Sociologist, Local Councillor, Activist from Malta

Thursday, June 09, 2016

ODZ is political, not merely technical

The environment is a political issue as much as it is an technical and scientific issue. Hence I support proposals that add another layer of democratic scrutiny in addition to Planning Authority approval, as is the current PN proposal to have an additional 2/3 parliamentary majority apart from PA approval when it comes to ODZ, so as to make it as difficult as possible to have such development. 

The PN is not the first party to use such a logic. In its 2013 general election manifesto, Alternattiva Demokratika The Green Party used a similar logic when it proposed the introduction of local referenda on projects deemed controversial by local councils or residents, with parliament assuming responsibility for decisions taken.

Front Harsien ODZ, Flimkien ghall-Ambjent Ahjar, Din l-Art Helwa and Civil Society Network are also using this logic in their position on ODZ. The Nationalist Party's proposal on the matter is a big step in the right direction and through fine tuning it can be totally in synch with what NGOs are saying. I hope progressive political parties will co-own this proposal so that there may be a national consensus. 

Of course, it is then up to the public to elect politicians and parties which are really in favour of environmental protection. 

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