Updated page on ERDF project
Within the parameters afforded by Section 1, Clause 2 of the Tender Document, the Contracting Authority has today, 6 February 2019, uploaded additional forms for use by bidders when making their submission. This is being done for simplification purposes.
ERDF PA 5.0121 – Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – NTM tender
Submissions opened today 18 Feb 2019 at 10 am
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BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE
Malta celebrate World Wetlands Day
Both eNGOs raising awareness of precious wetland habitats
in the Maltese Islands
Today BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE Malta have teamed up to commemorate
World Wetlands Day (WWD), an international awareness day which occurs annually
on this date and marks the date of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on
Wetlands on February 2nd, 1971.
Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the
planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably
since then. The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores
of the Caspian Sea and the theme for 2019 is “Wetlands and Climate Change”.
Every natural habitat which is in regular contact with significant volumes of water
may be considered as a wetland.
Wetlands around the world provide important services to humans and the
environment whilst also providing a home to thousands of species of plants,
insects, birds, mammals, and fish. Globally, wetlands have provided home to very
rare species and also are particularly important for birds, especially during
migration. These habitats provide much needed food, water and shelter during the
arduous spring and autumn bird migration. Locally, these are home to the endemic
Maltese Killifish (Aphanius fascatius, Bużaqq in Maltese) which has a very
restricted range. Apart from these reserves, this fish used to be found also at the
Marsa port, although today it has been eradicated due to infrastructural works
which were carried out on site.
In Malta, wetland habitats are scarce however both Nature Trust-FEE Malta and
BirdLife Malta manage a number of these habitats including Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk
and Il-Magħluq ta’ Marsaskala which are managed by Nature Trust-FEE Malta; and
Salina, Simar and Għadira Nature Reserves managed by BirdLife Malta, thus
ensuring the ongoing protection and conservation of these important sites.
On this day both nature organisations state: “Malta has limited wetlands which
require protection. Both BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE Malta are working
hard to improve the conditions of these wetlands and therefore the benefits they
provide to humans and wildlife. However, threats such as insensitive development,
coastal erosion, littering, poaching, and climate change are ever-present and need
extra efforts to address.
Apart from their environmental importance these wetlands are particularly
important as they absorb rainwater, reduce flooding and provide other important
services for free, otherwise known as ecosystem services”.
Wetlands such as those managed by BirdLife Malta are open to the public to enjoy.
Simar and Għadira Nature Reserves are open throughout the winter months during
weekends whilst Salina is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entry to all the
sites is free and there is no need to book to visit.
Il-Magħluq ta’ Marsaskala is also open 24 hours a day and the public is encouraged
to visit at any point to enjoy this unique open space. Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk is
open to the general public and the public is advised to stick to the existing
footpaths. Both sites have been handed over to Nature Trust-FEE Malta since
October and thus conservation works are just starting. Nature Trust-FEE Malta
encourages anyone who wants to help out with these sites to reach out via the
contact details on the website.
Press Statement 1 February 2019
Following the recent media reports quoting the Malta Developer Association’s call to find a suitable area at sea for the dumping of construction waste, Nature Trust – FEE Malta is particularly disappointed that the sea may be the next to fall victim to environmental degradation, besides the fact that this quick-fix solution is dumping a special resource.
This problem has been brought up time and time again but government after government, this was not addressed and no long-term construction waste strategy was devised, allowing this problem to reach its critical stage today. Developers are now irresponsibly taking the easy way out by recommending dumping at sea as a quick fix solution. In 2004, when Malta joined the European Union, many hoped that our islands would have a long-term plan to address the waste issue. Fourteen years later, not only did we not solve this issue but have had our authorities re open landfills again.
A large proportion of Malta’s immediate territorial waters was recently designated as Marine Protected Areas in the form of Special Protected Areas or Special Areas of Conservation (and consequently Natura 2000 sites) and our marine environment is also a major source of income for our islands, both in terms of fisheries but also in terms of trade and tourism.
While acknowledging that construction and demolition waste is a major source of waste on our islands, the organisation feels that prevention is better than cure. As highlighted by the 2008 European Union Waste Framework Directive, disposal is the worst possible option for the environment while reduction is the most advisable.
Waste Hierarchy (adapted from Directive 2008/98/EC)
Since the current construction frenzy does not appear to be slowing down, NT-FEE Malta believes that reducing the generation of stone at source may mitigate generation of construction waste in the first place.
Possible ideas to reduce waste may be to:
- Practice deconstruction instead of demolition
- Encourage plans and designs that generate less waste
- Use standard sizes and quantities of materials in buildings to reduce off cuts and, should off cuts be generated, these may be stored and used in future buildings
- Use waste stone to restore rubble walls around the Maltese Islands
- Use waste stone to reconstitute building blocks
- Pulverization of limestone in order to create limestone dust and used for other purposes
Finally, only recently was it announced that the local Globigerina Limestone was designated as a Global Heritage Stone Resource by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Yet, the it seems that the MDA deems it fit to dump one of the most important rock types into the sea.
ERDF Tender Documents
PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF ERDF PROJECT – .PA5.0121
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.
Nature Trust – FEE Malta welcomes the decision taken by the PA appeals Board not to give the green light to further construction - an old people’s home – in Wied Ghomor valley. Such a development, had it gone ahead, would have dealt a fatal hatchet blow to yet another green corridor connecting to the rest of Malta’s green areas. Such corridors are important for our already endangered biodiversity and the construction of yet another development would have further threatened their survival.
NT- FEE Malta hopes that this is just the first sign that the PA is truly moving towards sustainable development and the protection of our natural heritage from unsustainable development projects
The eNGO also welcomes the position taken by the Minister of Environment to grant Wied Ghomor protection from further development. The organisation believes that all valleys in our Islands should be protected both for their ecological value and also for their role in water conservation.
Our wildlife Rescue Unit rescues an average of 200 hedgehogs each year. Some do not make it due to road kills and, we often find baby hedgehogs which require attention next to their dead mother on the tarmac.
We need to raise Eur 1500 by end April. Help us raise these funds to install more caution signs.
Follow the link: http://www.zaar.com.mt/
Hedgehogs need your help urgently
Nature Trust – FEE Malta who has been supporting the residents of San Gwann, Swieqi and St Julian’s in favour of protecting Wied Ghomor for over 2 years, hopes that the appeals tribunal will decide the case based on the common good – not just for the residents of the surrounding towns but for all Maltese residents and those yet to share our heritage in the future.
It is about time that the Planning Authority stops appeasing developers by allowing ODZ land to be developed under the excuse that it is degraded. The quarry in caption which, after just 15 years lying idle has already showed signs of natural colonization, could be very easily be rehabilitated into an adventure area – a much needed space for youth and adventurers of all ages. In a country which sadly ranks worst in Europe in having the highest obesity rates and consequential diseases, such spaces would encourage an active lifestyle and mitigate the pollution generated in the areas due to the high density of built-up areas – which are doomed to increase with the development of Villa Rosa area, the ex-ITS area and Paceville – all of which lie in the vicinity.
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.
Nature Trust – FEE Malta commends the national clean up event organised by Let’s Do it Malta and JCI on Saturday where tons of litter were collected from every corner around Malta. It was great to see citizens and foreigners all eager to clean up our island and countryside from what other very irresponsible people leave behind or dump irresponsibly.
NT-FEE Malta now hopes that the authorities will pull up their socks and make sure what was cleaned remains clean and that law enforcement is enforced. It is about time that the law backs such initiatives. The NGO stated that despite various clean ups it and other NGOs do, after just a few weeks most of the sites end up full of litter again.
Nature Trust said that in Pembroke alone over 750kgs of waste were collected by some 160 volunteers including the AFM, Leave Pembroke Alone, Nature Trust volunteers and many foreigners.
A lot more remains in an area where alien acacia trees grow and are becoming a common hideaway from litter tippers when they drive into the area with their vehicles and dump all they have. NT-FEE Malta has been working with the Environment Resource Authority, MTA and the Local council to have these trees removed and replaced with local flora for some time now, especially since acacia not only cause harm to the garigue habitat at Pembroke but are now hiding illegal activities.
NT-FEE Malta stresses that it is about time green rangers are deployed in Natura 2000 sites to ensure that people do not litter again and heavy fines should be imposed to law breakers. The authorities should wake up and support the public and not expect the public to clean time and time again litter that will accumulate in such sites within a few days. Law abiding citizens are not there to support law breakers who do not have the decency to get rid of their litter the legal way and then wait for others to do it for them while the authorities just watch.