Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Instead of villas and private pools at Ramla l-Hamra Bay

Instead of villas and private pools at Ramla l-Hamra Bay we are proposing a number of sustainable and ecological projects for Ramla l-Hamra.

Everybody assumes that the spectacular landscape value of the valley and the bay at Ramla constitute a fundamental point of reference for tourism in Gozo. Such a natural asset is an attraction to all those visiting the island and therefore benefits all other existing tourist businesses in Gozo. I feel that it is then obligatory to prevent the threat of opportunistic development in this area which would also damage the Gozo tourist product as a whole.

In view of the outcome by the MEPA Planning Appeals Board, I question whether the Appeals Board would have been so considerate with a common citizen. The developers’ appeal in front of MEPA should have been declared null and void, the same way as it would have been to any common citizen who fails to follow procedures accordingly.

On the other hand, I would like to propose specific sustainable and ecological projects for Ramla l-Hamra Bay instead of villas and private swimming pools:

1. MEPA should truly safeguard the environments around Ramla l-Hamra by including the whole area in the EU funded and protected programme of Natura 2000;

2. Heritage Trusts and NGOs should be supported in obtaining EU funds to transform the whole Ramla area as an international heritage site;

3 Re-establish its archaeological remains;

4. Highlighting its geomorphologic features and habitat that supports endemic flora and fauna while ecological walks and expeditions could take place under professional guidance;

5. Promote Ramla for a Blue Flag bay status;

6. Ensure that Ramla l-Hamra remains free from light pollution, a characteristic sought avidly by our visitors;

7. Its spectacular landscape value should not only be protected but promoted as an ideal location for astronomical observation; and

8. The state should claim back the land from the Ulysses Lodge proprietors, to remove the abandoned building, restore the partially concreted-over Roman pathway to its former self and holistically restore the whole area.

I would like to invite whoever is responsible for gathering ideas from the general public with regards to the Eco-Ghawdex project to take any of these suggestions on board. I do not mind that (as most often) the Green Party doesn’t take any credit, as long as there is the will to truly implement this project for the benefit of present and future generations.

Victor Galea

AD Spokesman for Gozo


Marvic said...

Dawn huma proposti ghal progett fejn wiehed ghandu juza l-energija u l-fondi tal-pajjiz bis-sens u le izjed neqirdu (bla ma tmissna l-kuxjenza!) il-wirt u s-sbuhija ta' pajjizna li jekk ha nibqghu ma naghtux kaz ha nitilfu ma ndumux.

Andrea Caruana said...

May i suggest what everyone seems to be overlooking - the terrible state of the sea there! Everyone seems to be proud of that beach but has anyone tried to swim there recently?

It is virtually impossible to get into the water due to the amount of sharp rocks in the water. How do you expect tourists to go there without taking a dip into the sea. They might visit it once due to the hype around it but beleive me they won't be stupid enough to return a second time.

If the sea was cleared up from this hazard i am sure that the amount of people visiting Gozo would increase and by word of mouth be the gem that everyone says it is!

John Mizzi said...

As mentioned by Mr Galea, Ramla has a high historical value which includes Calypso Cave on the Xaghra side, the amazing Mixta Cave with the springs around it on the Nadur side, the ancient monastery, the Roman Villa and knights sea wall not to mention the unique endemic plant life.

It is very sad to see that GonziPN and the ministry of Gozo have no vision for the archaeological tourism. The only side pushed in Gozo is Ggantija! Gozo has an immense amount of archaeological sites and connected legends most are full of rubbish or unaccessible. These sites including Ramla sites are what makes Gozo a unique archaeological holistical site.

Why GonziPN cannot dedicate a few million euros from the 800 million EU euros to restore Gozo's historical sites, to clean them up and make them more accessible in an environmentally friendly way. The excuse of them being private is not acceptable. They should be bought and saved for future generations.

We want sustainable jobs for our kids and we have unique treasures to achieve this long term aim!

Charles Sammut said...

The problem as I see it from a distance is the way the Law is presently constituted.

12 architects have no business deciding what is best for all localities in Malta and Gozo. Do away with Mepa and have the local councils come up with their own codes and zoning Laws with Governmental oversights. If that were the case the Applications for the projects in Ramla and Hondoq would not have gone past stage One. Otherwise it's like beating a dead horse.

The monster has to be slayed otherwise these applications in so called ODZ zones will always be creeping up.

Leslie said...

It really is a pity that the government and Mepa are so obviously inadequate as far as planning for the environment go. It appears that Mepa has different rules for different levels of society and that the government, having won(?) the election, doesn't give a hoot about election promises!

Instead of subsidising oafs like the busdrivers, they could have put a bit of that taxpayers money into the environment - every bit helps.

As John Mizzi says, Gozo (and Malta of course) have a wealth of wonderful treasures - archeological as well as scenic - but for how long? and why doesn't the govenment do something to protect them?

The area around Ramla is particularly rich in wonderful gems, be it the remains of the Brockdorff circle or the few stones left of St. Verena, the Roman villa or the fascinating caves, not to forget the amazing rock formations.

Why oh why are they being left to disintegrate or disappear!? Save Ramla and save Hondoq - it is too late to save Fort Chambray, but surely we can learn from our mistakes and try and protect was is left?

Charles said...

Again Mr Galea has come out with sound proposals for Ramla. Again the headlines are that Mrs Debono; the Minister for Gozo, is celebrating the Mepa's decision to allow cruise liners to berth off Xlendi Bay. One individual has foresight and is vocal about important issues: the other reacts to decisions after the fact and has been non-committal on the controversial issues. I know who I would rather have protecting and safeguarding the interests of Gozo. Not an iota of doubt : Victor by the proverbial mile.