A coalition has been formed to lobby for the preservation of public spaces in Malta in the wake of reports that the government is considering handing l-Aħrax and Miżieb woodlands to the hunters' federation.

The coalition will also be tackling issues related to the conservation of ecological features, the management of such sites and transparency.

Spazji Miftuħa, as the coalition is called, said it objected to a limitation of public access to places of natural amenity to suit a small part of a minority group. It also objected to the way in which Cabinet treats public assets as its own.

The coalition regretted that the prime minister had not replied to a request for a meeting to discuss the Aħrax and Miżieb proposal, although the environment minister had acknowledged the request.

“Closing off two popular spots for nine months would mean the end of any sort of activity in the areas except for hunting. There will be no camping, no picnics, no walks in these areas if the agreement goes ahead. This issue will affect all Maltese citizens, not merely our own members,” it said.

It has invited other NGOs as well as formal and informal groups to register their endorsement.

The coalition is  asking the public to give its opinion about the proposed agreement on Aħrax and Miżieb by signing a petition and filling in a survey. The petition was launched a few days ago and has gained over 7,600 signatures. The petition, survey and endorsement form can be found on www.spazjimiftuha.org

The groups forming Spazji Miftuħa include: Archaeological Society of Malta, BICREF, Bicycle Advocacy Group, BirdLife Malta, Din L-Art Ħelwa, Extinction Rebellion Malta, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Franciscan Friars (OFM) Malta, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Għaqda Siġar Maltin, Isles of the Left, Kamra tal-Periti, Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU), Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta, NASoM (Noise Abatement Society Malta), Outdoor Recreation and Camping Association Malta, Ramblers Association Malta
and The Grow 10 Trees Project.


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