Maltese society is facing a number of problems caused by economic progress leading to building projects going up everywhere seemingly without control, more and more foreign workers living in our country and increasing pressure on our natural resources.

These factors are having a great impact on the environment around us. I do not think I am wrong in saying that the shabbiness of our country, resulting from the indiscriminate dumping of rubbish and littering in the streets, the air polluted by traffic exhaust and the noise pollution is contributing to the destruction of the environment.

Let us not think that this is some new phenomenon! Each Government in succession has always found it hard to address environmental issues effectively. However, the issues associated with the environment have now accumulated to an alarming level.

The environment encompasses everything around us. We all experience it in the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the space we live in, the noise that deafens us, the state of the sea that surrounds us and the species, nature and biodiversity that co-exists with us.

Sustainable economic development entails that we find a balance between economic resources and the environment. Let us not forget that economic growth on its own without environmental sustainability and social progress cannot be called progress.

For progress to be tangible, the economy needs to help people in society better their quality of life without taking away from what is dear to the people.

Ongoing studies on what is worrying Maltese citizens highlight the public’s anger, frustration and concerns regarding the environment. The latest study carried out by the MaltaToday newspaper clearly showed that people are seriously worried that the environment is being neglected and the situation is going from bad to worse.