Monday, 25 August 2008

Ta' Ċenċ saga goes on

I could say that my first political activity was the organisation of the Ta' Cenc educational walk back in August 2005. A walk which turned into a protest as soon as we arrived at Ta' Cenc and found out that the owner illegally closed the access to this plateau. Moreover, the Gozo police were protecting him!

Yes only in Gozo you might say.

Back then both the PN and MLP were both promoting a golf course at Ta' Cenc.

It was strange since at that time the Times of Malta was reporting that the government of our republic included Ta' Cenc in the Natura 2000 programme. Hence Ta' Cenc was supposed to be protected for future generations.

Knowing who is behind The Times of Malta, the AD Gozo Regional Committee did not trust these reports from the Times, and decided to write directly to the EU Commission asking whether it is true that the Maltese government really incuded Ta' Cenc in its list of protected areas. (Read HERE)

Few days later, the Commission replied saying that the Government of Malta DID NOT include Ta' Cenc as part of the Natura 2000 network. (Read HERE) Surprise eh?

It was then that we decided to nationalize the issue of Ta' Cenc. The organisation of the 'walk' was part of the strategy.

However after the Ta' Cenc lockout, we revealed the real intentions of the developers at Ta' Cenc. (read HERE). No golf courses but massive buildings of villas and other land speculations.

Watch video here:

Several NGO's joined the chorus in objecting the destruction of Ta' Cenc. Others joined recently.

Today eight environmental NGOs today called upon MEPA to publish online the fresh plans submitted for the application to extend the existing hotel at Ta’ Cenc in Gozo. In a statement BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, the Gaia Foundation, Light Pollution Awareness Group, Nature Trust and the Ramblers Association called on MEPA to honour the commitment made to NGOs on the 15th of July 2008 to give “NGOs and Local Councils free, unlimited access to digital plans for all planning applications through its e-applications systems.” (Read HERE).

Following this, we just issued a press statement referring to the secrecy of Ta' Cenc as an example of disrespect for the citizens.

Alternattiva Demokratika, The Green Party are four square with the NGOs and insist with MEPA and government that plans regarding Ta' Cenc should immediately be put on line.

"The disrespect for the citizen on the part of MEPA is becoming unacceptable."

We reminded how back in 2005, the AD Gozo Regional Committee was informed by the EU Commissioner for the Environment ithat the Maltese Government and MEPA had failed to include Ta' Cenc in the list of sites to be protected under the Natura 2000 network scheme.

I said that three years later, we still have concerned citizens and NGOs struggling for transparency in the process of the proposed developments at Ta' Cenc. It is a pity that the government and the Gozo Ministry still seem to be unaware of the ecological, ornithological and geomorphologic uniqueness of Ta' Cenc.

It is disappointing that notwithstanding the echoing of the Eco-Gozo project, the Ministry for Gozo still finds it hard to express a simple opinion on this issue.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the Ta' Cenc site, home to various birds, endemic species and historical remains, has not been included in the list of protected sites. Ta' Cenc is a place of unique importance, not only because of its special bio-diversity but also because the natural beauty of the place - with its unique diversity. It is a source of attraction for Maltese and tourists and thus a source of much needed income for the local economy.

Alternattiva Demokratika's chairperson Prof. Arnold Cassola, concluded the statement by saying that "The behaviour of the Maltese government on the long dragging Ta' Cenc issue is, to say the least, irresponsible. The message sent out by the government is that it does not really care about safeguarding Gozo's unique heritage, despite all the hype about Gozo as an eco-island. Ta' Cenc deserves to be scheduled immediately and fully as a Natura 2000 site".


Anonymous said...

Ta' Cenc needs to be declared a Matura 2000 immediately instead of inflicitng more anxiety and waiting for those who really love Ta' Cenc.

Anonymous said...

My question: Someone has seen construction machinery going up the Street leading to Ta' Cenc.
Could something be going on secretly?

Dont call me paranoid. I have been made that way. 'Kull ilma narah mishun'. the reason is that there are so many instances where actions are taken without a permit, then later on the illegality is legalized.

goooooood girl said...

Very fine......

Emily said...

Thank God we have AD on the lookout for us. But we need to be involved in the issues ourselves also. Ta'Cenc is in despetate need of defending.