Tuesday, 2 November 2010

NGOs shocked permit was issued for filming at Dwejra

NGOs shocked permit was issued for filming at Dwejra

Six environmental NGOs have expressed shocked at Mepa’s green light for the environmental degradation in the Dwejra Natura 2000 site.

In a statement, Nature Trust, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Din L-Art Helwa, Ramblers Association, BirdLife Malta and Friends of the Earth Malta, said they were appalled that filming was being allowed at the Natura 2000 site and tonnes of sand were being deposited over the protected Dwejra rock-face.

“This activity was allowed to happen on a site that is of geological, geomorphological, botanical, ornithological importance and on an area rich in Scutella fossil beds and fossilised burrows which forms part of the core zone, the most important part of the protected area in the Qawra/Dwejra Heritage Park Action Plan, protected by both national and international legislation, and where no cars were allowed to enter or park as per Dwejra Heritage Park Action Plan.”

The organisations said that recent weather conditions caused the material to end up in the sea – into an area declared as a marine protected area and also a Natura 2000 site.

Mepa, they said, was duty bound to protect this site and not allow such irresponsible activities to occur.

The NGOs asked why permits were issued for this activity and why Mepa did not immediately halt the damage and take legal action against the film producers.

They asked why was a monitor not posted on site continuously.

They called on Mepa to ensure that the area was restored to its original state as soon as possible.

“What happened at this site is shocking and whoever was responsible for this activity or for a permit to be issued, should now be held accountable for any damage,” they insisted.


maquilina(12 hours, 50 minutes ago)
Yes it is indeed shocking and good of the NGO's for drawing attention but pointing towards MEPA in this case is indeed questionable. Mepa never approved to dumping of the sand at Dwejra however if it had to be, Mepa instructed the filming company black on white that they were to install an IMPERMEABLE LAYER underneath the sand, something that the filming company did not. On this premise, should these instructions had been followed we would not be in this position but alas the film company decided to do whatever they wanted resulting with this fracas. Mepa is indeed there to protect the environment however in this case it seems that it is used as a scapegoat. One does not blame the NGO's neither the various readers. it was the Film company and whoever put Mepa underpressure to bow to the crazy idea of making rocky dwejra a 'sandy beach' that are to blame in this case. Indeed most of the officials at Mepa are very angry at the fracas caused by the film making company at Mepa's cost.
Joseph Caruana(13 hours, 6 minutes ago)
Isthu tghidu li jimpurtakhom mill-ambjent! Is-salvagwardia li qeda tigi mghotija il-ambjent Malti hija wahda li ma turiex rispett il wirt Naturali ta din l-art.
martin saliba(13 hours, 11 minutes ago)
This is outragous !! How dare they leave thousands of Euros behind after they cover the rocks with netting so that they can leave the place as they found it when they are finished !! Extemeism is never good .
Kieron O'connor(13 hours, 34 minutes ago)
Perhaps its already been done but i suggest someone apply common sense rapidly to the clean up. i.e. remove the trucks and machinery from the area immediately and deploy men with wheel barrows, brushes and shovels at the film companies expense ofcourse. A serious investigation should be carried out into the permit issueing procedure and the competency of the person who issued the permit. A competent professional would not have issued a permit to allow trucks and machinery drive over the area.
Darren Cassar(14 hours, 23 minutes ago)
This is frightening.Whit such acts I think the purpose of EU is to prevent Malta becoming a military led regime.
John F Borg(14 hours, 41 minutes ago)
disgrace!! I hope the sand was not 'borrowed' from some beach!!
lesley kreupl(14 hours, 16 minutes ago)
It looked like ordinary building sand and was probably imported as ballast. I wouldn't be surprised if it contains lots of pollutants and other alien substances.
m.farrugia(14 hours, 54 minutes ago)
All those who were involed in the issuing of the permit/permits for such acts to take place from the chairman to the least one responsible should be asked to resign immediately and kept responsible for all the damges incurred. All environment NGOs MUST stand together and also right to the EU Commissioner and ask for an inquiry to be held. This is not a political issue but a national issue.
Alexander Pace Gouder.(15 hours, 10 minutes ago)
All we can say "D I S A S T E R " Q E R D A B I S S . - Alexander Pace Gouder. PRO BALLUTA RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (Registered NGO) - We join all other NGOs to condem this act.
Joe Morana(15 hours, 11 minutes ago)
Outrageous!! Eco- Gozo & MEPA reform my foot!!! Tell it to the marines
George Vella(15 hours, 21 minutes ago)
I do not know why all this fuss its being made NOW. I have sent the underneath letter with the photo of the sand being dumped by 10 wheeler trucks just before the filming started. I also called the San lawrenz local council about it and they assured me that all permits where in place. Now we know. I am not sure if any of you has seen this today, but as you can see from the attached photos, it seems to me that the law of " MIGHT is RIGHT " here in Gozo, still persists. How else can anyone explain how these people were allowed to bring in ten wheel trucks and JCBs in preparation for the filming at Dwejra. SOME years ago we were told that no one of our light trucks or cars are allowed to go there because of the damage we were causing to the fossils embedded in the rocks. Are not these trucks causing damage to the fossils now? Who gave these people permission to do this? Is because these people are paying some money for this one off thing?
lesley kreupl(14 hours, 20 minutes ago)
Perhaps someone thought it better to ignore your letter until the filming had been completed and the money in the bank?
l fenech(15 hours, 40 minutes ago)
Cappcpu idejkom MEPA ghal-hsara li qed tghamlu dwar Malta u Ghawdex. Biex jidhlu il-flus
f'buthom qed jghamlu hsara lil-Maltin u l'Ghawdxin.
patrick zammit(15 hours, 49 minutes ago)
When you reform MEPA and declare Gozo as "Eco Gozo", everything is possible, together that is.
c. camilleri (16 hours, 24 minutes ago)
@ Paul Sammut Do you think so? Don't be so sure. History has proved otherwise.
Doris Sarlo(16 hours, 52 minutes ago)
Disgusting and shameful! Someone must be held responsabile!
Muscat Pat(17 hours, 18 minutes ago)
MEPA "environment protection agency"? How many "hanfusi" has MEPA killed with one just stoke? What a waste of resources and money for the adverts depicting MEPA as a protector of the environment! Ngherqu fil-valuri!
Astrid Vella(17 hours, 58 minutes ago)

The tonnes of sand were deposited by massive trucks and spread by bulldozers - and this in an area where cars are not allowed to enter due to the sensitive, fossil-laden rock surface. One dreads to picture the damage caused by the combination of bulldozers scraping the rocks and sand choking every nook and cranny, plant and animal.

And this with MEPA permission? One despairs.
Fenech MD(18 hours, 1 minute ago)
Possibbli li dhalna fl-ewropa u dawn il hnizrijiet ghadhom isiru? Anzi jsiru qisu xejn m hu xejn?
Il PM ma jghid xejn? Kuntent b li qed isir?
U l-Ghawdxin kuntenti? Hadd ma jitniffes u jipprotesta?
Il-Knisja m ghadiex titkellem dwar l ambjent?
Imma possibbli li f dal pajjiz sirna daqshekk passivi.
T Camilleri(16 hours, 49 minutes ago)
Fenech MD Il-PM qal li ghamel riforma fil-MEPA. Bhas-soltu dahq fil-wicc.
S. Camilleri(18 hours, 3 minutes ago)
Is THIS the new MEPA??? Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire. These people are nuts, stupid, incompetent and all the words my thesaurus could come up with all rolled into one. Let companies film at Dwejra but defacing the natural environment should never be an option especially when reverting the location to its natural state will be a very difficult endeveour.
Vince DeBono(18 hours, 4 minutes ago)
When I went there a few times these last weeks, I noticed that the film people had first placed green membrane over the rock, and THEN placed the sand over this carpet. I do have reservations about the SIZE of machinery utilised - something that might increase efficiency for the operator, but which I feel ought to have been limited to smaller plant by whoever granted the permit.
Incidentally, why was not such a press release issued earlier !
joh muscat(18 hours, 10 minutes ago)
Anything goes under our PM's strong ARMS. No wonder Malta is falling to pieces.NGOs keep on shocking yourselves!!!Nobody takes any notice!!
John Frendo(16 hours, 47 minutes ago)
joh muscat flimkien kollox possibbli.
J Farrugia(18 hours, 16 minutes ago)
MEPA please explain your (in)action in this regard. MEPA ought to be ashamed of its employees and directors. Shame on them all and a plague on all your house.
c. camilleri (18 hours, 18 minutes ago)
No NGO condemned the ruin of Wied Blandun by the disposal of grit waste during labour times.
And now they are finding the needle in a haystack. BY your writing in other papers you (especially the Ramblers) have lost all credibility. We all know your agenda.
Paul Sammut(16 hours, 45 minutes ago)
c. camilleri we also know your agenda. Defend the indefensible Gonzi whatever it takes, but you can rest assured that whatever you and the other apologists say or do you shall not succeed.
Franco Farrugia(16 hours, 30 minutes ago)
We do not know the political agenda of the NGOs. But we know yours.
Silv.Cutajar(15 hours, 56 minutes ago)

MEPA has definitely not been a positive asset to this country since its inception. It is only ruining this country. Environment Protection is certainly not part of its mission statement. MEPA is certainly the worse organisation your GonziPN maladministration could possibly create from the former EPD and the PA after the so called merger since 2003.
c galea(14 hours, 59 minutes ago)
You certainly do not know what you are saying .Have you visited the sit.or perhaps you couldn`t notice it due to your blue eyed eyes
Jonas Thor(18 hours, 19 minutes ago)
The NGOs can scream loud but will only receive silence from MEPA as usual. MEPA does not make mistakes and will not reply. Remember, MEPA is being overlooked directly by the PM's office. Why was this disaster just now discovered and nothing mentioned by local citizens who are there everyday?
This is nothing but a major man made Eco-Disaster and should be reported immediately to the appropriate EU authorities.
lesley kreupl(14 hours, 26 minutes ago)
@ Mr. Thor. A lot of us locals who used to care so much about Dwejra no longer go there anymore because it is in such a mess. The toilets are disgusting, the road is appalling and the parking lot poisonous. Our many complaints go unheeded, so why bother?
Philip Sultana(18 hours, 19 minutes ago)
In my view, the Dwejra environment was already spoilt by the stone quarry hacked into the hillside; an eyesore visible from the approach road. Further environmental degredagtion will have little impact. Gozo too is slowly but surely losing it's many natural attractions!
D Buttigieg(18 hours, 25 minutes ago)
Imbaghad ghax bniedem jiftah tieqa, jaqbzu fuqu - fejnhi l-MEPA ????
Alan Saliba(18 hours, 31 minutes ago)

Shocking permet like the clergy activity ---what an Eco Gozo ha ha ha .
J Brownie(18 hours, 34 minutes ago)
SHAMEFUL 1 milllion times - where have all the pledges for a better protection of the enviornment gone ?
S. Mugliett(18 hours, 49 minutes ago)
Robert Caruana(18 hours, 52 minutes ago)
No reason for the NGOs to be shocked. By now they have been around long enough to know that in this fair land of ours anything goes as long as some money is to be made.
ROBERT MICALLEF(18 hours, 53 minutes ago)
the same camp structures were yesterday at Mtahleb hill down at the very bottom, just follow the "loc" signs
Joe Camilleri(18 hours, 59 minutes ago)
Who do these NGOs think they are. Do they own the contry ????
A Natura2000 site does not mean that it belongs to these 6 NGOs.

We are fed up of your always NO NO NO.
R Spiteri(19 hours, 3 minutes ago)
I just LOVE Malta!
News here is the most entertaining event of the day.

The azzure window was nominated to be one of the new wonders of the world... and MEPA decide it should mentioned in history as the organization who issued the permit to destroy it.

Can it get any more entertaining than that?? Don't think so!

Mario Ciantar(19 hours, 13 minutes ago)
This country must have gone crazy!!!!!!!!
Franco Farrugia(19 hours, 16 minutes ago)
We are doing EVERYTHING for money. We have turned the country into a prostitute! Especially the natural environment!
Joe Vella(14 hours, 28 minutes ago)
Malta Was turned into a Prostitute in the Seventies and the Eighties when our leaders went begging overseas because they were incapable of creating employment thus wealth. Franco, before one comments should distinguish the diference between foreign investments and Foreign States Loans/donations.

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