Nature Trust – FEE Malta is seriously concerned about the proposed development of agricultural land in various areas around Malta. In the last few days, NT-FEE Malta was made aware of two potentially large developments in the southern part of the island – an extension of the Bulebel Industrial Area on agricultural land and the construction of a fast food franchise outlet in Zabbar, in an area that also includes some agricultural land.
Besides the fact that land from ODZ is appearing to be systematically wiped off to be built for numerous projects, these potential developments on agricultural land also go against the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015 by 193 countries, including Malta.
Global Goal #2 aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”
Food security, as defined by the United Nations, exists when people have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Development of agricultural land places this concept at risk as the already limited agricultural sector will be compromised and reduced in size, rendering Malta less capable of producing food for its citizens and increasing the likelihood of a foreign dependency for food production, at a cost.
Targets within this goal state that by 2030 countries should end all forms of malnutrition by increasing agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers and ensuring sustainable food production systems. One target also focuses on obesity. In the latest report drawn up by the United Nations, Malta is shown to perform quite poorly with staggering rates of obesity. It is quite ironic that land in ODZ is planned to be taken up by a fast food franchise that may contribute to the prevailing obesity epidemic.