alternative means of transport which may be used.

Probably the easiest solution to the widespread problem of traffic congestion would be to improve the bus system.  The bus system in Malta is described as ‘disastrous’ since buses are very irregular and almost always full up.  This problem is even greater in summer when flocks of tourists visit our tiny island.  Therefore we strongly encourage the Malta transport authority to improve the bus system.  If the number of buses operating had to be increased, particularly during the summer season, this would encourage people to use the bus, rather than their own means of transport.  This would substantially reduce traffic, which in turn will lead to buses arriving on time, as they face less traffic congestions.

file

20150612_125439

Another alternative is making more use of sea transport.  The ferry service has substantially improved over the years and is very efficient.  Additionally water taxis can also be used, particularly the existing ones at the Grand Harbour.  Not only are the prices relatively low, but they are extremely reliable.  We suggest that both the use of water taxis and the ferry should be promoted more.  The tourism industry could be very influential by promoting these two means of transport to tourists.  This would not only reduce the amount of passengers on buses, but would give tourists a different perspective of the Marsamxett and Grand Harbour, which is crossing the harbours by sea.  Not only will this be a different experience, but people might also have a better opportunity to appreciate our cultural heritage.  In addition, this would also create more jobs if more sea craft are required.

underground1

Recently several proposals for an underground monorail have been made.  This system could indeed be beneficial to our infrastructure.  Many cities abroad make use of monorails and they are very efficient.  An advantage of this system is that it will not take up any land, since it will be underground.  Therefore, no additional roads or lanes on land need to be established.  The only issues here are the high capital costs required for this system and the high degree of uncertainty with regards to public perception.  More research must be carried out for a monorail system.

Improving our transport system is vital for our society.  Better use of public transport will not only be beneficial to the environment by reducing the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere, but this will also reduce negative impacts on our health.  Additionally improved public transportation will also benefit the economy, since less time is wasted in traffic jams and more means of public transport will also create more jobs.

Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer

Mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport f’Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir

Ftit ilu, il-gvern ħabbar li ser ikun qed jilqa proposti biex titjieb is-sistema ta’ trasport fl-inħawi ta’ Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir.  Hemm ħafna mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport li jistaw jintużaw.

Waħda mill-aktar soluzzjonijiet faċli għal problema tat-traffiku hija li titjieb is-sistema tal-karozzi tal-linja.  Dan is-servizz minn dejjem kien magħruf bħala ‘diżastruz’ għaliex il-karozzi tal-linja qatt ma jaslu fil-ħin u dejjem ikunu mimlijin nies.  Din il-problema hija aktar evidenti fis-sajf, fejn ħafna iżjed turisti iżuru pajjiżna.  Għalhekk aħna ninkoraġġixxu lil awtorita’ tat-trasport pubbliku bies ittejjeb is-servizz tal-karozzi tal-linja.  Jekk in-numru ta’ karozzi tal-linja li joperaw kellhu jiżdied, speċjalment fix-xhur tas-sajf, dan jinkoraġġixxi lin-nies biex jużaw il-karozzi tal-linja, minflok jużaw il-karozzi tahhom.  Dan kieku iwassal ghal tnaqqis sostanzjali ta’ traffiku, li iwassal ukoll sabiex il-karozzi tal-linja jaslu fil-ħin għax jiffaċċjaw inqas traffiku.

file

20150612_125439

Alternattiva oħra hija li jintuża iżjed it-trasport tal-baħar.  Is-servizz tal-lanċa mar għal-aħjar fis-snin li għaddew u illum il-ġurnata huwa effiċenti ħafna.  Madanakollu, il-water taxis jistaw jintużaw ukoll, speċjalment dawk li diġa jeżistu fil-Port il-Kbir.  Mhux biss talli il-prezz huwa relattivament tajjeb, imma dawn is-servizzi huma effiċenti ħafna.  Aħna nissuġġerixxu li l-awtoritajiet għandhom jinkoraġġixxu kemm l-użu tal-water taxis, kif ukoll dak tal-lanċa.  Anke l-industrija tat-turiżmu tista tippromwovi dawn il-mezzi ta’ trasport.  Dan mhux biss talli iwassal għal tnaqqis ta’ passaġġieri li jużaw il-karozzi tal-linja, iżda jagħti ukoll perspettiva differenti lit-turisti tal-portijiet ta’ Marsamxett u l-Port il-Kbir imbilli jaqsmu il-portijiet bil-baħar.  Dan mhux biss talli iwassal ghal esperjenza differenti għal-passaġġieri, imma dan jista’ iwassal ukoll li in-nies japprezzaw iżjed il-wirt kulturali ta’ pajjiżna.  Apparti minn hekk, dan jista’ joħloq aktar xogħol jekk iżjed mezzi ta’ trasport tal-baħar huwa meħtieġ.

underground1Riċentament saru ħafna proposti dwar monorail taħt l-art.  Din is-sistema tista twassal għal ħafna vantaġġi għal-infrastruttura tagħna.  Ħafna pajjiżi barra xtutna jagħmlu użu minn din is-sistema u dawn huma effiċenti ħafna.  Vantaġġ ta’ din is-sistema huwa li l-monorail m’għandiex bżonn medda ta’ art peress li din ser topera taħt l-art u għalhekk m’hemmx għalfejn jinbnew toroq ġodda.  L-unika kwistjoni hawnhekk hija l-ispiża kapitali kbira u l-ammont kbir ta’ inċertezza ta’ perċezzjoni tal-pubbliku.  Hemm bżonn ta’ aktar riċerka għal din is-sistema.

Li intejbu is-sistema ta’ trasport f’pajjiżna hija essenzjali ghas-soċjeta tagħna.  Trasport pubbliku aħjar mhux biss ser ikun tajjeb għall-ambjent imbilli innaqsu l-ammon ta’ tniġġis fl-arja, iżda dan inaqqas l-impatt negattiv fuq saħħitna ukoll.  Aktar minn hekk, sistema ta’ trasport pubbliku ser twassal għal impatti pożittivi għall-ekonomija peress li inqas ħin jinħela fit-traffiku u iżjed sistemi differenti ta’ trasport joħolqu iżjed xogħol.

Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer

TTIP – No Thank you

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) debate has been going on for quite a long time.  While some politicians and big corporations might argue that this trade agreement will boost the economy and lead to several other advantages, the reality looks pretty much different.  TTIP will bring along more cons than pros.  This agreement will eventually lead to negative impacts on our health, environment, food, social standards, labour, privacy standards and product safety.

Unrealistic economic promises

So let us start with the so called economic ‘advantages’ this agreement is predicted to create.  Optimistic studies propose an increase of 0.5-1% growth in GDP through TTIP.  However, Tom Jenkins from the European Trade Union Council (ETUC) states that it is not clear where these jobs will come from and which EU countries will actually benefit.  We demand realistic economic analysis, which should also include environmental and human rights impact assessments.

Threat to Democracy

The negotiating mandate is still classified as a secret document.  This means that there is a significant lack of transparency.  ADŻ Malta Green Youth call for full transparency, by making the negotiation mandate and its texts publicly available.  Another issue here the so-called investor-to-trade dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism.  This mechanism in TTIP will allow foreign investors to bypass democratic courts.  To cut things short, ISDS allows corporations to sue governments.  We totally oppose ISDS since corporations should not stand above the law.

Threat to Public Services

Another big issue with TTIP is that it will create new markets in public services leading to liberalisation and privatisation.  Public services, such as the health care sector should not be privatised.

Weakening EU Standards

Yes, the TTIP agreement will weaken EU standards.  This is particularly true when it comes to the environment and the health sector, since TTIP will see EU regulations being harmonised and reduced to US levels.  Chemical corporations want to undermine legislations on evaluating and restricting chemical products.  Another issue is that the US agro-industry can finally start exporting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the EU.  Another good example is that several lobby groups want to reintroduce ACTA.  Lowering EU standards is totally unacceptable.

Although we do advocate multilateral trade negotiations, this must take into account fair international trade relations.  For these reasons we oppose the TTIP agreement in its current form.

Matthew Seychell

ADŻ Malta Green Youth Executive Member

123

TTIP – Le Grazzi

Id-dibattitu dwar it-TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) ilu għaddej għal żmien twil.  Filwaqt li ċertu politikanti u korporazjonijiet kbar qed jgħidu li it-TTIP ser tgħin l-ekonomija u li ser twassal għal ħafna vantaġġi oħra, ir-realta’ hija differenti.  TTIP ser twassal għal iżjed żvantaġġi milli vantaġġi.  Dan ser iħalli impatti negattivi fuq is-saħħa, l-ambjent, l-ikel, livelli soċjali, ix-xogħol, livelli ta privatezza u s-sigurta’ tal-prodotti.

Wegħediet mhux realistiċi ghal-ekonomija

Ħa nibdew bl-hekk imsejħa ‘vantaġġi’ għal-ekonomija li it-TTIP allegatament ser toħloq.  Studji ottimisti qed jipproponu li ser ikun hemm żieda ta’ bejn 0.5-1% fil-Prodott Gross Domestiku jekk tiġi implementata it-TTIP.  Madanakollu, Tom Jenkins mil-ETUC (European Trade Union Council) jgħid li mhux ċar minn fejn dawn il-postijiet tax-xogħol ser jiġu u liema pajjiżi mil-Unjoni Ewropea ser igawdu minn dawn il-vantaġġi.  Aħna irridu li jkun hemm analiżi realistiċi għal-ekonomija u dawn iridu jinkludu ukoll rendikont tal-impatti fuq l-ambjent u d-drittijiet tal-bniedem.

Theddida ghad-demokrazija

Il-mandat dwar in-negozjar għadu ikklassifikat bħala dokument sigriet.  Dan ifisser li hemm nuqqas kbir ta’ trasparenza.  Aħna bħala ADŻ Malta Green Youth nappellaw li jkun hemm iżjed trasparenza billi dan il-mandat isir disponibbli għall-pubbliku.  Għandna ukoll il-mekkaniżmu tal-ISDS (investor-to-trade dispute settlement).  Dan il-mekkaniżmu jgħin lil investituri barranin u korporazzjonijiet biex iħarrku lil gvern.  Aħna nopponu l’ISDS totalment għax il-korporazzjonijiet m’għandhomx ikunu fuq il-liġi.

Theddida għas-servizzi pubbliċi

Problema oħra bl-imsejħa TTIP hija li din tista twassal ghal-liberizazzjoni u privatizazzjoni tas-servizzi pubbliċi.  Servizzi pubbliċi bħas-servizzi tas-saħħa m’għandhomx jiġu privatizzati.

TTIP ser iddgħajjef l-istandards tal-Unjoni Ewropea

Dan il-qbil ser iwassal biex l-istandards fl-Unjoni Ewropea jiddgħajjfu.  Dan huwa l-aktar viżibbli meta tiġi għal-ambjent u s-settru tas-saħħa, fejn it-TTIP ser twaqqa il-livell tar-regularizzazjoni għal dawk fl-Istati Uniti.  Korporazzjonijiet tal-kimika iridu jdgħajfu il-leġislazzjonijiet dwar il-kimika fl-Unjoni Ewropea.  Problema oħra hija dik tal-ikel immodifikat ġenetikament (GMOs), fejn il-korporazzjonijiet qed jagħmlu minn kollox biex jesportaw dawn lejn l-Ewropa.  Ċertu gruppi qed jagħmlu pressjoni fuq l-awtoritajiet biex tiddaħħal l-ACTA ukoll.  Għalina dan mhux aċċettabbli.

Aħna naqblu li għandu jkun hemm qbil multilaterali ta’ negozjar, sakemm dan ikun ġust.  Għal daqs tant, aħna nopponu il-qbil ta’ TTIP kif qedha bħal issa.

Matthew Seychell

Membru Eżekuttiv ADŻ Malta Green Youth

Three pairs of Peregrine Falcons confirmed breeding in Malta

It is now confirmed that we have three breeding birds of Peregrine Falcons in Malta.  This is good news as the bird disappeared from the list of breeding birds of the island from 1980 to 2009.  The last pair was shot in 1980, but in 2009 two pairs were observed breeding in Malta and Gozo.  This year we can add another pair which was confirmed as breeding on the islands.

Following its absence as a breeding bird on the Islands for almost three decades, the news of its return is not only taken up positively by birdwatchers and ornithologists, but also by hunters.  According to the FKNK and St. Huberts Hunters Association, the return of the Peregrine was seen as a positive thing and in fact hunters claimed to be monitoring the birds.  Could this be a positive way forward?

It is a fact that the last pair of breeding Peregrines have been shot by hunters and that the senseless killing of these raptors has led to their disappearance from the list of breeding birds for decades.  The Peregrine Falcon is not an exception, since many other birds, such as the Barn Owl and Kestrel, among others, have experienced the same faith.

Breeding birds face many threats nowadays, ranging from persecution to disturbance.  In order to protect breeding birds such as the Peregrine Falcon, apart from enforcement, a more important tool is education.  Not only hunters must understand the importance of protecting such birds, but the entire public should be aware of why these creatures should be protected and how this can be done.  Collaboration between hunters and ornithologists is also vital if we want to successfully protect the Peregrine.  In addition, monitoring and studies of these birds are also vital as they might result into interesting findings, which can be used to understand the threats these birds face and any protective measures which could be taken.

We from ADŻ Malta Green Youth are pleased to hear such great news.  Not only do we have three breeding pairs of Peregrine Falcons in Malta, but it also looks like hunters are slowly understanding the importance of protecting these raptors.  It is of utmost importance that history does not repeat itself and that we do anything we can to protect the so called ‘Maltese Falcon’.  Let’s give breeding birds a chance and protect our natural heritage.

collage

Tlett pari ta’ Bies ikkonfermati ibejtu f’Malta

Huwa ikkonfermat li ġewwa pajjiżna issa qed ibejtu tlett pari ta’ Bies.  Dan huwa aħbar tajjeb għax din it-tajra sparixxiet mil-lista ta’ għasafar li jbejtu fuq xtutna mil-1980 sal-2009.  L-aħħar par li kien ibejjet Malta inqatel fl-1980, imma fl-2009 żewġ pari irnexxielhom ibejtu f’Malta u Għawdex.  Din is-sena nistaw inżidu par ieħor ma dawn it-tnejn li qed ibejtu fil-gżejjer Maltin.

Wara li l-Bies sparixxa minn pajjiżna bħala għasfur li jbejjet, l-aħbar pożittiva li dan reġa beda jbejjet fuq xtutna mhux biss huwa pożittiv għal ornitoloġisti u dilettanti tal-għasafar imma and għal-kaċċaturi.  Skond l-FKNK u l-Għaqda Kaċċaturi San Ubertu, il-fatt li din it-tajra qedha terġa tbejjet f’Malta huwa meqjus bħala xi ħaġa tajba.  Fil-fatt il-kaċċaturi stqarru li qed josservaw dawn l-għasafar.  Huwwa sinjal pożittiv dan?

Huwa fatt li l-aħħar par ta’ Bies li kien ibejjet Malta inqatel mil-kaċċaturi u li din il-persekuzzjoni waslet sabiex il-Bies sparixxa bħala għasfur li jbejjet Malta għal snin twal.  Il-Bies mhux eċċezzjoni għal dan għax tjur oħra, bħal Barbaġann u l-Ispanjulett, esperjenzaw l-istess traġedja.

Dawn l-għasafar illum il-ġurnata jiffaċċjaw ħafna perikli.  Sabiex nipproteġu l-għasafar li jbejtu f’pajjiżna, fosthom il-Bies, apparti mil-infurzar għandu jkun hemm izjed edukazzjoni.  Mhux il-kaċċaturi biss għandhom jifmhu l-importanza li nipproteġu dawn l-għasafar, imma anke il-pubbliku għandu jiġi infurmat għalfejn huwa importanti li dawn l-għasafar għandhom jiġu protetti u x’għandu jsir biex dan jitwettaq.  Kollaborazzjoni bejn il-kaċċaturi u l-ornitoloġisti hija mportanti ukoll.  Apparti minn hekk, monitoraġġ kontinwu studji ta’ dawn l-għasafar huma importanti ukoll għax dawn jistaw iwasslu għal ċertu konklużżjonijiet dwar il-perikli li jiffaċċjaw l-għasafar, kif ukoll x’jista jsir biex dawn il-perikli jitnaqqsu.

Aħna mil-Alternattiva Demokratika Żagħżagħ ninsabu kuntenti b’din l-aħbar.  Din l-aħbar li issa għandna tlett pari ta’ Bies li jbejtu f’Malta mhux l-unika aħbar tajba, iżda huwa interessanti ukoll li l-kaċċaturi donnhom qed jindunaw bl-importanza li nipproteġu dawn it-tjur tal-priża.  Hijja tal-akbar importanza li l-istorja ma tergax tirrepeti ruħha u nitilfu dawn l-għasafar bħala tajr li jbejjet f’pajjiżna.  Irridu nagħmlu minn kollox biex nipproteġu l-Bies u l-wirt ambjentali ta’ Malta.

Pascal Aloisio

ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer