Ref. 00007/16 – TRK 163702 – Delimara

Redevelopment of an existing derelict hotel including environmentally friendly measures and provision of public ancillary facilities, at Ta’ Kalanka, Delimara.

In our opinion it is indispensable that satisfactory answers be given to the following questions before validating the project for planning considerations.
  1. How can the evident and  considerable negative impacts of over-development in a rural area, damage to sensitive ecology in an AEI/SSI, geological risk of cliff collapse and slope stability, visual and landscape deterioration, downgrading of natural bay/coastal area, etc., be economically and socially justified in the national context;
  2. The financial and land resource outlay for the proposed hotel project seem, at first glance, heavily out of proportion for future returns expected from such a small number of hotel beds. Therefore a presentation of an economic feasibility study of the hotel project in order to assess its future sustainability is warranted with a view that the same fate of the previous hotel will not befall the proposed hotel, and to ascertain that the project is not turned  turned into luxury residential block of apartments.
In short the opportunity cost in terms of ecological loss to the Maltese natural environment must be carefully weighted against the social and economic benefit to the nation, not solely to the developer/s.
We foresee a greater benefit to the nation if the existing derelict building is removed and the comprehensive threatened area protected in its ecological and scenic glory.

Relevant Project Description statement that can be found at: http://era.org.mt/en/Pages/TRK163702.aspx
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Postponed: Clean-up Campaign previously set for Tuesday 7th June.

Postponement of the Clean-up Campaign on Tuesday 7th June.

Your attention is being drawn to the decision of the Walks co-ordinators to cancel the event that was programmed for the Sette Gunio public holiday. It was the intention of the Association to render back a good service to the countryside for the pleasure that Sunday-in/Sunday-out ramblers derive from its benevolence. The good deed was to perform a clearance job of a path and clean-up an area that we will be using very soon on a planned walk.

This easy clean-up campaign is being postponed to the month of November 2016 when the weather will be agreeable and conducive to a job well done. Since the temperature is forecast to rise considerably over the next few days, and since inviting activities are being organised in Valletta on the date, it was thought best to postpone.

The exact date will be communicated to members on our next Programme for Autumn 2016, that will be issued in September.

The Walks coordinators regret any inconvenience caused by the change.

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Bologna tour 2015

This year two of our committee members, Joe Agius and Richard Weninger, with the generous help of rambler friends from Bologna, particularly that of our old friend and collaborator Roberto Mezzacasa, organised an 8-day rambling and cultural tour in Emilia-Romagna.  Roberto managed to rope in no fewer than twelve Italians to accompany us on the various walks and cultural visits. Continue reading

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Press Release 06/06/2015 – Zonqor Point

ENGOs support Front Ħarsien ODZ’s call for a protest march

6th June 2015

The undersigned environmental NGOs announce that they will be participating in Front Ħarsien ODZ’s protest march on the 20th of June 2015, and encourage the public to attend the said march.

The NGOs believe that any development that increases the urbanisation of ODZ areas is unacceptable, and maintain that compromising on this point has caused untold damage to the nation’s countryside over the past years. Any new investment should take place within the development boundaries. Continue reading

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Bologna Tour 2015

This year too the Ramblers’ Association of Malta with the help of rambler friends from Bologna organised an 8-day rambling and cultural tour in Emilia-Romagna. No fewer than twelve Italians accompanied us on the various walks and cultural visits.
Continue reading

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The Proposed Natural Park : A Bad Deal for the People of Malta

The Proposed Natural Park : A Bad Deal for the People of Malta

Ingram Bondin

Secretary of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta

This map of part of Marsascala shows the area allocated by the local plan for a natural park in green (including the shaded areas). The proposed site of the American University is shaded in yellow, while the natural park proposed by the Government is shaded in red.

This map of part of Marsascala shows the area allocated by the local plan for a natural park in green (including the shaded areas). The proposed site of the American University is shaded in yellow, while the natural park proposed by the Government is shaded in red.

Since the first week of May, information about the ‘American University of Malta’ has been gradually trickling out to the public. During the initial announcement, the Prime Minister indicated that a natural park would also be set up in the vicinity of this University. Although this was cheekily presented as a ‘compromise’ between developers and environmentalists, many immediately realised that the natural park was there just to sweeten the fact that ODZ boundaries would once again be twisted for this special investor. Continue reading

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Press Release – 09/05/2015 – Zonqor Point

Environmental NGOs ask whether resiting exercise is being taken seriously

Saturday 9th May 2015

The undersigned NGOs note with disappointment that the Government is already in negotiations with the owners of private land in the Zonqor area to accommodate the Jordanian investor building the presumed American University of Malta.

This contradicts the impression that was given by the Government during a last minute consultation meeting with the environmental NGOs on the eve of signing the agreement with Sadeen Group. Continue reading

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FKNK bans Ramblers from accessing countryside

Apparently the hunters’ federation (FKNK) has directed its members to ban access to their private property to members of the Ramblers Association all year round, in response to Ramblers joining the Spring Hunting Referendum initiative.

In response Alternattiva Demokratika has asked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to instruct the Lands Registry Department to immediately produce maps on the ownership of Maltese countryside, so that all Maltese and Gozitans can know what land is really private and what public land has been stolen for years by private individuals for their own egoistic personal use.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have also announced today that they will also be joining the Spring Hunting Referendum Campaign.

 

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Ramblers to join referendum against derogations

Press Release – 20/06/2013

The Ramblers’ Association welcomes and will join the initiative launched by Alternattiva Demokratika intended to kick start the process asking for a referendum to prohibit derogations permitting Spring hunting.

We feel that this step is complimentary to, and gives more punch to, the appeal by BirdLife and other NGOs which was a laudable first step in the same direction. AD’s move also gives more credence to the intention as in the meantime, action is being taken to ensure that the referendum will take place if the appeal is not heeded. It also indirectly sets a time frame for the process.

Not permitting the massacre of migrating birds in Spring will not only satisfy the majority of the people, it will also bring us truly in line with the EU’s Birds Directive and thus save successive governments, who covet votes by lobbies, the embarrassment of forcing them to ask for derogations.

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