Walking trails and picnicking sites will continue to be upgraded and rehabilitated in both existing public open spaces and urban areas.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia during a consultative meeting on a walking trail in Mosta.
“A public consultation on a discussion paper by the Planning Authority (PA) is currently underway, but we are going a step further by meeting with stakeholders, on-site, to better understand the concerns of people who make use of different recreational areas,” the Minister said.
Following meetings with NGOs such as the Ramblers Association, Touring Club Malta, Association of Maltese Campers and Outdoor Activists, among others, the Minister said that this exercise is being undertaken in order to establish better dialogue and ensure that feedback, innovative ideas, recommendations, views, opinions, suggestions, or proposals are considered in policymaking.
Beyond this, the robust public consultation has close to 200 entries so far, from various associations clubs and communities such as campers, farmers, hunters, and various outdoor activities associations, as well as architects and local government representatives, and individuals. The Minister explained that these meetings will go beyond the deadline for the public consultation for the PA’s discussion paper on camping, caravans, picnicking, and hiking.
“We are looking forward to studying these ideas and taking appropriate action. In the meantime we are carrying out this exercise on the ground: meeting with families and various organisations in order to listen to their recommendations on new recreational areas in the country, and on improving existing ones,” the Minister said.
“Recreational areas are what makes communities liveable,” the Minister reiterated. “They provide a better environment and contribute to a better quality of life, which is why the government has embarked to create greener communities that foster a greater sense of public pride and cohesion. Furthermore, we need to regulate certain activities. We need to be more intelligent in our planning according to our local plans and, above all, according to what the people need and expect,” he said.