ADPD - the Green Party yesterday expressed its concern about the government’s slow progress on the diving strategy announced in 2022

Speaking during a press conference at the diving area of Zonqor Point in Marsascala, ADPD spokesperson Brian Decelis said important objectives of the strategy have not been met and “action must be taken before it is too late.”

Of greatest concern, he said, was the lack of an entity with legal powers responsible for diving areas which could work hand in hand with all stakeholders including professional associations and NGOs.

Decelis lamented the absence of the promised year-round diving infrastructure, both onshore and offshore, leading to unnecessary damage to the marine environment.

Among these are a lack of moorings for dive boats leading to repeated anchoring which damage the seabed.

The call for action follows the approval of proposals on the restoration of nature by the European Parliament a week ago.

An ADPD statement noted that it was good that the Maltese government in the Council of Ministers on the Environment as well as Malta's MEPs had supported the measure.

However, support must translate into concrete action, it insisted, including the protection of agricultural land from rampant development.

It referred to the rationalisation exercise approved by the Maltese Parliament in 2006 saying that “the exercise needs to be struck off the books as soon as possible in order to start reducing the damage”.

Carmel Cacopardo, ADPD deputy chairman emphasised the economic benefits of the restoration of the environment. He said that according to estimates by the European Commission every €8 invested in nature restoration yields €38 in economic return.

The Maltese Government's €700 million project for green space restoration is a step in the right direction, ADPD said.

The approved proposals present an opportunity for positive change, but consistency between words and actions is crucial, the Green Party added.


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