EMPLOYEE FACT FILE:
NAME | Joseph Cassar
DESIGNATION | Environment Protection Officer within the EPD section at the Gozo Unit
MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES | Processing of applications/clearances, environmental monitoring/enforcement
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND | Bachelor of Planning, Master of Arts in Islands and Small States Studies
HOBBIES | Travelling, walking, crib modelling
You are employed as an Environment Protection Officer in MEPA’s Gozo Unit. Can you explain what your role entails and what your main areas of responsibility are?
I co-ordinate work and perform duties assigned by four Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) units, which are based at MEPA offices in Malta. In a nutshell, my role consists mainly of giving input on applications for development permissions, environmental monitoring and enforcement, as well as dealing with issues related to nature protection, especially in Protected Areas. Could you describe a typical day as an Environment Protection Officer in Gozo?
Due to the variety of responsibilities I have with the different EPD units, I don’t consider any day as being ‘typical’. I manage time according to the priorities of the different EPD units to meet the required timeframes. One day could be dedicated to site inspections and issuing of clearances and complaints received from the public. Another day, I could spend the entire day at the office to process applications from an environmental aspect or to attend meetings. What have been the highlights of your career at MEPA so far?
The establishment of the EPD section in Gozo was surely a milestone for the Gozo Unit and a highlight of my career. I have always wished to work in the field of environment protection and aspired to be an Environment Protection Officer at the Gozo Unit. A point of reference was created at the Gozo Unit through which the EPD’s objectives can be more easily achieved. This also provided me with the opportunity to put the knowledge I obtained from my studies into practical use.
What is your main motivation that keeps you dedicated to delivering a top quality service within your role?
Delivering top quality service is the result of my firm belief in what I am doing. I am greatly proud of my role within MEPA and I believe that through my role as an
Environment Protection Officer, I have found a way to greatly contribute to protect the sensitive environment of Gozo and to offer a service to the public. This keeps me focused and motivated in carrying out my duties.What challenges have you faced within your role?
The main challenge lies in the volume of technical knowledge associated with the duties assigned by the different EPD units. The units have separate functions within the EPD, including also different legislation derived from EU directives. The familiarisation with and switching between the different legislation is quite challenging.During the time you have spent working at MEPA, what would you say you have contributed to the organisation?
During my previous roles within MEPA, including that of Planning Enforcement Offcer and Planning Officer, I believe I have played an important role in MEPA’s effort to curb illegal development. When I was assigned the duties of Environment Protection Officer at the Gozo Unit, this resulted in the setting up of the EPD section at the Gozo Office, through which MEPA can offer its services to the Gozitan public more efficiently. What, in your opinion, have your main contributions to society as a whole been through your responsibilities within MEPA?
I think that through my role at the EPD section in Gozo, I am providing a more professional service to the public than before. This ensures that MEPA is able to reach and cater for the requests of the public better. The expertise MEPA has is more easily available, and issues related to environment protection are dealt with more effectively.