Six NGOs are pursuing further legal action with the aim of contesting the deal signed between the Lands Authority and the hunter’s federation FKNK on the controversial concession given on land at l-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa and il-Miżieb.
NGOs and individuals contesting the deal intend to appeal a ruling by the Tribunal for Administrative Review as they were denied legal standing in the case.
The NGOs contesting the concession are Ramblers’ Association, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Din l-Art Ħelwa and Birdlife Malta.
The Tribunal decided that the parties contesting the deal did not qualify as ‘aggrieved persons’ because they were not ‘notified of the decision’ by the Lands Authority. The Tribunal then decided it was not the right forum to hear the case, the NGOs said in a statement.
Activists and citizens are concerned that this preliminary decision would effectively mean that no third parties can contest a decision by the Lands Authority before the Tribunal for Administrative Review.
The NGOs announced they will be appealing this preliminary decision in the Court of Appeal.
The agreement between the government and the hunting federation over the concession of two woodland areas has left NGOs and the public angry. Last October, activists gathered at Castille Square, in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Valletta, to voice their opposition to the agreement the government signed granting large swathes of areas in the countryside to hunters and trappers, calling it “a selfish act“.