Nature Trust (Malta) calls on the government to put the Environment agenda high for the next budget vote for the year 2016.
For the last years, budgets have failed to address habitat and biodiversity protection. Funding for Natura 2000 sites has been lacking and the only work done was by NGOs. Despite MEPA having obtained EU funding to draft management plans for the designated Natura 2000 sites in the Maltese Islands, these still await approval some five years down the line. Furthermore, once such plans are approved, hopefully in the near future, a vote for the implementation of such plans is essential so these sites can be truly protected and conserved.
Nature Trust (Malta) feels that the way things have been moving it seems like the authorities are only hoping that NGOs try to seek EU funds to protect such sites rather than help in the conservation of these areas which is after all the duty of the same government to do this.
The NGO urges the Finance and Environment Minister to ensure that an adequate budget vote is present for the management of all Natura 2000 sites and for the research needed to set up Marine Protected areas which will be of benefit for the economy and society.
Nature Trust (Malta) also urges the government to commit to the environment since, to date, the environmental agenda has been at an all time low with ODZ applications becoming the order of the day and thus going far away from sustainable development.