Nature Trust (Malta) would like to voice its strong concern over news that BP plans to start off shore drilling off the coast of Libya.
Off shore drilling has lately been the cause of a major ecological disaster in the world. The disaster happened in the Atlantic Ocean where tons of oil polluted the marine environment damaging not only marine biodiversity and eco systems for thousands of kilometers around the disaster site but also affected coast ecology and the economy of various states.
NTM feels that Off Shore drilling in the Mediterranean can pose a higher risk when one considers that the Mediterranean sea is a small close sea. A similar disaster to the recent BP incident would spell out catastrophic to the Mediterranean region. Marine ecology would be irreversibly damaged while Mediterranean countries would simply encounter major economic difficulties.
With Malta being so close to the drilling area, the NGO feels that the total Maltese economy would simply collapse if an accident were to happen. The fishing industry would be seriously effected. The natural and ecological richness would be negatively effected for many years.
Nature Trust Malta calls on the Maltese Authorities and the EU and EU member states in the Mediterranean region to react to this risk in our back yards and urge the European Union to take immediate action to halt such oil drilling projects in the Mediterranean. Furthermore NTM hopes that the EU through the Mediterranean Union would step up its efforts and take a stronger stand on off shore drilling.
Our planet cannot take more human made disasters. Furthermore in this specific case the risks for Malta and neighbouring countries are even higher. Malta has so far been luck when one considers the thousands of oil tankers that pass in the Sicily channel each year. We simply cannot afford to increase our risk factors when our biodiversity and economy are so fragile and at stake.
For more info please contact:
Nature Trust (Malta)
P.O. Box 9, Valletta VLT1000
Tel +356 2131 3150 Fax +356 2132 0778