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Rationale

We, representatives of the Local Communities in our respective localities in the Grand Harbour region,

  • convinced that our Green and Blue Open Spaces & Cultural Landscapes are critically important resources of the communities we represent, and

  • aware that the natural and historical resources of the region deeply impact the social, mental, physical and economic well-being of our communities, and

  • committed to honour our responsibility to give our children and our children’s children a better quality of life, and

  • committed to work hand-in-hand, together with willing partners, to plan holistically and collectively to protect & share the cultural landscapes of  the Grand Harbour region, and
  • committed to promote the Grand Harbour region as a recreational & eco-heritage area and as a discerning touristic destination of local, national & European value, and to create a regional eco-heritage trail across various localities,

through this Charter, embrace and promote the following principles, and with one voice call upon & invite authorities, planners, stakeholders, decision-makers, and NGOs at every level to endorse these principles.

 
 

Green and Blue Open Spaces

Green and Blue Open Spaces in the Grand Harbour region are a precious and limited resource fundamental for the community's and nation's well-being.  Notable green and open spaces in this region include the woodlands along the Cottonera Fortifications, especially those between the Cottonera and Margherita lines. 

Green and Blue Open Spaces offer multiple benefits to our health, environment, and economy.  Blue spaces are essential for our mental, physical and social well-being.  Green spaces also play a critical role in environmental sustainability, particularly in a high-density urban environment. 

Green and Blue Open Spaces additionally form part of our natural and historical heritage, as well as part of our national memory.  They may attract local and international visitors, with great potential economic benefits. 

It is also acknowledged that present and future generations have an inalienable right to access and enjoy the region’s Green and Blue Open Spaces. 

In view of the above, it is crucially important to protect and sustainably manage Green and Blue Open Spaces in the Grand Harbour region, for the benefit of present and future generations.

Towards this end, the Signatories below pledge to work together with the appropriate partners, so as to safeguard and enhance this region’s Green and Blue Open Spaces.  Particularly, we aim to:

  • Undertake a stock-taking and situation analysis of Green and Blue Open Spaces in our localities with a view to identify how they can be better preserved and become more sustainable.

 

green
  • Develop a better understanding of the ecosystems present in these areas, their contribution to biodiversity, the threats they face, and opportunities they present for more sustainable management in the future.

  • Manage the woodlands around the Cottonera Fortifications in a sustainable manner so as to conserve these woodlands as a major green lung and place of quiet of the South for the benefit of the local communities and visiting tourists.

  • Create a regional eco-heritage trail through the various localities. This eco-heritage trail will showcase the historical, cultural & touristic context of the fortifications while protecting green areas.  This would be undertaken with the active involvement of the local heritage & historical societies.

  • Uphold the public’s right to safely access and enjoy Green and Blue Open Spaces.
  • Embark on a programme of Communication, Education and Public Awareness on Green and Blue Open Spaces, addressed also to young generations to ensure there is a legacy to our endeavour.
 

Coastal Areas

The waterfronts and shorelines of the Grand Harbour region are another unique national resource which is currently severely underutilised and degraded.  While appreciating the need to locate certain industry and commerce along this coastal zone, the Signatories acknowledge that the public’s right to safely access and enjoy this unique interface between land and sea must continue to be upheld and legally defined.  Indeed, it is deemed that such access would increase commercial and economic activity in this area.

costal areas

Towards this end, the Signatories will strive to share and safeguard the waterfronts and shorelines of the Grand Harbour region, for the enjoyment of the public as their inalienable right. More specifically, we pledge to:

  • Safeguard the waterfronts and shorelines of the Grand Harbour region from further encroachment by incompatible and incongruous development

  • Champion the public’s inalienable rights of safe access and enjoyment of the waterfronts and shorelines of the Grand Harbour region, and to continue to reclaim these rights wherever they have been encroached upon in the past.
  • Create a Green and Blue walk along the coast starting from Marsa Power Station site to the Three Cities.  This would comprise the opening & cleaning up of this coastline for public enjoyment, the restoration of historic buildings along this route, and the creation of a new green corridor along this coastal route, while protecting biodiversity in this important marine habitat.

Trees

All trees in our localities, regardless of their age or the protection status of their species, form part of the cultural landscape and ecosystems of our localities and of our collective memories.  Trees also have recreational, environmental, cultural, aesthetic and health values for our communities. 

In view of this, the Signatories will strive to:

  • Ensure that no damage, transplanting, cutting or uprooting of any such trees takes place without the prior consultation of tree professionals.
  • Rehabilitate degraded green areas and create new green areas amidst the urban, industrial & commercial areas of this region. Rehabilitation and conservation of the region’s green areas will be undertaken in an ecologically and sustainably sound manner.    
  • Increase indigenous biodiversity in this region’s Green and Blue Spaces.
Trees
  • Adopt sustainable irrigation methods for the region’s green areas.
  • Ensure that public underground reservoirs and wells be maintained and rainwater harvested so as to be utilised for irrigating public gardens and green areas.
 
 

Soil, Agricultural Land & Valleys

Soil is a carbon sink which needs to be preserved so as to help limit carbon emissions which contribute to climate change. Soil and agricultural land also hold significant economic value for family-based farmers of local produce.

The Signatories acknowledge the value of unsealed soil and of agricultural land. We also recognise the importance of protecting and preserving the remaining open spaces within our valleys, given their intrinsic value as geological, hydrological and ecological units. 

soil
  • Stop/prevent the onslaught of soil sealing through more buildings in green and agricultural areas.
  • Reverse such soil sealing interventions undertaken in the past, where possible and appropriate.
  • Ensure that the restoration of valleys, such as Wied Blandun, is undertaken with a holistic approach with minimum intervention which respects not only its historical and agricultural heritage but also its scientific, ecological and recreational value.
 
 

Built Heritage

Green and Blue Open Spaces in the harbour region are inseparable from the fabric of the built heritage in the region, the most conspicuous component of which is the fortifications.  The holistic and integrated conservation and management of the historic urban landscape is inseparable from the sustainable management and enjoyment of Green and Blue Open Spaces, and their natural as well as cultural heritage values. Furthermore, the patina of historic buildings is an integral component of their aesthetic and documentary value, and of the cultural landscape of our localities, and should be preserved.

The Signatories undertake to holistically cooperate to safeguard the historic urban landscape, including the fortifications and green spaces around them.  More specifically, we pledge to:

  • Promote appropriate practices in the conservation and management of the historic urban landscape, which conform to the principles of the Vienna Memorandum on “World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture - Managing the Historic Urban Landscape”.
  • Raise awareness among the stakeholders involved to ensure that all conservation projects undertaken in our localities respect and retain the patina of the buildings, through method statements and other practical measures to ensure that overcleaning is avoided.

Heritage
  • Install appropriate lighting that enhances the legibility of the built heritage while preventing further light pollution in the area.
 
 

Genuine Public Participation

The success of any local endeavour depends on the active participation and acceptance by the local community. Therefore any project intervention must be owned by the Local Communities, who are given ample opportunity and the appropriate tools, such as community mapping, to contribute to the plan. Local Community concerns are to be assimilated throughout the whole planning process, through extensive social dialogue and through genuine consultation.

Participation

 

Therefore, the Signatories pledge to work together towards a better green and blue environment and actively contribute to the whole process of safeguarding and enhancing the region’s cultural landscapes, particularly the Green and Blue Open Spaces. 

 

Download your copy of the Charter here

The Charter was officially launched on September 17th 2014
and was signed by:

    1. Cospicua Local Council, Alison Zerafa (Mayor)
    2. Cospicua Heritage Society, Edwin Delceppo (President)
    3. Cospicua Heritage Society, Miriam Fiorini (Secretary)
    4. Cottonera Rehabilitation Committee, Joseph Azzopardi (Secretary)
    5. Friends of Cottonera Forum, Caroline Said Lawrence (Coordinator)
    6. Ġenista Research Foundation, Mark Causon (Director)
    7. Integrated Resources Management (IRMCo), Anna Spiteri (Director)
    8. Kalkara Local Council, Christopher Bruno (Deputy Mayor)
    9. Marsa Local Council, Francis Debono (Mayor)
    10. Noise Abatement Society of Malta, John Fenech (President)
    11. Senglea Historical Society, Joseph Abela (President)
    12. Senglea Local Council, Justin John Camilleri (Mayor)
    13. Senglea resident, Lorenzo de Ninno
    14. Valletta 2018, Glen Farruġia (Head V18 Secretariat of University of Malta)
    15. Valletta resident, Reuben Grima
    16. Vittoriosa Local Council, Lawrence Attard (Councillor)
    17. Żabbar Local Council, Mark Grech (Councillor)

    Would you like to endorse the Charter as well?

 
Sign here

 


This online version of the Charter was created on February 19th 2015
and has since been signed by:

18. Zebbuġ resident, Iris Aquilina
19. Senglea resident, Giorgio Cerruti
20. Stocksfield (UK) resident, Vincent Ward
21. Cospicua resident, Natalie Boehm
22. Senglea resident, Heather Scott
23. Cospicua resident, Daniel Mercieca
24. Vittoriosa resident, Justine Lubnow
25. Vittoriosa resident, Nikolaj Lubnow
26. Kalkara resident, Luke Scicluna
27. Vittoriosa resident, Josephine Baron
28. Marsaskala resident, Arthur Taliana
29. Senglea resident, Rita Stafrace
30. Senglea resident, Gerald Duke
31. Attard resident, Paul Pace
32. Kalkara resident, Gabi Mizzi
33. Santa Luċija resident, Catherine Polidano
34. Senglea resident, Isabelle Lehmann
35. Xghajra resident, Thomas Briffa
36. Valletta resident, Marica Grima
37. Fgura resident, Catherine Bunce
38. Ta' l-Ibrag resident, Anne McKenna
39. Kalkara resident, Carmel Cacopardo
40. Attard resident, Carmel Borg (University of Malta)
41. Flimkien għall Ambjent Aħjar, Astrid Vella (Coordinator)
42. Marsascala resident, John Paul Cauchi (Environmental Health Doctor)
43. Senglea Historical Society, John Portelli (Secretary)
44. Qrendi resident, Marlene Farrugia (Member of Parliament)
45. Floriana Local Council, Nigel Holland (Mayor)
46. Vittoriosa resident, Ritianne Stanyer
47. Vittoriosa resident, Lisa Grech (The Definitive(ly) Good Guide Co)
48. Vittoriosa resident Lisa Baden
49. Vittoriosa resident, Aldo Gatt
50. Senglea resident, Rosmarie Tschudin-Schulte
51. Tarxien resident, Jean Paul Bajada

52. Mosta resident, George Cassar (University of Malta)
53. Msida resident. Jorg Sicot
54. Senglea resident, Joseph Duca
55. Marsascala resident, Godfrey Baldacchino (University of Malta)
56. Naxxar resident, James Gabarretta
57. Fgura resident, Alastair Farrugia
58. Cospicua resident, Joyce Muscat (Cottonera Utd., Nursery)
59. Luqa resident, Mario Cassar (Academy 147 Ltd)
60. Gharghur resident, Kathleen Borg Olivier
61. Birkirkara resident, Maria Sinagra
62. Qrendi resident, Karl Agius
63. Santa Venera resident, Lillian Frendo
64. Santa Venera resident, Anthony Frendo (University of Malta)
65. Iklin resident, Stephen Grixti (MCST, Bighi)
66. Marsaskala Local Council, Charlot Cassar (Councillor)
67. Senglea resident, Isabel Warrington (Artist)
68. Senglea resident, Michael Salone (CEO, 3-6TY LLC)
69. Senglea resident, Eric Tenin (CEO, Inspirapps)
70. Naxxar resident, Justin Borg Barker
71. Birkirkara resident, Loraine Zammit (Bank Manager, HSBC)
72. Senglea resident, Giovanni Navarro
73. St. Julians resident, Loraine Rizzo
74. St. Julians resident, Gillian Grech
75. Vittoriosa resident, Bertille Lungaro-Mifsud (Frank Salt Real Estate Ltd)
76. Senglea resident, Cecile Pierquin
77. Senglea resident, Henry Hall
78. Senglea resident, Wayne Hall
79. Senglea resident, Ian Hall
80. Paola resident, Arnold Sciberras (Nature Trust Malta)
81. Balzan resident, Matthew Randon (Green Generation Ltd)
82. Hal Safi resident, Lawrence Agius (St Jeanne Antide Foundation)
83. Zabbar resident, Malcolm Schembri
84. Santa Venera resident, Mario Aloisio (University of Malta)
85. Cospicua resident, Anthony Valletta
86. Senglea resident, Sophie De Ketelaere
87. Pieta resident, John Spiteri
88. San Gwann resident, Tania Spiteri
89. Marsascala resident, Marylene Borg
90. Tarxien resident, Yana Mintoff (Forum Kommunita Bormliza and MFSS)
91. Bidnija resident, Rita Vella
92. Burmarrad resident, Paul Gatt
93. St Julians resident, Anthony Burgess
94. Valletta resident, Clotilde Mifsud
95. Qormi resident, Luca Bugelli (APS Bank, JCI Malta)
96. Fleur-de-Lys resident, Robert Xuereb Archer