NGOs to challenge abusive Aħrax/Miżieb agreement in Court |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
30/10/2020

NGOs to challenge abusive Aħrax/Miżieb agreement in Court

The six undersigned environmental organisations wish to announce that they will be challenging the deed through which the Government granted guardianship of Aħrax and Miżieb to FKNK in front of the Tribunal for Administrative Revision.


Two separate but allied Court actions representing the parties have been filed in front of the Tribunal on Thursday.


Dr. Claire Bonello will be representing Birdlife Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Din L-Art Ħelwa, Friends of the Earth (Malta), Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar and Prof. Eward Mallia. Dr. Joseph Ellis and Dr. Martin Farrugia will be representing The Ramblers' Association of Malta in this case.


Taken collectively, the NGOs will be challenging the Lands Authority on a number of grounds.


The NGOs are claiming that the Authority has acted in an arbitrary, untransparent, discriminatory and unreasonable manner and that it has committed numerous procedural violations resulting in it acting outside its powers as established by law.


The irrelevant and improper considerations used by the Lands Authority to assess and award the concession will result in the public's enjoyment of the countryside found in these sites to be curtailed for large swathes of the year, all to accommodate a minority of FKNK's members.


In fact the NGOs assert that EU law was breached when the Government failed to conduct any of the required studies in order to determine and evaluate the environmental impacts of such a large concession.


They also claim that EU law was also not followed when the public was not allowed to participate in the drafting of the resulting management plans due to the fact that the agreement was negotiated in secret.


The NGOs believe that the concession of these two areas for the risible sum of EUR 400 in order to entertain a pastime will also result in lost revenue which should have been accrued towards the Environment Fund.


The deed is also being challenged on the grounds that it requires the Minister responsible for hunting to employ a number of 'conservation officers' from the public purse who will then be managed by FKNK. It is being claimed that since a Minister is not a public officer at law, he has no legal power to directly employ people into the public service for this purpose.


The NGOs are also claiming that the terms of the agreement encroach on public domain areas in contravention to Public Domain law and the Protocol regarding Coastal Zone Management.


The NGOs wish to conclude by encouraging the public to now do their part and support their efforts by attending the socially distanced sit-down protest in front of Castille, this Saturday 31st of October starting at 10:00am.

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Għaqdiet ambjentali jitolbu l-Qorti tannulla l-ftehim dwar l-Aħrax u l-Miżieb


Sitt għaqdiet ambjentali jixtiequ jħabbru li fetħu kawża quddiem it-Tribunal ta' Reviżjoni Amministrattiva sabiex jiġi annullat il-ftehim ta' kurazija fuq l-Aħrax u l-Miżieb li sar bejn il-Gvern u l-FKNK.


Żewġ azzjonijiet separati iżda magħquda fl-istess għan ġew depożitati għand it-Tribunal nhar il-Ħamis.


Dr. Claire Bonello sejra tkun qegħda tirrapreżenta lill-Birdlife Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Din L-Art Ħelwa, Friends of the Earth (Malta), Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar u lill-Prof. Eward Mallia. Dr. Joseph Ellis u Dr. Martin Farrugia sejrin jirrapreżentaw lil The Ramblers' Association of Malta fl-istess każ.


Meta jitqiesu dawn iż-żewġ azzjonijiet flimkien, l-għaqdiet ambjentali sejrin ikunu qegħdin jagħmlu numru ta' argumenti kontra l-Awtorita' tal-Artijiet.


L-għaqdiet sejrin isostnu li l-Awtorita' aġixxiet b'mod arbitrarju, xejn trasparenti, diskriminatorju u nieqes mir-raġonevolezza, u li wettqet numru kbir ta' żbalji proċedurali u li b'hekk aġixxiet lil'hinn mill-poter li tagħtiha l-Liġi.


Il-konsiderazzjonijiet mhux xierqa u irrelevanti li użat l-Awtorita' tal-Artijiet meta ħolqot dan il-ftehim u tat din il-konċessjoni sejrin jostakolaw it-tgawdija tal-kampanja mill-pubbliku għal biċċa l-kbira tas-sena, u dan sabiex jiġu akkomodati minoranza żġħira tal-membri tal-FKNK.


Infatt l-għaqdiet qegħdin isostnu li l-liġi tal-Unjoni Ewropeja ġiet miksura meta l-Gvern ma għamel l-ebda' studju sabiex jiġi determinat u meqjus l-impatt ambjentali ta' din il-konċessjoni.


Qegħdin isostnu ukoll li l-liġi tal-Unjoni Ewropeja ma ġietx segwita meta dan il-ftehim ġie negozjat b'mod sigriet, għaliex b'hekk il-pubbliku ma setax jipparteċipa fit-tfassil tal-pjanijiet ta' mmaniġġjar ta' dawn iż-żewġ siti.


L-għaqdiet jemmnu li l-fatt li din il-konċessjoni ingħatat għas-somma ridikola ta' EUR 400, sabiex ftit kaċċaturi igawdu passatemp, sejjer jirriżulta f'kontribuzzjonijiet kbar mitlufa għall-Fond tal-Ambjent.


Il-ftehim qiegħed jiġi kontestat ukoll għaliex dan jorbot lill-Ministru responsabbli mill-kaċċa li jimpjega numru ta' 'conservation officers' li sejrin ikunu taħt il-kmand tal-FKNK. Iżda ladarba Ministru ma jitqiesx bħala uffiċjal pubbliku mill-liġijiet tal-pajjiż, dan ma jista' jimpjega b'mod dirett lil ħadd.


L-għaqdiet qegħdin isostnu ukoll li dan il-ftehim jipprova jnaqqar mill-protezzjonijiet li jeżistu għaż-żoni ta' demanju pubbliku u li l-ftehim jikser kemm il-Liġi tad-Demanju Pubbliku u kemm il-Protokoll għall-Immaniġġjar taż-Żoni Kostali.


L-għaqdiet jixtiequ jikkonkludu billi iħeġġu lill-pubbliku jagħmel il-biċċa tiegħu u jappoġġja dawn l-isforzi billi jattendi id-dimostrazzjoni paċifika b'distanza soċjali li sejra ssir quddiem Kastilja, is-Sibt 31 ta' Ottubru fl-10:00am.