The latest anti-environment project has just been proposed a few days ago. Munxar, located just off Marsaskala will be the next target. This project is estimated to take up another 80,000 square metres of the Maltese countryside. Although it is said to be an “agri-tourism” village, this project will have significant impact on the environment.
Why are we against this project?
First and foremost, we are against the destruction of the semi-natural environment for similar reasons we brought up in the Zonqor development. Any sort of impact, as small as it might be, will lead to a negative impact on the ecosystem. The area is already under pressure from trapping sites which have destroyed large tracts of naturally vegetated land by using herbicides. Can we afford to lose even more? Just imagine the impacts of using heavy machinery to construct buildings!
Secondly, we must consider the projects’ impact in relation to its ancillary infrastructure, namely water and electricity, but also road infrastructure. This area is not connected to the rest of the grid and thus a connection needs to be made. What are the impacts of the laying down the plumbing and wiring necessary, not to mention the road? Who will pay for these?
Another concern is that of light pollution. Recent research has found that several coastal bird species are being negatively affected by light pollution. Could this development contribute to light pollution which would degrade the habitat of these important species?
Other social impacts which need consideration are whether there will be any impacts on traffic. Will this lead to the development of a parking area somewhere near St. Thomas Bay, taking up even more land? What about farmers, are they going to be affected through this development?
One peculiar aspect of the project is that of setting up a bird-watching facility Assuming that the developers are alienated from the true situation at Munxar and surrounding Delimara, this is pure non-sense. The area is well known for hunting and trapping. Are we really keen on inviting tourists to watch our birds being blasted out of the sky and song-birds being trapped in terribly small cages. In Spring, the area turns into a mini-warzone, with hundreds of shots in a morning being commonplace. Would tourists want to experience this? Could this have an impact on Malta’s reputation, and the very sustainability of this development?
We are concerned that even more land will be taken up to development which will damage the landscape of the area. Taking into account the development of the American University of Malta, it is clear that the natural areas of Marsaskala are the target of development. Instead of being available to public for relaxation, more buildings will be setup wherever we go. This project will also destroy the unique landscape of the area, which offers a great scenery to anyone who visits the area.
Therefore we from ADŻ strongly oppose this project. We already lost too much land over the last 50 years. Let us protect the remaining bit of countryside we still have left.
Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer