Fridges and plastic chairs dumped at Inwadar National Park site

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta has lamented over the state of the site for the planned Inwadar National Park

The site has often been and still is the target of the dumping of waste and debris - Ramblers' Association
The site has often been and still is the target of the dumping of waste and debris - Ramblers' Association

The Ramblers’ Association of Malta has lamented over the state of the site for the planned Inwadar National Park between Marsaskala and Xgħajra.

The government had announced in 2015 the intention to establish the first national nature park along the coastal and rural area bordering Xgħajra, Żabbar and Marsaskala local councils.

“Although this park is mentioned in the Marsaskala North Local Plan of 2006, it had not yet been implemented, and has often been and still is the target of the dumping of waste and debris,” the association said in a statement.

Pictures taken from a trek held by association on 2 October shows garbage bags filled with rubbish, debris and old appliances discarded of at the site.

The association urged the new management to abolish vandalism in the area and pushed for the site, which is already scheduled as an Area of Ecological imporatance and a Site of Scientific Importance by the Local Plan, and an area of High Landscape Protection by the Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development, to be scheduled also as an Area of Agricultrual Value.

Pictures taken from a trek held by association on 2 October shows garbage bags filled with rubbish, debris and old appliances discarded of at the site
Pictures taken from a trek held by association on 2 October shows garbage bags filled with rubbish, debris and old appliances discarded of at the site

The association expressed disapproval for the plans to commercialise the park and called on the government to do otherwise. “There has always been a concern that managment plans for these sites (and especially those with Natura 2000 designation), could have these most unwelcome outcomes, and one hopes that the government will reassure the public that this will not be the case,” the association said, adding that it believes that no new structures should be built in Inwadar.

The association referred to the American University of Malta (AUM), which will be opening a campus at Żonqor Point, saying that the development is unfit for the area.

“The association does not understand how the projected American University campus, which will be taking up space which was assigned to the park itself by the local plan, is even remotely compatible with the level of protection awarded to this site and with the presence of such important natural heritage,” the statement read. “It is evident that the construction of dormitories and sports facilities on this site will further damage and degrade the environment at this site,” the association added.

The government had at first proposed to build the AUM over a campus stretching across 90,000 square metres of virgin land, but later downscaled the area to 18,000 square metres after being met with protests.

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