Clean air, quality neighbourhoods, flourishing seas amongst environmental goals for next 30 years

A public consultation on the National Strategy for the Environment until 2050 has been launched

Clean air, quality neighbourhoods and the protection of marine and groundwater resources were outlined as strategic goals for the national strategy for the environment in the next 30 years.

On Wednesday the Environment Ministry and the Environment and Resources Authority published the draft document for the National Strategy for the Environment till 2050.

The first strategic goal outlined is clean air, with the aim being to maintain air pollutant levels within the air quality target levels. The plan is for this to be achieved through the diversification of safe and accessible modes of transport, reducing the use of private cars and scaling back the need for travel.

Another goal is to have quality environment in Malta’s neighbourhoods; where air, noise and light pollution in towns and villages will be reduced. The aim is to also improve waste management and ensure ecosystem services provided by urban greening.

The third goal is to achieve a thriving biodiversity both in urban and rural areas, by improving the conservation status of key habitats and species.

A move towards zero waste to the country’s landfills could be achieved by reducing waste generation and by increasing the proportion of waste for reuse and recycling.

The fifth goal identified is to safeguard the land resources in order to increase the resilience to climate change. This could be achieved by a sustainable management of water resources, agricultural land and the landscape.

Marine waters which are ecologically diverse, healthy and capable of supporting sustainable growth will be prioritised. This will be also aimed at sustaining the blue economy and safeguard important economic sectors like diving.

The seventh goal is to preserve groundwater and inland water resources, ensuring they have a good chemical and ecological status.

The last goal is to enable the green transition and provide for a behavioural and cultural change. This will be achieved through education, public awareness and green upskilling in the workforce.

Environment Minister Miriam Dalli
Environment Minister Miriam Dalli

Environment Minister Miriam Dalli encouraged everyone to participate in the public consultation in order to reach national consensus. She said that short term planning was no longer a viable option and that policies on how to attract investment whilst maintaining a sustainable environment were required.

"This is a strategy for a nation, where we will work together to tackle environmental challenges today. No measure, project or entity alone could solve them so we must all contribute.”

She emphasised on the importance of a platform for green jobs, in order to develop the skills of the workforce that would help in the transition towards a greener economy.

ERA invited the public to participate in this consultation process by sending feedback by email on [email protected], until the 21 October 2022.