With reference to the Report on the Sustainable Development Goals ranking issued recently, Nature Trust – FEE Malta notes sadly that our country has slipped eight places since 2017 and is falling behind other EU countries.
Although the economy of our Islands is today booming, one cannot neglect other areas that form part of the Sustainable Development Goals such as social issues, the well-being of society and the environment. Despite the work being done by various NGOs and also the President’s Foundation for Well-Being of Society, which has been a leader in promoting the SDG targets for 2030, Nature Trust believes that, since the Government and national authorities appear not to have a serious political commitment to social and environmental issues, it should come as no surprise that we have lost our ground in the world rankings.
Malta could serve as a classic example of how to reach the targets of the SGD. Just as Malta once championed the issues of climate change at the United Nations, putting this issue higher on the agenda, the Island could have positioned itself to be a world leader again in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through wise use of the economic benefits we have achieved.
Today, excessive and unsustainable development and the steady loss of green open spaces for families to enjoy, coupled with transport and traffic congestion, the spiralling cost of housing, obesity problems and lack of law enforcement on environmental protection, have become the order of the day. Economic gains made by a country should never be limited to providing a horizontal benefit.
The NGO urges our political parties to work on long-term strategies and not just 5-year programmes. Only in this way can we reach the UN targets and pass on a better life to future generations; otherwise, we will only be remembered as the generation promoting short-sightedness and avarice.