The National Commission for Sustainable Development (NCSD) is the institutional catalyst responsible under the Environmental Protection Act (Act XX of 2001, Cap 435) for promoting sustainable development and drafting the National Strategy for Sustainable Development. Through its composition the NCSD has links to the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development and the various players in the social and economic fields. MEPA is represented on the Commission and has taken an active role in supporting its work.
NCSD STRUCTURE: The Commission is chaired by the Prime Minister or the Minister in his absence, and is composed of:
(a) all Ministers ex officio or their representatives;
(b) two members of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the Prime Minister and the other by the Leader of the Opposition;
(c) a representative of the (Malta Environment and Planning) Authority;
(d) the Chairman of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development ex officio;
(e) Representatives of such public entities as in the opinion of the Prime Minister are relevant to the functions of the Commission;
(f) a representative of the association of local councils;
(g) representatives of organizations which represent or have an interest in business, industry and/or industrial relations, scientific and academic bodies, the media, and other non-governmental organizations, which in the opinion of the Prime Minister are relevant to the functions of the Commission.
NCSD FUNCTIONS: The Commission has the following functions:
(a) to advocate sustainable development across all sectors of Malta, review progress in the achievement of such sustainable development and to build consensus on action needed to achieve further progress;
(b) to identify any relevant process or policy which may be undermining sustainable development and propose alternative processes or policies to the Government for adoption;
(c) to identify trends which may significantly give rise to unsustainable development and which will not be reversed on the basis of current or planned action, and recommend action to reverse such trends;
(d) to increase awareness of the need that development must be sustainable;
e) to encourage and stimulate good practice in the use and management of natural resources, in particular their minimal use and maximum reuse by recycling in an environmentally sustainable manner;
(f) to prepare a National Strategy for Sustainable Development; and
g) to carry out such other functions in relation to sustainable development as may be assigned to it by the Prime Minister.
One of the principal tasks of the National Commission for Sustainable Development is to prepare a National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD). The process of drafting the Strategy started in December 2002.
The NSSD was launched for public consultation during a National Conference in April 2004, through which a broad range of perspectives on sustainable development were solicited. These views were woven together to update the draft NSSD and identify priorities, and a second draft was published in July 2004. A third draft of the Strategy was drawn up following a second National Conference, held in April 2006, and subsequent to further revisions, the Commission adopted the NSSD in December 2006 and submitted it to the Government for endorsement. Strategic directions were reviewed and the Strategy was endorsed by Cabinet in December 2007. The Strategy is currently being reviewed to be brought in line with new sustainable development directions as featured during the 2009 budget speech and as expressed in the Government’s mandate entitled Vision 2015.
The Malta statement at the World Summit on Sustainable Development at Johannesburg identifies the existing priority areas for sustainable development, on which ongoing projects are focused: protecting marine and coastal areas of Northwest Malta, implementing the solid waste management strategy, the regeneration of Valletta and the development of a sustainable transport system.