Eco-Gozo Public Consultation Launch
In the picturesque and evergreen Wied il-Lunzjata in Gozo, the Minister for Gozo launched a public consultation process regarding the Eco-Gozo strategy.
Stemming from Governments Vision 2015 for the Maltese Islands, the vision aims in transforming the island of Gozo and Gozitan society into a sustainable reality comprising environmental, social and economic issues.
During the launch, Minister Debono presented a brochure which in the coming days would be distributed door-to-door in Gozo as well as a new website www.eco-gozo.gov.mt intended in gaining as much feedback as possible from the general public to help Government define the strategy which needs to be adopted to reach this aim.
Minister Debono said that turning Gozo into an ecological island was one of the main proposals in the Governments electoral programme which listed specific initiatives which have to be undertaken in the coming years in order to achieve this aim. Amongst the projects to be undertaken the programme lists the generation of energy through alternative sources, organic agriculture, promotion of eco-tourism and agro-tourism, management of water and other natural resources, protection of soil erosion, afforestation, research and consultation services in agricultural matters as well as the start of a project which turns a Gozitan village into a model of sustainable development for others to follow.
Minister Debono said that this is a unique opportunity to enhance the island and lead it towards a sustainable future. A number of strategic objectives are being proposed for the eco-Gozo vision whereby all will benefit from:
- a better quality of life
- a society exerting less pressure on the environment
- a wholesome natural and cultural environment
- more sustainable jobs
- a caring society for all
- more quality investment
In the coming months, the Ministry would be expecting feedback from the general public as well as organizations and agencies, however it would be also holding meetings on specific issues with organizations and other Ministries. The Minister for Gozo made reference to skeptics regarding the strategy who said that Eco-Gozo is an excellent idea but which cannot be placed into practice. Minister Debono reminded in a number of projects undertaken in Gozo which few ever dreamt that they could be implemented such as the closure of the Qortin Landfill in Xag'ra, the completion of the sewage treatment plant, the closure of the San Blas sewage outflow and the incinerator at the Gozo General Hospital as well as the introduction of eco-friendly waste management practices including household separation of waste. Education and the elimination of the non chalant attitude of certain individuals are also important factors for the successful realization of this initiative.
Minister Debono appealed to Gozitans, Maltese and foreigners to submit their comments and ideas which are important for the formulation of the strategy which has to be followed in the coming years.