Din l-Art Helwa is most concerned about the recent decision to allow further development of a catering establishment at Dwejra on Gozo, which is a Natura 2000 site, a Dark Sky Heritage area, and also a Designated Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive.
Following the decision by the Environment and Planning and Review Tribunal (EPRT) to overturn the Planning Authority’s refusal to allow further development on the site, the NGO has raised particular concerns about the likely increase in light pollution in one of the few remaining Dark Sky areas on the Maltese Islands.
Din l-Art Helwa holds the historic, knights-era Dwejra Tower in guardianship in this isolated area of Gozo, and has always respected Dark Sky Heritage parameters being fully aware of the significant impact any form of light pollution, however small, can have on this environmentally sensitive area.
Dwejra Tower recently hosted a public talk in partnership with BirdLife Malta, in order to raise awareness of the issues around the disorientation that lighting can cause to bird life, in sites such as Dwejra, in particular to young and immature Scopoli and Yeloukan Shearwaters, that currently enjoy special protection status.
Din l-Art Helwa deplores this brusque decision taken by the EPRT, which seeks to promote commercial interests over the long term sustainability of Dwejra’s nature and environment which it is supposed to uphold.
The NGO hopes good sense will reverse the situation and is one of a large number of NGOs that have come together in order to fundraise to appeal against the decision.
Details on how to donate to the crowdfunding appeal can be found at Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy -ISSA – University of Malta
and on the recently established public Facebook page ‘Leave Dwejra