Dwejra ‘will be restored’
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Dwejra ‘will be restored’

Video: Paul Spiteri Lucas

Dwejra would be fully rehabilitated, the planning authority’s environment director Martin Seychell promised yesterday.

His comments come after he visited the site yesterday with Mario de Marco, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, the Environment and Culture.

In an interview with The Times (see pages 6 and 7), Mr Seychell says that while a final assessment has still to be made, his experts assured him the sand used by a film production company only covered the “buffer area” of the Natura 2000 protected site, as stipulated by conditions imposed by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

He describes the area as “bare rock” and claims no vegetation or endemic species were harmed by the process.

Asked if there was anything he would do differently next time a similar application is filed, he says: “There is no intention of turning Dwejra or any other site into a no-go zone.”

He believes the conditions imposed by Mepa on the filmmakers were “sufficient” though they can “always be improved”. However, he insists, the environment should not take on an “anti-economy” attitude. “If the economy does well, the environment usually does better,” he adds.

Mr Seychell’s former colleague, Alfred E. Baldacchino, said judging by photos he saw of the site, it was a bigger “disaster” than he had expected to see, adding the whole ecosystem had been eliminated.

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