Friends of the Earth urges public to support Kalanka Bay’s public domain status

Environmental NGO Friends of the Earth has urged the public to 'save the untouched Kalanka Bay', which is up for public consultation to be designated as public domain

Being listed as public domain would mean that Kalanka cannot be used for commercial reasons while also guaranteeing unrestricted access to the public
Being listed as public domain would mean that Kalanka cannot be used for commercial reasons while also guaranteeing unrestricted access to the public

Environmental NGO Friends of the Earth has urged the public to “save the untouched Kalanka Bay”, which together with 23 other sites, has been published by the Planning Authority for public consultation until 11 August to be designated as public domain.

Being listed as public domain would mean that Kalanka cannot be used for commercial reasons while also guaranteeing unrestricted access to the public.

Minister for Planning and Development Ian Borg told parliament earlier this month that 16 submissions had been filed by Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, seven by Friends of the Earth and one by the ministry for the environment.

Following the public consultation, the Planning Authority will analayse the 24 applications before forwarding its recommendations to parliament, which would make the final decision on which submissions to approve.

In a statement issued this morning, Friends of the Earth said that by signing the representation letter on their website, the Planning Authority would have the Kalanka area included in the list of sites to be voted on as public domain sites.

“One of the most important aspects of this law is that it imposes a burden on the state to protect public domain sites for future generations, safeguarding them from environmental destruction,” the eNGO said.

Last Tuesday, parliamentary secretary for planning Chris Agius said that land which is private and falls within any of the proposed 24 sites being proposed as public domain will retain its private title.

Land owners with private rights and titles on land within the indicated boundaries are encouraged to come forward with official documentation to ensure that the status of each site is correctly recorded.

“Private property rights are not affected by the law, but owners may have to prove and clarify land ownership,” Friends of the Earth continued. "This should hopefully clarify false claims of ownership and situations where public land was blocked abusively."

“Unlike public land, areas designated as public domain will not be freely negotiable by government. Many laws address heritage and preservation but this is the first time where the nature of the property is recognised by the civil law itself.”

Friends of the Earth Malta encouraged citizens to send submissions to the Planning Authority, outlining the benefits of having the site listed as public domain.

“As a necessary component of a good life, we believe that experiencing nature should be considered a fundamental right for everyone, regardless of our backgrounds. When nature thrives, we thrive.”

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