Monday, August 19, 2019
Karl Gauss: Biography Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Karl Gauss lived from 1777 to 1855. He was a German mathematician, physician, and astronomer. He was born in Braunschweig, Germany, on April 30th, 1777. His family was poor and uneducated. His father was a gardener and a merchant's assistant. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã At a young age, Gauss taught himself how to read and count, and it is said that he spotted a mistake in his father's calculations when he was only three. Throughout the rest of his early schooling, he stood out remarkably from the rest of the students, and his teachers persuaded his father to train him for a profession rather than learn trade. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã His skills were noticed while he was in high school, and at age 14 he was sent to the Duke of Brunswick to demonstrate. The Duke was so impressed by this boy, that he offered him a grant that lasted from then until the Duke's death in 1806. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Karl began to study at the Collegium Carolinum in 1792. He went on to the University of Gottingen, and by 1799 was awarded his doctorate from the University. However, by that time most of his significant mathematical discoveries had been made, and he took up his interest in astronomy in 1801. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã By about 1807, Gauss began to gain recognition from countries all over the world. He was invited to work in Leningrad, was made a member of the Royal Society in London, and was invited membership to the Russian and French Academies of Sciences. However, he remained in his hometown in Germany until his death in 1855. Acomplishments Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã During his Teen years, Karl Gauss developed many mathematical theories and proofs, but these would not be recognized for decades because of his lack of publicity and publication experience. He discovered what we now call Bode's Law, and the principle of squares, which we use to find the best fitting curve to a group of observations. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Having just finished some work in quadratic residues in 1795, Karl Gauss moved to the University to access the works of previous mathematicians. He quickly began work on a book about the theory of numbers, which is seen as his greatest accomplishment. This book was a summary of the work that had been established up to the time, and contained questions that are still relevant today. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã While at the University in 1796, he discovered that a 17-sided polygon could be inscribed in a circle with only the tools of a compass and a ruler. This marked the first discovery of Euclidean geometry that had been found in 2000 years. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In 1799, Gauss found and proved a theorem of Algebra that fundamental Karl Gauss: Biography :: essays research papers Karl Gauss: Biography Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Karl Gauss lived from 1777 to 1855. He was a German mathematician, physician, and astronomer. He was born in Braunschweig, Germany, on April 30th, 1777. His family was poor and uneducated. His father was a gardener and a merchant's assistant. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã At a young age, Gauss taught himself how to read and count, and it is said that he spotted a mistake in his father's calculations when he was only three. Throughout the rest of his early schooling, he stood out remarkably from the rest of the students, and his teachers persuaded his father to train him for a profession rather than learn trade. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã His skills were noticed while he was in high school, and at age 14 he was sent to the Duke of Brunswick to demonstrate. The Duke was so impressed by this boy, that he offered him a grant that lasted from then until the Duke's death in 1806. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Karl began to study at the Collegium Carolinum in 1792. He went on to the University of Gottingen, and by 1799 was awarded his doctorate from the University. However, by that time most of his significant mathematical discoveries had been made, and he took up his interest in astronomy in 1801. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã By about 1807, Gauss began to gain recognition from countries all over the world. He was invited to work in Leningrad, was made a member of the Royal Society in London, and was invited membership to the Russian and French Academies of Sciences. However, he remained in his hometown in Germany until his death in 1855. Acomplishments Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã During his Teen years, Karl Gauss developed many mathematical theories and proofs, but these would not be recognized for decades because of his lack of publicity and publication experience. He discovered what we now call Bode's Law, and the principle of squares, which we use to find the best fitting curve to a group of observations. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Having just finished some work in quadratic residues in 1795, Karl Gauss moved to the University to access the works of previous mathematicians. He quickly began work on a book about the theory of numbers, which is seen as his greatest accomplishment. This book was a summary of the work that had been established up to the time, and contained questions that are still relevant today. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã While at the University in 1796, he discovered that a 17-sided polygon could be inscribed in a circle with only the tools of a compass and a ruler. This marked the first discovery of Euclidean geometry that had been found in 2000 years. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In 1799, Gauss found and proved a theorem of Algebra that fundamental
Sunday, August 18, 2019
One of the largest issues in animal sexual reproduction is the conflict of interests between the female and the male of the species. For example, multiple mating has been shown to greatly increase the fertilization rate for the male, but recent studies have shown that multiple mating also benefits the female. The demonstrated benefit to the female is Ã¢â¬Å"sequential female choice;Ã¢â¬ that is, the ability (on the part of the female) to allow the fertilization of her egg clutch with more viable offspring. However, this presents an inherent conflict of interest in that sperm competition may lower the fertilization success rates of the species. Sexual cannibalism (when the female consumes the male near the time of copulation) is a striking manifestation of a sexual conflict of interest. If the female consumes the male prior to insemination, she gains the nutritional benefits but the male loses his ability to reproduce. However, if the female consumes the male after insemination, the costs and benefits to each party are not so clear. It is beneficial to both the male and female to increase the fecundity of the female, increasing the reproductive chances of the male as well, but if the female mates again the male loses any apparent benefit. Some spiders seem to have resolved this problem in favor of both sexes such as the redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti. Experiments involving polygamy in this species revealed that cannibalized males had greater fertilization success because these males mated longer and the cannibalistic females tended not to mate again. This shows that a compromise is struck between the two sexes. The female gains the benefit of the nutrition from the stoma of the male while the male limits the competition fro... ...or her offspring. Sexual cannibalism is found to greatly benefit fertilization. That is, if after copulation, the female eats the male, the amount of clutch sired becomes twice as much as in the cases when he survives. Finally, males who are cannibalized by females have a higher share of paternity. However, the probability of being cannibalized makes most males willing to sometimes avoid copulation, which greatly reduces sexual competition. The conflict of sexes remains unsolved, as female prefer to cannibalize males for benefits of the progeny, males always try to escape in order to fertilize more eggs of other females. Bibliography: Elgar, Mark A. and Schneider, Jutta M.. "Sexual cannibalism and sperm competition in the golden orb-web spider Nephila plumipes (Araneoidea): female and male perspectives." Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2001. 547-552.
Post War New Zealand During World War II New Zealand greatly depended upon Britain and her Royal Navy to provide New Zealand with security and protection throughout the Pacific region. But after a while New Zealand and Australia as neighbouring countries began to provide their own defence for the Pacific. So when Britain began to build Naval Bases in Singapore, both Australia and New Zealand contributed to its cost. Also the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Navy were established in order to provide more protection. Even though New Zealand was becoming more independent in providing most of their security, she still depended a lot upon Britain and this trust and dependence broke when the Pearl Harbour was attacked sinking two of Britain^s battleships ^Prince of Wales^ and ^Repulse^ and the fall of Singapore did contribute to New Zealand drift from Britain for security. So New Zealand turned to the United Stated of America for security in the Pacific. Now New Zealand began to take responsibility for foreign affairs and had her own for! eign policies. Since WWII New Zealand had close relations with Australia considering that they are neighbouring countries. So in 1944 New Zealand and Australia signed the Canberra Pact. After the war the two countries agreed to set up a ^regional zone of defence^ in the South West and South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand and the islands north and north west of Australia across to Western Samoa and the Cook Islands. Through the Canberra Pact the governments of the two countries agreedthat on matters of common interest they will consult each other before expressing their views to others. The two governments also agreed to establish an advisory regional organisation, which could be called the South Seas Regional Commission, on which there might be representatives of Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France and USA. New Zealand now looked upon to the United Nations for security for she too believed in maintaining world peace through collective security. New Zealand joined the fifteen specialised agenises of the UN which aimed at raising living, health and educational facilities to backward countries to prevent causes of war and international bitterness. Also she supported formations of economic and social council, contributed to the annual budget and took responsibility for Western Samoa. New Zealand also tried to establish security through the Commonwealth. There are Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) every two years where all the heads of states from all forty nine countries in the Commonwealth come and discuss their activities and plans for the future.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
The Cullens' enormous house was more crowded with guests than anyone would assume could possibly be comfortable. It only worked out because none of the visitors slept. Mealtimes were dicey, though. Our company cooperated as best they could. They gave Forks and La Push a wide berth, only hunting out of state; Edward was a gracious host, lending out his cars as needed without so much as a wince. The compromise made me very uncomfortable, though I tried to tell myself that they'd all be hunting somewhere in the world, regardless. Jacob was even more upset. The werewolves existed to prevent the loss of human life, and here was rampant murder being condoned barely outside the packs' borders. But under these circumstances, with Renesmee in acute danger, he kept his mouth shut and glared at the floor rather than the vampires. I was amazed at the easy acceptance the visiting vampires had for Jacob; the problems Edward had anticipated had never materialized. Jacob seemed more or less invisible to them, not quite a person, but also not food, either. They treated him the way people who are not animal-lovers treat the pets of their friends. Leah, Seth, Quil, and Embry were assigned to run with Sam for now, and Jacob would have happily joined them, except that he couldn't stand to be away from Renesmee, and Renesmee was busy fascinating the strange collection of Carlisle's friends. We'd replayed the scene of Renesmee's introduction to the Denali coven a half dozen times. First for Peter and Charlotte, whom Alice and Jasper had sent our way without giving them any explanation at all; like most people who knew Alice, they trusted her instructions despite the lack of information. Alice had told them nothing about which direction she and Jasper were heading. She'd made no promise to ever see them again in the future. Neither Peter nor Charlotte had ever seen an immortal child. Though they knew the rule, their negative reaction was not as powerful as the Denali vampires' had been at first. Curiosity had driven them to allow Renesmee's Ã¢â¬Å"explanation.Ã¢â¬ And that was it. Now they were as committed to witnessing as Tanya's family. Carlisle had sent friends from Ireland and Egypt. The Irish clan arrived first, and they were surprisingly easy to convince. Siobhan Ã¢â¬â a woman of immense presence whose huge body was both beautiful and mesmerizing as it moved in smooth undulations Ã¢â¬â was the leader, but she and her hard-faced mate, Liam, were long used to trusting the judgment of their newest coven member. Little Maggie, with her bouncy red curls, was not physically imposing like the other two, but she had a gift for knowing when she was being lied to, and her verdicts were never contested. Maggie declared that Edward spoke the truth, and so Siobhan and Liam accepted our story absolutely before even touching Renesmee. Amun and the other Egyptian vampires were another story. Even after two younger members of his coven, Benjamin and Tia, had been convinced by Renesmee's explanation, Amun refused to touch her and ordered his coven to leave. Benjamin Ã¢â¬â an oddly cheerful vampire who looked barely older than a boy and seemed both utterly confident and utterly careless at the same time Ã¢â¬â persuaded Amun to stay with a few subtle threats about disbanding their alliance. Amun stayed, but continued to refuse to touch Renesmee, and would not allow his mate, Kebi, to touch her, either. It seemed an unlikely grouping Ã¢â¬â though the Egyptians all looked so alike, with their midnight hair and olive-toned pallor, that they easily could have passed for a biological family. Amun was the senior member and the outspoken leader. Kebi never strayed farther away from Amun than his shadow, and I never heard her speak a single word. Tia, Benjamin's mate, was a quiet woman as well, though when she did spe ak there was great insight and gravity to everything she said. Still, it was Benjamin whom they all seemed to revolve around, as if he had some invisible magnetism the others depended upon for their balance. I saw Eleazar staring at the boy with wide eyes and assumed Benjamin had a talent that drew the others to him. Ã¢â¬Å"It's not that,Ã¢â¬ Edward told me when we were alone that night. Ã¢â¬Å"His gift is so singular that Amun is terrified of losing him. Much like we had planned to keep Renesmee from Aro's knowledgeÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â he sighed Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"Amun has been keeping Benjamin from Aro's attention. Amun created Benjamin, knowing he would be special.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What can he do?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Something Eleazar's never seen before. Something I've never heard of. Something that even your shield would do nothing against.Ã¢â¬ He grinned his crooked smile at me. Ã¢â¬Å"He can actually influence the elements Ã¢â¬â earth, wind, water, and fire. True physical manipulation, no illusion of the mind. Benjamin's still experimenting with it, and Amun tries to mold him into a weapon. But you see how independent Benjamin is. He won't be used.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You like him,Ã¢â¬ I surmised from the tone of his voice. Ã¢â¬Å"He has a very clear sense of right and wrong. I like his attitude.Ã¢â¬ Amun's attitude was something else, and he and Kebi kept to themselves, though Benjamin and Tia were well on their way to being fast friends with both the Denali and the Irish covens. We hoped that Carlisle's return would ease the remaining tension with Amun. Emmett and Rose sent individuals Ã¢â¬â any nomad friends of Carlisle's that they could track down. Garrett came first Ã¢â¬â a tall, rangy vampire with eager ruby eyes and long sandy hair he kept tied back with a leather thong Ã¢â¬â and it was apparent immediately that he was an adventurer. I imagined that we could have presented him with any challenge and he would have accepted, just to test himself. He fell in quickly with the Denali sisters, asking endless questions about their unusual lifestyle. I wondered if vegetarianism was another challenge he would try, just to see if he could do it. Mary and Randall also came Ã¢â¬â friends already, though they did not travel together. They listened to Renesmee's story and stayed to witness like the others. Like the Denalis, they considered what they would do if the Volturi did not pause for explanations. All three of the nomads toyed with the idea of standing with us. Of course, Jacob got more surly with each new addition. He kept his distance when he could, and when he couldn't he grumbled to Renesmee that someone was going to have to provide an index if anyone expected him to keep all the new bloodsuckers1names straight. Carlisle and Esme returned a week after they had gone, Emmett and Rosalie just a few days later, and all of us felt better when they were home. Carlisle brought one more friend home with him, though friend might have been the wrong term. Alistair was a misanthropic English vampire who counted Carlisle as his closest acquaintance, though he could hardly stand a visit more than once a century. Alistair very much preferred to wander alone, and Carlisle had called in a lot of favors to get him here. He shunned all company, and it was clear he didn't have any admirers in the gathered covens. The brooding dark-haired vampire took Carlisle at his word about Renesmee's origins, refusing, like Amun, to touch her. Edward told Carlisle, Esme, and me that Alistair was afraid to be here, but more afraid of not knowing the outcome. He was deeply suspicious of all authority, and therefore naturally suspicious of the Volturi. What was happening now seemed to confirm all his fears. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course, now they'll know i was here,Ã¢â¬ we heard him grumble to himself in the attic Ã¢â¬â his preferred spot to sulk. Ã¢â¬Å"No way to keep it from Aro at this point. Centuries on the run, that's what this will mean. Everyone Carlisle's talked to in the last decade will be on their list. I can't believe I got myself sucked into this mess. What a fine way to treat your friends.Ã¢â¬ But if he was right about having to run from the Volturi, at least he had more hope of doing that than the rest of us. Alistair was a tracker, though not nearly as precise and efficient as Demetri. Alistair just felt an elusive pull toward whatever he was seeking. But that pull would be enough to tell him which direction to run Ã¢â¬â the opposite direction from Demetri. And then another pair of unexpected friends arrived Ã¢â¬â unexpected, because neither Carlisle nor Rosalie had been able to contact the Amazons. Ã¢â¬Å"Carlisle,Ã¢â¬ the taller of the two very tall feline women greeted him when they arrived. Both of them seemed as if they'd been stretched Ã¢â¬â long arms and legs, long fingers, long black braids, and long faces with long noses. They wore nothing but animal skins Ã¢â¬â hide vests and tight-fitting pants that laced on the sides with leather ties. It wasn't just their eccentric clothes that made them seem wild but everything about them, from their restless crimson eyes to their sudden, darting movements. I'd never met any vampires less civilized. But Alice had sent them, and that was interesting news, to put it mildly. Why was Alice in South America? Just because she'd seen that no one else would be able to get in touch with the Amazons? Ã¢â¬Å"Zafrina and Senna! But Where's Kachiri?Ã¢â¬ Carlisle asked. Tve never seen you three apart.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Alice told us we needed to separate,Ã¢â¬ Zafrina answered in the rough, deep voice that matched her wild appearance. Ã¢â¬Å"It's uncomfortable to be away from each other, but Alice assured us that you needed us here, while she very much needed Kachiri somewhere else. That's all she would tell us, except that there was a great hurryÃ¢â¬ ¦ ?Ã¢â¬ Zafrina's statement trailed off into a question, and Ã¢â¬â with the tremor of nerves that never went away no matter how often I did this Ã¢â¬â I brought Renesmee out to meet them. Despite their fierce appearance, they listened very calmly to our story, and then allowed Renesmee to prove the point. They were every bit as taken with Renesmee as any of the other vampires, but I couldn't help worrying as I watched their swift, jerky movements so close beside her. Senna was always near Zafrina, never speaking, but it wasn't the same as Amun and Kebi. Kebi's manner seemed obedient; Senna and Zafrina were more like two limbs of one organism Ã¢â¬â Zafrina just happened to be the mouthpiece. The news about Alice was oddly comforting. Clearly, she was on some obscure mission of her own as she avoided whatever Aro had planned for her. Edward was thrilled to have the Amazons with us, because Zafrina was enormously talented; her gift could make a very dangerous offensive weapon. Not that Edward was asking for Zafrina to side with us in the battle, but if the Volturi did not pause when they saw our witnesses, perhaps they would pause for a different kind of scene. Ã¢â¬Å"It's a very straightforward illusion,Ã¢â¬ Edward explained when it turned out that I couldn't see anything, as usual. Zafrina was intrigued and amused by my immunity Ã¢â¬â something she'd never encountered before Ã¢â¬â and she hovered restlessly while Edward described what I was missing. Edward's eyes unfocused slightly as he continued. Ã¢â¬Å"She can make most people see whatever she wants them to see Ã¢â¬â see that, and nothing else. For example, right now I would appear to be alone in the middle of a rain forest. It's so clear I might possibly believe it, except for the fact that I can still feel you in my arms.Ã¢â¬ Zafrina's lips twitched into her hard version of a smile. A second later, Edward's eyes focused again, and he grinned back. Ã¢â¬Å"Impressive,Ã¢â¬ he said. Renesmee was fascinated with the conversation, and she reached out fearlessly toward Zafrina. Ã¢â¬Å"Can I see?Ã¢â¬ she asked. Ã¢â¬Å"What would you like to see?Ã¢â¬ Zafrina asked. Ã¢â¬Å"What you showed Daddy.Ã¢â¬ Zafrina nodded, and I watched anxiously as Renesmee's eyes stared blankly into space. A second later, Renesmee's dazzling smile lit up her face. Ã¢â¬Å"More,Ã¢â¬ she commanded. After that, it was hard to keep Renesmee away from Zafrina and her pretty pictures. I worried, because I was quite sure that Zafrina was able to create images that were not pretty at all. But through Renesmee's thoughts I could see Zafrina's visions for myself Ã¢â¬â they were as clear as any of Renesmee's own memories, like they were real Ã¢â¬â and thus judge for myself whether they were appropriate or not. Though I didn't give her up easily, I had to admit it was a good thing Zafrina was keeping Renesmee entertained. I needed my hands. I had so much to learn, both physically and mentally, and the time was so short. My first attempt at learning to fight did not go well. Edward had me pinned in about two seconds. But instead of letting me wrestle my way free Ã¢â¬â which I absolutely could have Ã¢â¬â he'd leaped up and away from me. I knew immediately that something was wrong; he was still as stone, staring across the meadow we were practicing in. Tm sorry, Bella,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"No, I'm fine,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Let's go again.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I can't.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What do you mean, you can't? We just started.Ã¢â¬ He didn't answer. Ã¢â¬Å"Look, I know I'm no good at this, but I can't get better if you don't help me.Ã¢â¬ He said nothing. Playfully, I sprang at him. He made no defense at all, and we both fell to the ground. He was motionless as I pressed my lips to his jugular. Ã¢â¬Å"I win,Ã¢â¬ I announced. His eyes narrowed, but he said nothing. Ã¢â¬Å"Edward? What's wrong? Why won't you teach me?Ã¢â¬ A full minute passed before he spoke again. Ã¢â¬Å"I just can'tÃ¢â¬ ¦ bear it. Emmett and Rosalie know as much as I do. Tanya and Eleazar probably know more. Ask someone else.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That's not fair! You're good at this. You helped Jasper before Ã¢â¬â you fought with him and all the others, too. Why not me? What did I do wrong?Ã¢â¬ He sighed, exasperated. His eyes were dark, barely any gold to lighten the black. Ã¢â¬Å"Looking at you that way, analyzing you as a target. Seeing all the ways I can kill you .. .Ã¢â¬ He flinched. Ã¢â¬Å"It just makes it too real for me. We don't have so much time that it will really make a difference who your teacher is. Anyone can teach you the fundamentals.Ã¢â¬ I scowled. He touched my pouting lower lip and smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"Besides, it's unnecessary. The Volturi will stop. They will be made to understand.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"But if they don't! I need to learn this.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Find another teacher.Ã¢â¬ That was not our last conversation on the subject, but I never swayed him an inch from his decision. Emmett was more than willing to help, though his teaching felt to me a lot like revenge for all the lost arm-wrestling matches. If I could still bruise, I would have been purple from head to toe. Rose, Tanya, and Eleazar all were patient and supportive. Their lessons reminded me of Jasper's fighting instructions to the others last June, though those memories were fuzzy and indistinct. Some of the visitors found my education entertaining, and some even offered assistance. The nomad Garrett took a few turns Ã¢â¬â he was a surprisingly good teacher; he interacted so easily with others in general that I wondered how he'd never found a coven. I even fought once with Zafrina while Renesmee watched from Jacob's arms. I learned several tricks, but I never asked for her help again. In truth, though I liked Zafrina very much and I knew she wouldn't really hurt me, the wild woman scared me to death. I learned many things from my teachers, but I had the sense that my knowledge was still impossibly basic. I had no idea how many seconds I would last against Alec and Jane. I only prayed that it would be long enough to help. Every minute of the day that I wasn't with Renesmee or learning to fight, I was in the backyard working with Kate, trying to push my internal shield outside of my own brain to protect someone else. Edward encouraged me in this training. I knew he hoped I would find a way of contributing that satisfied me while also keeping me out of the line of fire. It was just so hard. There was nothing to get a hold of, nothing solid to work with. I had only my raging desire to be of use, to be able to keep Edward, Renesmee, and as much of my family as possible safe with me. Over and over I tried to force the nebulous shield outside of myself, with only faint, sporadic success. It felt like I was wrestling to stretch an invisible rubber band Ã¢â¬â a band that would change from concrete tangibility into insubstantial smoke at any random moment. Only Edward was willing to be our guinea pig Ã¢â¬â to receive shock after shock from Kate while I grappled incompetently with the insides of my head. We worked for hours at a time, and I felt like I should be covered in sweat from the exertion, but of course my perfect body didn't betray me that way. My weariness was all mental. It killed me that it was Edward who had to suffer, my arms wrapped uselessly around him while he winced over and over from Kate's lowÃ¢â¬ setting. I tried as hard as I could to push my shield around us both; every now and then I would get it, and then it would slip away again. I hated this practice, and I wished that Zafrina would help instead of Kate. Then all Edward would have to do was look at Zafrina's illusions until I could stop him from seeing them. But Kate insisted that I needed better motivation Ã¢â¬â by which she meant my hatred of watching Edward's pain. I was beginning to doubt her assertion from the first day we'd met Ã¢â¬â that she wasn't sadistic about the use of her gift. She seemed to be enjoying herself to me. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey,Ã¢â¬ Edward said cheerfully, trying to hide any evidence of distress in his voice. Anything to keep me from fighting practice. Ã¢â¬Å"That one barely stung. Good job, Bella.Ã¢â¬ I took a deep breath, trying to grasp exactly what I'd done right, i tested the elastic band, struggling to force it to remain solid as I stretched it away from me. Ã¢â¬Å"Again, Kate,Ã¢â¬ I grunted through my clenched teeth. Kate pressed her palm to Edward's shoulder. He sighed in relief. Ã¢â¬Å"Nothing that time.Ã¢â¬ She raised an eyebrow. Ã¢â¬Å"That wasn't low, either.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Good,Ã¢â¬ I huffed. Ã¢â¬Å"Get ready,Ã¢â¬ she told me, and reached out to Edward again. This time he shuddered, and a low breath hissed between his teeth. Ã¢â¬Å"Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!Ã¢â¬ I chanted, biting my lip. Why couldn't I get this right? Ã¢â¬Å"You're doing an amazing job, Bella,Ã¢â¬ Edward said, pulling me tight against him. Ã¢â¬Å"You've really only been working at this for a few days and you're already projecting sporadically. Kate, tell her how well she's doing.Ã¢â¬ Kate pursed her lips. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know. She's obviously got tremendous ability, and we're only beginning to touch it. She can do better, I'm sure. She's just lacking incentive.Ã¢â¬ I stared at her in disbelief, my lips automatically curling back from my teeth. How could she think I lacked motivation with her shocking Edward right here in front of me? I heard murmurs from the audience that had grown steadily as I practiced Ã¢â¬â only Eleazar, Carmen, and Tanya at first, but then Garrett had wandered over, then Benjamin and Tia, Siobhan and Maggie, and now even Alistair was peering down from a window on the third story. The spectators agreed with Edward; they thought I was already doing well. Ã¢â¬Å"KateÃ¢â¬ ¦,Ã¢â¬ Edward said in a warning voice as some new course of action occurred to her, but she was already in motion. She darted along the curve of the river to where Zafrina, Senna, and Renesmee were walking slowly, Renesmee's hand in Zafrina's as they traded pictures back and forth. Jacob shadowed them from a few feet behind. Ã¢â¬Å"Nessie,Ã¢â¬ Kate said Ã¢â¬â the newcomers had quickly picked up the irritating nickname, Ã¢â¬Å"would you like to come help your mother?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No,Ã¢â¬ I half-snarled. Edward hugged me reassuringly. I shook him off just as Renesmee flitted across the yard to me, with Kate, Zafrina, and Senna right behind her. Ã¢â¬Å"Absolutely not, Kate,Ã¢â¬ I hissed. Renesmee reached for me, and I opened my arms automatically. She curled into me, pressing her head into the hollow beneath my shoulder. Ã¢â¬Å"But Momma, I want to help,Ã¢â¬ she said in a determined voice. Her hand rested against my neck, reinforcing her desire with images of the two of us together, a team. Ã¢â¬Å"No,Ã¢â¬ I said, quickly backing away. Kate had taken a deliberate step in my direction, her hand stretched toward us. Ã¢â¬Å"Stay away from us, Kate,Ã¢â¬ I warned her. Ã¢â¬Å"No.Ã¢â¬ She began stalking forward. She smiled like a hunter cornering her prey. I shifted Renesmee so that she was clinging to my back, still backing away at a pace that matched Kate's. Now my hands were free, and if Kate wanted to keep her hands attached to her wrists, she'd better keep her distance. Kate probably didn't understand, never having known for herself the passion of a mother for her child. She must not have realized just how far past too far she'd already gone. I was so furious that my vision took on a strange reddish tint, and my tongue tasted like burning metal. The strength I usually worked to keep restrained flowed through my muscles, and I knew I could crush her into diamond-hard rubble if she pushed me to it. The rage brought every aspect of my being into sharper focus. I could even feel the elasticity of my shield more exactly now Ã¢â¬â feel that it was not a band so much as a layer, a thin film that covered me from head to toe. With the anger rippling through my body, I had a better sense of it, a tighter hold on it. I stretched it around myself, out from myself, swaddling Renesmee completely inside it, just in case Kate got past my guard. Kate took another calculated step forward, and a vicious snarl ripped up my throat and through my clenched teeth. Ã¢â¬Å"Be careful, Kate,Ã¢â¬ Edward cautioned. Kate took another step, and then made a mistake even someone as inexpert as I could recognize. Just a short leap away from me, she looked away, turning her attention from me to Edward. Renesmee was secure on my back; I coiled to spring. Ã¢â¬Å"Can you hear anything from Nessie?Ã¢â¬ Kate asked him, her voice calm and easy. Edward darted into the space between us, blocking my line to Kate. Ã¢â¬Å"No, nothing at all,Ã¢â¬ he answered. Ã¢â¬Å"Now give Bella some space to calm down, Kate. You shouldn't goad her like that. I know she doesn't seem her age, but she's only a few months old.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"We don't have time to do this gently, Edward. We're going to have to push her. We only have a few weeks, and she's got the potential to Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Back off for a minute, Kate.Ã¢â¬ Kate frowned but took Edward's warning more seriously than she'd taken mine. Renesmee's hand was on my neck; she was remembering Kate's attack, showing me that no harm was meant, that Daddy was in on itÃ¢â¬ ¦. This did not pacify me. The spectrum of light I saw still seemed tainted with crimson. But I was in better control of myself, and I could see the wisdom of Kate's words. The anger helped me. I would learn faster under pressure. That didn't mean I liked it. Ã¢â¬Å"Kate,Ã¢â¬ I growled. I rested my hand on the small of Edward's back. I could still feel my shield like a strong, flexible sheet around Renesmee and me. I pushed it farther, forcing it around Edward. There was no sign of a flaw in the stretchy fabric, no threat of a tear. I panted with the effort, and my words came out sounding breathless rather than furious. Ã¢â¬Å"Again,Ã¢â¬ I said to Kate. Ã¢â¬Å"Edward only.Ã¢â¬ She rolled her eyes but flitted forward and pressed her palm to Edward's shoulder. Ã¢â¬Å"Nothing,Ã¢â¬ Edward said. I heard the smile in his voice. Ã¢â¬Å"And now?Ã¢â¬ Kate asked. Ã¢â¬Å"Stillnothing.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"And now?Ã¢â¬ This time, there was the sound of strain in her voice. Ã¢â¬Å"Nothing at all.Ã¢â¬ Kate grunted and stepped away. Ã¢â¬Å"Can you see this?Ã¢â¬ Zafrina asked in her deep, wild voice, staring intently at the three of us. Her English was strangely accented, her words pulling up in unexpected places. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't see anything I shouldn't,Ã¢â¬ Edward said. Ã¢â¬Å"And you, Renesmee?Ã¢â¬ Zafrina asked. Renesmee smiled at Zafrina and shook her head. My fury had almost entirely ebbed, and I clenched my teeth together, panting faster as I pushed out against the elastic shield; it felt like it was getting heavier the longer I held it. It pulled back, dragging inward. Ã¢â¬Å"No one panic,Ã¢â¬ Zafrina warned the little group watching me. Ã¢â¬Å"I want to see how far she can extend.Ã¢â¬ There was a shocked gasp from everyone there Ã¢â¬â Eleazar, Carmen, Tanya, Garrett, Benjamin, Tia, Siobhan, Maggie Ã¢â¬â everyone but Senna, who seemed prepared for whatever Zafrina was doing. The others' eyes were blank, their expressions anxious. Ã¢â¬Å"Raise your hand when you get your sight back,Ã¢â¬ Zafrina instructed. Ã¢â¬Å"Now, Bella. See how many you can shield.Ã¢â¬ My breath came out in a huff. Kate was the closest person to me besides Edward and Renesmee, but even she was about ten feet away. I locked my jaw and shoved, trying to heave the resisting, resilient safeguard farther from myself. Inch by inch I drove it toward Kate, fighting the reaction that fought back with every fraction that I gained. I only watched Kate's anxious expression while I worked, and I groaned quietly with relief when her eyes blinked and focused. She raised her hand. Ã¢â¬Å"Fascinating!Ã¢â¬ Edward murmured under his breath. Ã¢â¬Å"It's like one-way glass. I can read everything they're thinking, but they can't reach me behind it. And I can hear Renesmee, though I couldn't when I was on the outside. I'll bet Kate could shock me now, because she's underneath the umbrella. I still can't hear youÃ¢â¬ ¦ hmmm. How does that work? I wonder ifÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ He continued to mumble to himself, but I couldn't listen to the words. I ground my teeth together, struggling to force the shield out to Garrett, who was closest to Kate. His hand came up. Ã¢â¬Å"Very good,Ã¢â¬ Zafrina complimented me. Ã¢â¬Å"Now Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" But she'd spoken too soon; with a sharp gasp, I felt my shield recoil like a rubber band stretched too far, snapping back into its original shape. Renesmee, experiencing for the first time the blindness Zafrina had conjured for the others, trembled against my back. Wearily, I fought back against the elastic pull, forcing the shield to include her again. Ã¢â¬Å"Can I have a minute?Ã¢â¬ I panted. Since I'd become a vampire, I hadn't felt the need to rest even once before this moment. It was unnerving to feel so drained and yet so strong at the same time. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course,Ã¢â¬ Zafrina said, and the spectators relaxed as she let them see again. Ã¢â¬Å"Kate,Ã¢â¬ Garrett called as the others murmured and drifted slightly away, disturbed by the moment of blindness; vampires were not used to feeling vulnerable. The tall, sandy-haired Garrett was the only non-gifted immortal who seemed drawn to my practice sessions. I wondered what the lure was for the adventurer. Ã¢â¬Å"I wouldn't, Garrett,Ã¢â¬ Edward cautioned. Garrett continued toward Kate despite the warning, his lips pursed in speculation. Ã¢â¬Å"They say you can put a vampire flat on his back.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬ she agreed. Then, with a sly smile, she wiggled her fingers playfully at him. Ã¢â¬Å"Curious?Ã¢â¬ Garrett shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"That's something I've never seen. Seems like it might be a bit of an exaggeration___Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe,Ã¢â¬ Kate said, her face suddenly serious. Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe it only works on the weak or the young. I'm not sure. You look strong, though. Perhaps you could withstand my gift.Ã¢â¬ She stretched her hand out to him, palm up Ã¢â¬â a clear invitation. Her lips twitched, and I was pretty sure her grave expression was an attempt to hustle him. Garrett grinned at the challenge. Very confidently, he touched her palm with his index finger. And then, with a loud gasp, his knees buckled and he keeled over backward. His head hit a piece of granite with a sharp cracking noise. It was shocking to watch. My instincts recoiled against seeing an immortal incapacitated that way; it was profoundly wrong. Ã¢â¬Å"I told you so,Ã¢â¬ Edward muttered. Garrett's eyelids trembled for a few seconds, and then his eyes opened wide. He stared up at the smirking Kate, and a wondering smile lit his face. Ã¢â¬Å"Wow,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"Did you enjoy that?Ã¢â¬ she asked skeptically. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not crazy,Ã¢â¬ he laughed, shaking his head as he got slowly to his knees, Ã¢â¬Å"but that was sure something!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That's what I hear.Ã¢â¬ Edward rolled his eyes. And then there was a low commotion from the front yard. I heard Carlisle speaking over a babble of surprised voices. Ã¢â¬Å"Did Alice send you?Ã¢â¬ he asked someone, his voice unsure, slightly upset. Another unexpected guest? Edward darted into the house and most of the others imitated him. I followed more slowly, Renesmee still perched on my back. I would give Carlisle a moment. Let him warm up the new guest, prepare him or her or them for the idea of what was coming. I pulled Renesmee into my arms as I walked cautiously around the house to enter through the kitchen door, listening to what I couldn't see. Ã¢â¬Å"No one sent us,Ã¢â¬ a deep whispery voice answered Carlisle's question. I was immediately reminded of the ancient voices of Aro and Caius, and I froze just inside the kitchen. I knew the front room was crowded Ã¢â¬â almost everyone had gone in to see the newest visitors Ã¢â¬â but there was barely any noise. Shallow breathing, that was all. Carlisle's voice was wary as he responded. Ã¢â¬Å"Then what brings you here now?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Word travels,Ã¢â¬ a different voice answered, just as feathery as the first. Ã¢â¬Å"We heard hints that Volturi were moving against you. There were whispers that you would not stand alone. Obviously, the whispers were true. This is an impressive gathering.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"We are not challenging the Volturi,Ã¢â¬ Carlisle answered in a strained tone. Ã¢â¬Å"There has been a misunderstanding, that is all. A very serious misunderstanding, to be sure, but one we're hoping to clear up. What yousee are witnesses. We just need the Volturi to listen. We didn't Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"We don't care what they say you did,Ã¢â¬ the first voice interrupted. Ã¢â¬Å"And we don't care if you broke the law.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No matter how egregiously,Ã¢â¬ the second inserted. Ã¢â¬Å"We've been waiting a millennium and a half for the Italian scum to be challenged,Ã¢â¬ said the first. Ã¢â¬Å"If there is any chance theywill fall, we will be here to see it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Or even to help defeat them,Ã¢â¬ the second added. They spoke ina smooth tandem, their voices so similar that less sensitive ears would assume there was only one speaker. Ã¢â¬Å"If we think you havea chance of success.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Bella?Ã¢â¬ Edward called to me ina hard voice. Ã¢â¬Å"Bring Renesmee here, please. Maybe we should test our Romanian visitors' claims.Ã¢â¬ It helped to know that probably half of the vampires in the other room would come to Renesmee's defense if these Romanians were upset by her. I didn't like the sound of their voices, or the dark menace in their words. As I walked into the room, I could see that I was not alone in that assessment. Most of the motionless vampires glared with hostile eyes, anda few Ã¢â¬â Carmen, Tanya, Zafrina, and Senna Ã¢â¬â repositioned themselves subtly into defensive poses between the newcomers and Renesmee. The vampires at the door were both slight and short, one dark-haired and the other with hair so ashy blond that it looked pale gray. They had the same powdery look to their skin as the Volturi, though I thought it was not so pronounced. I couldn't be sure about that, as I had never seen the Volturi except with human eyes; I could not make a perfect comparison. Their sharp, narrow eyes were dark burgundy, with no milky film. They wore very simple black clothes that could pass as modern but hinted at older designs. The dark one grinned when I came into view. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, well, Carlisle. You have been naughty, haven't you?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"She's not what you think, Stefan.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"And we don't care either way,Ã¢â¬ the blonde responded. Ã¢â¬Å"As we said before.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Then you're welcome to observe, Vladimir, but it is definitely not our plan to challenge the Volturi, as we said before.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Then we'lljust cross our fingers,Ã¢â¬ Stefan began. Ã¢â¬Å"And hope we get lucky,Ã¢â¬ finished Vladimir. In the end, we had pulled together seventeen witnesses Ã¢â¬â the Irish, Siobhan, Liam, and Maggie; the Egyptians, Amun, Kebi, Benjamin, and Tia; the Amazons, Zafrina and Senna; the Romanians, Vladimir and Stefan; and the nomads, Charlotte and Peter, Garrett, Alistair, Mary, and Randall Ã¢â¬â to supplement our family of eleven. Tanya, Kate, Eleazar, and Carmen insisted on being counted as part of our family. Aside from the Volturi, it was probably the largest friendly gathering of mature vampires in immortal history. We all were beginning to be a little bit hopeful. Even I couldn't help it.Renesmee had won over so many in such a brief time.The Volturi only had to listen for just the tiniest second. The lasttwo surviving Romanians Ã¢â¬â focused only on their bitter resentment of the ones who had overthrown their empire fifteen hundred years earlier Ã¢â¬â took everything in stride. They would not touch Renesmee, but they showed no aversion to her. They seemed mysteriously delighted by our alliance with the werewolves.They watched me practice my shield with Zafrina and Kate, watched Edward answer unspoken questions, watched Benjaminpull geysers of water from the river or sharp gusts of wind from the still air with just his mind, and their eyes glowed with their fierce hope that the Volturi had finally met their match. We did not hope for the same things, but we all hoped.
Friday, August 16, 2019
The United States government should pay reparations to African Americans as a means of admitting their wrong-doing and making amends. The damages African Americans have sustained from White AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s policy of slavery have been agonizing and inhumane. Therefore, I am in favor of reparations for African Americans. The effect of slavery has been an enduring issue within the African American community. Many of us are cognizant of the harm racism brought to the African American race, conveyed through slavery, racial segregation and discrimination. African Americans suffered many atrocities, but the greatest damage done to them was the destruction of theyÃ¢â¬â¢re original identity. African Americans no longer have a native language or any African customs to connect them to Africa. Today, African Americans are connected together because they all share a common foundation-the horrendous experience of slavery-and the great effort to conquer its lingering result. (www. AcedemicLibrary. com) Americans should realize the magnitude of slaveryÃ¢â¬â¢s consequences on African Americans as a whole. Blacks were brainwashed and stripped of self-esteem and taught to be ashamed of dark color of their skin. Many African Americans have effortlessly tried to advocate Ã¢â¬Å"Black PrideÃ¢â¬ , trying to re-instill self-worth and being proud of our distinct facial and body features, and darker complexions. African Americans had zilch to begin with after the abolishment of slavery in 1865. Slaves were promised a Ã¢â¬Å"mule/ and 40 acresÃ¢â¬ and they didnÃ¢â¬â¢t live to receive it nor did generations to follow; because the American government has yet to live up to its word. The fruit of the slavesÃ¢â¬â¢ labor was stolen from the Ã¢â¬Å"land of the freeÃ¢â¬ . The victims of the White peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s African slave trade never experienced such freedom. This race deserves compensation for the mistreatment Pongee Bryant it has suffered and continues to endure. Paying reparations to the descendants of African American slaves would bring about a tremendous improvement for the advancement of Black America. (Douglass, Fredrick, 1845, Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass). White Americans have profited from education, life experiences, riches that were handed down by their ancestors. As well, African Americans have been handed down the hardship of race-related issues, poverty, and the unknown history of their past. African Americans have constantly been inflicted with the social status of their low-income level in contrast with that of White Americans. America should be ashamed for their mistreatment of a race that did not ask or even desire to reside in this country. Yet, they still wear their ugly face of racism, and discrimination, and only seek to segregate African Americans, as if they were at fault. Americans may argue Blacks shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be complaining, whining, and to pull themselves up by their boot straps. Well, Martin Luther King once said Ã¢â¬Å"White America wants us to pull ourselves up from our boot straps, but we donÃ¢â¬â¢t have any bootsÃ¢â¬ . (Shuttlesworth, Fred, 1999, A Fire You CanÃ¢â¬â¢t Put Out). The U. S. government has a moral responsibility to this race of people to compensate, African AmericanÃ¢â¬â¢s because they were denied their heritage, religion, family, and culture. America alleges it is a religious-based country and their faith resides in God. The bible says: Ã¢â¬Å"If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. Ã¢â¬ This country consistently contradicts itself in the way it wants to be perceived. If America has any belief in God, they should feel an obligation to compensate the African American descendants of slave ancestors. (Exodus 22, Bible). Pongee Bryant White Americans may argue that the country did enough when it passed the Civil Rights Act in 1960. They may also state America has enough resources and equal opportunity for each individual of every race to succeed. However, there is a huge wealth gap in social status among blacks and whites mostly because of oppression, discrimination and racism toward the modern day contemporary black. Whether anybody wants to admit it, there is still a glass ceiling (i. e. ,a status barrier) against African Americans. Reparations would bring African Americans justice and economic power in this country. There are numerous black reparation organizations which could receive the money and distribute it evenly among African Americans, to incorporate black-owned businesses, home ownership, and better education selective for young and old blacks. These reparation organizations could also invest money into smaller black-owned businesses, and other industries that would further the African American race, and ensure a rapid growth of African American middle-class and beyond. (Robert J. Brym/ John Lie, Sociology) The exploitation of African Americans in this country took on many forms through decades. The centuries of slavery in this country laid the foundation of our current relationship to America. From cotton fields to building AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s most significant buildings African Americans have helped build the wealth in this country. Yet, the African American race has endured the most terrorism from the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, plantation jails, police torture and murder, and poverty. Slavery was a crime against humanity; and it still is in existence in many other ways and forms. America has created a system with, voter discrimination, drugs, and drug sentences to keep the African Pongee Bryant American man enslaved. The government should compensate the African American race and put an end to a never-ending oppression cycle. The government of the United States of America was instrumental in having pressured the German and Japanese governments into the payments of reparations to the people who suffered and survived the crimes and legacy of slavery endured during World War II. The government of the United States has also already paid reparations to the Japanese-Americans who were detained in concentration camps during World War II. America calls herself a fair nation: a civilized country which respects civil and human rights, encourages opportunity for and well-being of all her people, and can be trusted by other nations as a county whom honors her word. Well, America promised African Americans 40 acres and a mule and didnÃ¢â¬â¢t live up to her promise. AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s attitude and silence on reparations reeks of hypocrisy. (X, Malcolm, Biography of Malcolm X). America should also pay reparations to African Americans because they consistently want us to labor for their work and take all the credit. For instance America is at fault for African American dead and injured men who served and were drafted in the Vietnam War. America put young black men on the front-line of a war they had nothing to do with nor helped contribute to. America wanted a race that was not yet Ã¢â¬Å"capableÃ¢â¬ of voting but was competent enough to fight in a war. A race that did not have the option of drinking from any fountain, sitting anywhere on a bus, using any bathroom, however we were fit for fighting. The point is America constantly benefits from African Americans, but refuses to compensate African Americans for their contributions to this country. (www. AcedemicLibrary. com).
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Counter intelligence is the action taken by each and every intelligence organizations and other related sectors in order to prevent or put a stop on the other intelligence organizations that poses a threat to them.Furthermore, this type of action is taken by such intelligence organization to thwart hostile or intimidating enemy intelligence organizations from efficiently and successfully collect or gather information and other important data or records that is against them (Shulsky and Schmitt, p.1, 2002).More often than not, counter-intelligence, just like data gathering in a certain field, offers chances, chances of being successful and chances of failing, and it is important to understand that this is normal and occurs in one form or type of counter-intelligence to the other.In some instances, there are counter-intelligence agencies which are created by the government. These counter-intelligence agencies or sectors are separate from the intelligence group or sector that the govern ment had already created.Counter-intelligence agencies had been put up by a lot of country in order to specifically perform or conduct the collection and gathering of information, data, records, technologies, innovations and new facts from the enemy government, agency or intelligence sector. Furthermore, these counter-intelligence agencies research, study and conduct actions or services having specialized purposes (Fleisher, p.12, 2000).The counter-intelligence activities oftentimes include counter-espionage and may often include activities such as dissemination of incorrect data or records. The counter-intelligence sector or agencies often conduct or spread disinformation that has the goal or purpose of misleading their enemies or other counter-intelligence sectors and directly target the enemiesÃ¢â¬â¢ intelligence method of collecting data, information and other resources.In some instances or for some counter-intelligence agencies such as the U.S. Espionage and Intelligence, the focus of their organization is to give or allow scholars and researchers from directly accessing new information, researches, data and other intelligence files which are already declassified (Davis, p.x, 1992).These information or data given to the scholars and researchers are often in the form of a detailed primary document that is about military, intelligence, diplomatic components or other new records and facts. Such new information is highly needed in order to obtain further or deeper understanding of some incidents or confrontations against other enemy agencies or government.Most often than not, both counter-intelligence and intelligence activities occur at the same time and side by side, not only among competing governments or military agencies but also in the commercial and private industries. Furthermore, the intelligence and counter-intelligence may also occur among law enforcement groups or agencies and the criminal groups or gangs.Spies or agents working for a counter-in telligence agency infiltrates the other enemy counter-intelligence agency or sector and prevent the enemy from its activities. In the purpose of preventing data collection and enemyÃ¢â¬â¢s human intelligence gathering from properly working, efforts of collecting and new information from them is also taken or done at the same time. In most cases, these spies or counter-intelligence agents have included in their mission or purpose, the detection, neutralization whenever possible, and the exploitation of the surveillance and intelligence activities of the other enemy spies.Of course, there are instances where the spies or counter-intelligence agents are discovered. When this happens, the counter-intelligence agency or sector has the rights and is empowered by the law and the constitution to arrest these suspected spies.Upon capturing them, exploitation or information collection and gathering is also done against these spies. Interrogations, subsequent test of loyalty, and manipulatio ns are done by the agencies to the captured spies to take advantage of the situation and benefit from the enemy spyÃ¢â¬â¢s existing knowledge. In this sense, counter-intelligence is already being committed or done by the agencies that captured, interrogated and manipulated the captured spy or enemy agent.Oftentimes, spies or enemy agents do not give in to the counter-intelligence agencies that captured them. In this case, the counter-intelligence agencies often neutralize or get rid of the spy in order to protect themselves or the information which was already Ã¢â¬Å"stolenÃ¢â¬ from them. Killing or neutralizing the captured spies or enemy agents is the next best thing that is done by the counter-intelligence agencies if they cannot exploit the spies.Captured spies are given chances to talk or squeal what they have learned or collected and bargain a cooperative plea with a penalty of imprisonment rather than directly giving or passing a death penalty. If the captured spy would talk or give all the information that he has, then the counter-intelligence would be a success for those who captured him, while it is a failure for those who Ã¢â¬Å"ownedÃ¢â¬ or sent the spy that did not keep the code of secrecy (Godson, p.181, 1942).
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR THE MALTESE ISLANDS 2007-2016 Proposed by the National Commission for Sustainable Development 2 A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR THE MALTESE ISLANDS 2007-2016 National Commission for Sustainable Development 20th December 2006 This proposed Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands was adopted by the National Commission for Sustainable Development on 13 November 2006, in terms of Article 8 (7f) of the Environment Protection Act (Chapter 435 of the Laws of Malta).It is being submitted by the Commission to the Cabinet of Ministers for possible endorsement by the Government of Malta. This document does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Malta. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Objective and Mandate Sustainability is a Two-way Street Implementing the Strategy Layout Priority Areas 1. INTRODUCTION 1. 1 The Process of Drafting the Strategy 1. 2 The Mandate 1. 3 The Main Benefits of a Sustainable Development Strategy 1. 4 The Criteria Underpinning the Strategy 1. Layout of the Document 2. UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES 2. 1 The Overarching Vision and Goal 2. 2 Sustainability is Multifaceted 2. 3 The Democratic Dimension: Participation is Necessary 2. 4 Social Responsibility and the Ethical Dimension 2. 5 The Political Dimension: Integrative Legislation and Policy 2. 6 The International and Regional Dimensions 3. THE PROPOSED STRATEGY FOR MALTA 3. 1 Managing the Environment and Resources 3. 2 Promoting Sustainable Economic Development 3. 3 Fostering Sustainable Communities 3. 4 Cross-cutting Strategic Issues 3. Cross-cutting Strategic Issues 5 5 6 6 7 7 9 9 9 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 14 15 15 35 47 57 58 4. IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGY 4. 1 Institutionalising the Development of the Strategy 4. 2 Identifying Responsibilities and Structures 4. 3 Setting Targets, Monitoring and Evaluation 4. 4 Devising Participatory Schemes 4. 5 Collaboration between the Public and Private Sectors 4. 6 Coordinating a nd Funding the Strategy 5. THE WAY AHEAD 5. 1 Revising the Strategy 5. 2 Ongoing Consultation 6. THE PRIORITIES APPENDIX 1: PRIORITY STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 63 63 63 65 65 67 68 69 69 69 71 73 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The process of drafting the National Strategy for Sustainable Development was initiated during the 5th meeting of MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s National Commission for Sustainable Development (NCSD), held on 9 December 2002, when the Commission appointed a Task Force to oversee the preparation of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development, consisting of an overarching vision and principles, listing the aspirations of Government, civil society and the private sector in this regard, and outlining methods of implementation, taking into account MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s capacities and constraints.This decision was taken in line with the functions of the Commission, as listed in Article 8(7) of the Environmental Protection Act (Act XX 2001). The Task Force met soon after it was appointed and set in mot ion a consultative process to prepare the National Strategy for Sustainable Development. In March 2006, the National Commission for Sustainable Development appointed a second Task Force, in order to update the original draft of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, published in July 2004, by incorporating suggestions put forward by various organisations and individuals that were consulted during 2004 and 2005 and by government ministries, departments and public sector agencies that were onsulted in March 2006. That version was published in April 2006,2 and presented for discussion at a National Conference on Sustainable Development, held on 22 April 2006 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. A third draft of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands was drawn up to incorporate suggestions put forward during the April 2006 Conference.Following a second round of consultation with government departments and other public sector agencies, a fourth draft (the current document) was prepared by a third Task Force appointed by the Commission for Sustainable Development and presented to the Commission on 13 November 2006. The Commission adopted this document and decided to submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers for possible endorsement by the Government of Malta This proposed Strategy represents the views of the NCSD and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Malta. Objective and MandateThe objective of drawing up a National Strategy for Sustainable Development was first established in the aftermath of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), when the Maltese Government, together with the governments of other nations, committed itself to adopt such a Strategy so as to Ã¢â¬Å"build upon and harmonise the various sectoral, economic, social and environmental policies and plans that are operating in the countryÃ¢â¬ and to Ã¢â¬Å"ensure socially responsible economic development while protec ting the resource base and the environment for the benefit of future generations. Governments also agreed that the Strategy should Ã¢â¬Å"be developed through the widest possible participationÃ¢â¬ and that it should be Ã¢â¬Å"based on a thorough assessment of the current situation and initiativesÃ¢â¬ (Agenda 21, Chapter 8, paragraph 8. 7). In September 2000, some 150 Heads of State, including Malta, signed the Millennium Declaration and reaffirmed their support for the principles of sustainable development and Agenda 21. They also agreed on the Millennium Development Goals, including the need to Ã¢â¬Å"integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources. (Millennium Development Goal 7). 1 2 See http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/ncsd/analysis_public_consultation. pdf http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/ncsd/draftstrategydocument_2006. pdf 5 This activity at UN level prompted the European Union to p repare its own Strategy for Sustainable Development3 in 2001, which was renewed in June 2006. The EU Strategy contains targets and actions on seven key priority challenges, and outlines guiding principles for sustainable development.The Malta Strategy builds upon and is informed by the Sustainable Development Strategy of the EU. In addition, as a result of its accession to the EU, Malta has embarked on wide-ranging reforms in various sectors, produced national strategic documents in key areas, transposed EU directives in line with the acquis communautaire, upgraded its environmental legislation, and bound itself to adopt measures which are strategically aimed at achieving sustainable development goals.MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s Strategy is also in line with the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development. 4 These commitments, among others, have imposed an obligation and a mandate for Malta to adopt a sustainable development strategy. Malta has, following UNCED, undertaken various actions which can be considered conducive to sustainable development. These were however not couched within an overarching sustainable development strategy. This Strategy is intended to satisfy this need.It is the result of the dedicated work of members of the National Commission for Sustainable Development, particularly those forming part of the task forces appointed by the Commission, and also draws on extensive public consultation. It contains an overarching vision and related principles, reflecting the aspirations of the people as expressed in the consultation process. It sets targets and related performance indicators in line with such aspirations and with national commitments, and outlines methods of implementation taking into account MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s capacities and constraints.This proposed Strategy for Sustainable Development reinforces the strategic vision identified in key Malta Government policy documents, including the National Reform Programme and the Draft National Strategic Re ference Framework. Sustainability is a Two-way Street In various parts of this document, civil society participation is encouraged. Such participation should not be taken to imply armchair criticism, but involvement in the pursuit of sustainable development goals.While it is the GovernmentÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibility to officially formulate, fund and implement the national sustainable development strategy, there is an equal responsibility placed on individuals, constituted bodies and civil society in general to play their part in supporting initiatives that foster sustainable development, as a way of achieving a better quality of life for current and future generations. This may involve changes in the way individuals conduct their life, but social responsibility is central to the concept of sustainable development. Implementing the StrategyThe success of this Strategy will lie in its implementation. A prerequisite for successful implementation is an Action Plan relating to the strategic directions, particularly the priority ones. The Action Plan needs to include specific indicators, budget allocations and time frames, thus rendering it amenable to regular monitoring. This Strategy should be undertaken once the priority strategic directions are approved by the Government. 3 Ã¢â¬Å"A sustainable Europe for a Better World: A European Union Strategy for Sustainable DevelopmentÃ¢â¬ COM (2001) 264 final. See http://www. planbleu. org/actualite/uk/MediterraneanStrategySustainableDevelopment. html 6 Layout This report is organised in six chapters. Chapter 1 describes how the Strategy was drawn up and the criteria underpinning it. Chapter 2 explains the overarching vision underpinning the Strategy, referring to the various dimensions of sustainable development. Chapter 3, which presents the Strategy, is structured in four sections, covering the environmental, economic and social pillars of sustainable development, as well as cross-cutting issues.Chapter 4 deals with the implementation of the Strategy. Chapter 5 presents suggestions for the way forward, with a reminder that the Strategy is an ongoing process requiring periodic revisions. The final chapter lists the priority areas, accompanied by indicators and targets. The focal point of this document is Chapter 3, which, as stated, contains the proposed Strategy, under the following four main headings: (1) managing the environment and resources; (2) promoting sustainable economic development; (3) fostering sustainable communities; and (4) cross-cutting strategic issues.A number of strategic directions are proposed with regard to each heading. These strategic directions are only accompanied by indicators or targets in cases where priority areas are identified, and are intended to serve as guideposts for the attainment of sustainable development goals in the long term. The priority areas, on the other hand, are to be interpreted as an undertaking by Government to attain the targets indicated within the time frames indicated. Priority AreasThe document identifies 20 priority areas, which were given major importance during the consultation process and which the NCSD considered as warranting foremost attention for the attainment of sustainable development goals in Malta. These priority areas are accompanied by indicators and targets. They are considered to have a direct positive effect on society as a whole, in that they improve the quality of life of the population, are in line with sustainable development goals and could be used to gauge whether Malta is moving towards or away from sustainability.The priority strategic directions so identified are the following: 1. The Environment Climate Change. Take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through transport policy and an energy policy that seeks to promote environmental protection, competitiveness and security of supplies and, as a result, decouple the rate of growth of GHG emissions from economic growth. Air Quality. Take re medial action to control emissions of air pollutants (ambient levels of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, lead, ozone, heavy metals and nitrogen oxides), and achieve compliance with European standards.Nature and Biodiversity. Halt loss of biodiversity by 2010, and achieve management of protected areas by 2008. Freshwater. Adopt a policy with the aim of ensuring the utilisation of water resources in a manner that is environmentally and economically sustainable, while safeguarding the water needs of the population, and of the agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors, and achieve good quantitative status by 2015. Seawater. Sustain compliance with the Bathing Water Directive and achieve compliance with Barcelona Convention standards. Wastes.Prevent and minimise waste by achieving EU waste-related objectives and targets, reviewing MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s Waste Management Strategy by 2007. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7 7. Land use. Protect, maintain and improve the urban and rural environment and, through the planning system, protect the open countryside from uses, particularly residences, which can be more appropriately located in urban areas. Transport. Reduce car ownership rates to the EU average by 2014. Attain 1995 bus patronage levels by 2014 (40 million passengers). 8. 9. The Economy Economic Growth.Adopt policy measures so that the growth of GDP per capita in real terms occurs at a rate which will enable the Maltese economy to converge towards the EU average. 10. Employment. Create employment opportunities to generate income and improve the quality of life of the population, taking into consideration environmental and social impacts and adopt policy measures so that the ratio of total employment to the working-age population in Malta converges with the EU average and reaches at least 57 per cent by 2010. 11. Labour productivity.Adopt policy measures to increase average labour productivity at a rate of 1 per cent per annum over the EU average by 2010, while attempting to balance wages, taxation and productivity, in collaboration with the social partners. Society 12. Poverty reduction. Reduce or, at least contain, the current level of 15 per cent of the population at risk of poverty and decrease the ratio of population aged over 65 at risk of poverty from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, by 2010. 13. Labour force participation of women. Adopt policy measures so that the labour force participation rate of women increases to 40. per cent by 2010. 14. Health. Decrease the ratio of overweight/obese population in line with the EU average by 2010 by, amongst other things, enhancing the focus on healthy living and prevention, in order to reduce the need for curative care. 15. Education. Continue to adopt measures to decrease the early school leavers rate to 35 per cent by 2010 Cross Cutting Issues 16. Spatial development plan. By 2010, draw up an integrated spatial development plan to take forward the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, with the participation of major stakeholders. 7. Economic Instruments. By 2008, draw up a strategy to enhance the use of economic instruments, such as charges, taxes, subsidies, deposit refund schemes, and trading schemes to apply the polluter pays principle and to promote sustainable development in Malta. 18. Enforcement. By 2008, put in place an audit of enforcement arrangements to assess the adequacy of the current mechanisms and to promote integration of responsibilities and reduction of overlaps. Implementation 19. Institutional setup.By 2008, put in place a permanent structure, appropriately staffed and funded, to monitor and review the National Strategy for Sustainable Development on an ongoing basis, under the auspices of the National Commission for Sustainable Development, and hold an annual Conference with the participation of major stakeholders to critically evaluate progress relating to the Strategy. 20. Sustainability indicators. By 2008, establish and fund an entity responsible for compiling and evaluating sustainability indicators. This entity should work closely with the National Commission for Sustainable Development and the National Statistics Office. 1. INTRODUCTION 1. 1 The Process of Drafting the Strategy The process of drafting the National Strategy for Sustainable Development was initiated during the 5th meeting of MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s National Commission for Sustainable Development (NCSD), held on 9 December 2002, when the Commission appointed a Task Force5 to oversee the preparation of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development, consisting of an overarching vision and principles, listing the aspirations of government, civil society and the private sector in this regard, and outlining methods of implementation, taking into account MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s capacities and constraints.This decision was taken in line with the functions of the Commission, as listed in Article 8(7) of the Environmental Protection Act (Act XX 2001). The Task Force met soon after it was appointed and set in motion a consultative process to prepare the National Strategy for Sustainable Development. In March 2006 the National Commission for Sustainable Development appointed a second Task Force7, to update the original draft of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, published in July 20048 by incorporating suggestions put forward by various organisations and individuals that were consulted during 2004 and 2005 and by government ministries, departments and public sector agencies that were consulted in March 2006. That version was published in April 20069 and was presented for discussion at a National Conference on Sustainable Development, held on 22 April 2006 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. 0 A third draft of a Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands was drawn up to incorporate suggestions put forward during the April 2006 Conference. Following a second round of consultation with government departments and other public sector agencies, a fourth draft (the current document) was prepared by a third Task Force11 appointed by the Commission for Sustainable Development and was presented to the Commission on 13 November 2006.The Commission adopted this document in terms of Article 8 (7f) of the Environment Protection Act (Chapter 435 of the Laws of Malta) and decided to submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers for possible endorsement by the Government of Malta. 1. 2 The Mandate With the setting up of the National Commission for Sustainable Development in 2002, in terms of the Environment Protection Act (2001), Malta took the first steps to develop a National Strategy for Sustainable Development.The NCSDÃ¢â¬â¢s main remit is to advocate national sustainable development across all sectors, to review progress in the achievement of such sustainable development and to build consensus on action needed to achieve further progress. The NCSD is also charged with identifying relevant processes or policies which may undermine sustainable development, and with proposing alternative processes or policies for adoption by the Government.One of the specific The Task Force was composed of Lino Briguglio, as coordinator, Godwin Cassar, Marguerite Camilleri, Victor Axiak and Ray Cachia Zammit 6 See http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/ncsd/analysis_public_consultation. pdf. 7 The second task force was composed of Lino Briguglio, as coordinator, Godwin Cassar, Marguerite Camilleri, Paul Pace, Martin Spiteri and Marisa Scerri. 8 See http://home. um. edu. t/islands/ncsd/draftstrategydocument. pdf 9 http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/ncsd/draftstrategydocument_2006. pdf 10 See http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/ncsd/conference_report_22-04-06. pdf 11 The third task force was composed of Lino Briguglio as coordinator, Godwin Cassar and Marguerite Camilleri. 5 9 tasks of the Commission is Ã¢â¬Å"to prepare a National Strategy for Sustainable DevelopmentÃ¢â¬ (Chapter 435 of the Laws of Malta, A rticle 8).The objective of drawing up a National Strategy for Sustainable Development was first established in the aftermath of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), when the Maltese Government, together with the governments of other nations, committed itself to adopt such a strategy so as to Ã¢â¬Å"build upon and harmonise the various sectoral, economic, social and environmental policies and plans that are operating in the countryÃ¢â¬ and to Ã¢â¬Å"ensure socially responsible economic development while protecting the resource base and the environment for the benefit of future generations. Governments agreed also that the strategy should Ã¢â¬Å"be developed through the widest possible participationÃ¢â¬ and that it should be Ã¢â¬Å"based on a thorough assessment of the current situation and initiativesÃ¢â¬ (Agenda 21, Chapter 8, paragraph 8. 7). In September 2000, some 150 Heads of State, including Malta, signed the Millennium Declaration and reaffirmed their support for the principles of sustainable development and Agenda 21.They also agreed on the Millennium Development Goals, including the need to Ã¢â¬Å"integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resourcesÃ¢â¬ (Millennium Development Goal 7). 12 This activity at UN level prompted the European Union to prepare its own Strategy for Sustainable Development13 in 2001, which was renewed in June 2006. The EU Strategy contains targets and actions on seven key priority challenges and outlines guiding principles for sustainable development. 4 The Malta Strategy builds upon and is informed by the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. In addition, as a result of its accession to the EU, Malta has embarked on wide-ranging reforms in various sectors, produced national strategic documents in key areas, transposed EU directives in line with the acquis communautaire, upgraded its environmental legis lation, and bound itself to adopt measures which are strategically aimed at achieving sustainable development goals.These commitments, among others, have imposed an obligation on and a mandate for Malta to adopt a National Strategy for Sustainable Development. Malta has, following UNCED, undertaken various actions which can be considered conducive to sustainable development15 but these were not couched within an overarching sustainable development strategy. The Strategy contained in this document is intended to satisfy this need. See http://www. un. rg/millenniumgoals/ Ã¢â¬Å"A sustainable Europe for a Better World: A European Union Strategy for Sustainable DevelopmentÃ¢â¬ COM (2001) 264 final. 14 The seven priorities emerging out of the renewed EU Strategy are: Ã¢â¬ ¢ Climate change and clean energy Ã¢â¬ ¢ Sustainable transport Ã¢â¬ ¢ Public health Ã¢â¬ ¢ Sustainable production and consumption Ã¢â¬ ¢ Conservation and Management of natural resources Ã¢â¬ ¢ Social inclusion, demography and migration Ã¢â¬ ¢ Global poverty and sustainable development challenges. 5 See Report submitted by the Government of Malta to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002). http://home. um. edu. mt/islands/Malta_WSSD. pdf 13 12 10 1. 3 The Main Benefits of a Sustainable Development Strategy The main advantage of drawing up a National Strategy for Sustainable Development is that such a strategy informs policy-making agents across different sectors. It also provides a framework for a systematic approach within an institutionalised process of consultation and consensus building.The National Strategy for Sustainable Development should serve as a guide in prioritising actions that are undertaken by all members of society to ensure the prudent use and management of resources in a way that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations, thus contributing to a better life for everyone. The Strategy addresses social, economic and envi ronmental concerns in a coherent manner and permits policy makers to assign relative priorities to these three pillars of sustainable development.It affords an opportunity for identifying specific initiatives and for committing authorities towards their implementation within defined time frames. The extensive public consultation exercise that was carried out enriched the process by encouraging participatory schemes, and the exercise was an educational experience in itself for the participants and facilitators. 1. 4 The Criteria Underpinning the StrategyThe criteria on which the Strategy was based are similar to those set out by the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs16 namely that the Strategy should: Ã¢â¬ ¢ seek to integrate economic, social and environmental considerations; Ã¢â¬ ¢ be inter-sectoral and multilayered; Ã¢â¬ ¢ have a long-run perspective and an ethical dimension with regard to future generations; Ã¢â¬ ¢ be developed on the basis of broad part icipation and generate a feeling of ownership by stakeholders; Ã¢â¬ ¢ be backed by strong political commitment; Ã¢â¬ ¢ serve to develop capacity and itself generate an enabling environment; Ã¢â¬ ¢ promote the development of monitoring and assessment procedures; Ã¢â¬ ¢ foster an educative process and a sustainable development culture; Ã¢â¬ ¢ be coherent, in that there should be a balance between the funding potential and strategy priorities; and Ã¢â¬ ¢ be anchored in sound technical and economic analysis. 1. 5 Layout of the Document This report is organised in six chapters. Chapter 2, which follows this introduction, explains the overarching vision underpinning the Strategy, referring to the various dimensions of sustainable development. Chapter 3, which presents the Strategy, is structured in four sections, covering the environmental, economic and social pillars of sustainable development, as well as cross-cutting issues. Chapter 4 deals with the implementation of the Strategy .Chapter 5 proposes a way forward, with a reminder that the Strategy is an ongoing process requiring periodic revisions. The final chapter lists the priority areas, accompanied by performance indicators and targets. 16 UN DESA (2002). Ã¢â¬Å"Guidance in Preparing National Sustainable Development Strategies,Ã¢â¬ available at http://www. un. org/esa/sustdev/publications/nsds_guidance. pdf 11 2. UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES 2. 1 The Overarching Vision and Goal The National Strategy for Sustainable Development is primarily aimed at improving the quality of life of all members of society, promoting convergence between the interests of different sectors and layers of society and between the interests of current and future generations. 2. 2 Sustainability is MultifacetedSustainable development must be based on a multifaceted approach, covering environmental, economic and social concerns, since the quality of life is dependent on these factors considered together and not in isolation from one a nother. This holistic approach requires a long-term view of development, rather than one based on short term economic gains. It assigns major importance to the integrity of nature and biodiversity, as well as to the eradication of poverty, the removal of social injustice and other factors that work against human welfare of current and future generations. For this reason, economic development must be planned and executed within a framework that respects environmental capacity constraints and conservation priorities.It should be emphasised that sustainable development cannot be compatible with economic stagnation and retardation Ã¢â¬â the word Ã¢â¬Å"developmentÃ¢â¬ itself suggests improvements, including material ones. It is for this reason that, in this document, the need for economic development is given due importance, emphasising the point that sustainable development is not just an environmental issue, but a multidimensional and multifaceted one. However, while it is recog nised that sustainable development objectives need to take into account economic realities, it is likewise recognised that to date, in spite of remarkable efforts towards environmental protection, such constraints have often excessively shifted the national priority towards economic requirements. The Strategy drawn up in this document acknowledges this reality.Furthermore it sets as a top national priority the need to improve our quality of life and of the environment, in an effort to safeguard the long-term prospects of economic growth and social wellbeing. 2. 3 The Democratic Dimension: Participation is Necessary Directly or indirectly, all members of society are potentially affected by decisions related to sustainable development. Public participation in decision-making is therefore an essential feature of sustainable development. Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration states that sustainable development issues are best handled with the participation of all citizens concerned, and t hat these should have the information and opportunity to be able to participate in decision-making processes, including judicial redress. Agenda 21 emphasises the need for enabling the participation of major groups.More recently, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Johannesburg Declaration recognised the importance of a broad-based commitment to public participation in policy-formulation, decisionmaking and implementation at all levels. In this regard, Malta has signed the UNECE Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and, following accession to the EU, has adopted the EU directives relevant to this convention, namely Directive 2003/4/ and 2003/35. 12 Public participation is important for two principal reasons. First, public participation is a good in its own right, empowering people both individually and collectively and reducing social exclusion and alienation.Second, decision s taken through participatory processes are sounder because they are based on a broader spectrum of knowledge and are easier to implement because they are owned by a wider group of people. 2. 4 Social Responsibility and the Ethical Dimension While it is the GovernmentÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibility to officially formulate, fund and implement a national Sustainable Development Strategy, there is an equal responsibility placed on individuals, constituted bodies and civil society in general to play their part in supporting initiatives that foster sustainable development, as a way of achieving a better quality of life for current and future generations. This may involve changes in the way ndividuals conduct their lives, but social responsibility is central to the concept of sustainable development. Sustainability has a strong ethical dimension and can be considered as a value to be upheld. In this regard, the issue of responsibility towards future generations takes centre stage Ã¢â¬â this a spect of sustainable development was an important component of the most widely used definition of sustainable development, as proposed by the Bruntland Commission in 1987, which states that sustainable development is the improvement in the quality of life of current generations without compromising that of future ones. There are also ethical considerations relating to science and technology, since these have major impacts on sustainability.It is important that scientific and technological developments have the improvement of quality of life as a central aim. Ethics also have an important role in the promotion and sharing of knowledge and in the participation of stakeholders in the process. The association between sustainable development and matters such as information, transparency and participation is also ethically based, as noted above. The keyword with regard to the ethical dimension of sustainable development is Ã¢â¬Å"responsibilityÃ¢â¬ and this pertains to environmental qu ality, political matters, use of economic resources, education, culture, intergenerational concerns and international affairs. 2. The Political Dimension: Integrative Legislation and Policy The political dimension of sustainable development relates to the need for strong political commitment from all layers of authority, including Government and local authorities. It is therefore important that those in authority recognise the benefits of sustainable development and take steps to promote it. The multifaceted nature of sustainable development requires cooperation and effective linkages between the different government departments and parastatal organisations at national and local level. In this context, the National Commission for Sustainable Development is a useful and important vehicle for co-operation and effective interface, both at the national and local level, between the various Government entities.The political dimension is also relevant because the process of sustainable dev elopment requires consensus-building on the ways in which natural and economic resources are to be utilised. Sustainable development is primarily a political process since it is based on constant negotiation 13 between the various individuals and groups that have different interests with regard to the use of resources. The process also involves subsidiarity Ã¢â¬â a principle associated with the decentralisation of power and the provision of an enabling environment, including material assistance to the decentralised units, in order to achieve sustainable development objectives.In general, sustainable development requires a good legal foundation to ensure protection of the environment, to promote macroeconomic stability, to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable groups and to cater for the interests of future generations. Moreover, achieving the desired results requires an integrated approach. 2. 6 The International and Regional Dimensions Agenda 21 created a new development model, en dorsed by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), aimed at preparing the world for the challenges of the 21st century. It placed the primary, though not exclusive, responsibility on national governments, which were expected to adopt national strategies, plans, policies and processes conducive to sustainable development, in order to secure the well-being of current and future generations.The international commitments of states to promote sustainable development at the regional and international levels emanate from ethical and mutual interest considerations. The ethical obligations stem from the concept of human solidarity. Actions by one state that place a burden on other states or that disregard the plights of other states work against such solidarity. This is one important reason why collaboration is necessary, and should also be an underlying reason for countries, Malta included, which form part of the donor country group within the United Nations to accept intern ational commitments, including those proposed at UNCED and the WSSD, even when such commitments do not produce material gains to the donor countries.Another ethical consideration is that Planet Earth has a limited capacity to deal with negative environmental, economic and social impacts, and collective responsibility in therefore called for. The Ã¢â¬Ëmutual interestÃ¢â¬â¢ consideration is associated with the fact that many sustainable development problems are not confined within the borders of nation-states. Obvious examples are climate change, which has an international dimension, and air and sea pollution, which generally have regional impacts. There are also economic aspects of sustainable development connected with trade and aid, which have clear regional and international mutual interest dimensions.There are many international and regional arrangements for coordination and co-operation including the United Nations, the European Union and the Mediterranean Commission for Sus tainable Development, within which Malta operates at the international and regional level. These have developed and promulgated their own sustainable development strategies and plans, and member countries have an obligation to abide by the commitments which they undertake within such organisations. 14 3. THE PROPOSED STRATEGY FOR MALTA This chapter presents the National Strategy for Sustainable Development adopted by Malta, with reference to the environmental, economic and social dimensions.These three pillars of sustainable development are interrelated and action in this regard should be integrated. In this Chapter, the three dimensions are treated separately, in different sections, for the purpose of exposition only. There are a number of cross-cutting issues which cannot easily be categorised under any one dimension, and these are considered separately in the last section of the chapter. A number of strategic directions are proposed with regard to each heading. These strategic di rections are intended to serve as guideposts for the attainment of sustainable development goals in the longer term, are only accompanied by indicators or targets in cases where priority areas are identified.The priority areas, on the other hand, are to be interpreted as an undertaking by Government to attain the targets within the time frames indicated. This proposed Strategy for Sustainable Development reinforces the strategic vision identified in key Malta Government policy documents, including the National Reform Programme and the Draft National Strategic Reference Framework. 3. 1 Managing the Environment and Resources 3. 1. 1 The Main Environmental Challenges Malta's environmental challenges have been systematically assessed in a number of official reports including the State of the Environment Report (1998, 2002 and 2005) and Malta's National Report to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002).On the basis of these reports and following an extensive consultation proce ss in connection with the drawing up of this Strategy, the following environmental challenges facing Malta were identified: Ã¢â¬ ¢ Air quality and climate change Ã¢â¬ ¢ Energy-efficiency and renewable energy resources Ã¢â¬ ¢ Biodiversity Ã¢â¬ ¢ Freshwater Ã¢â¬ ¢ Wastes Ã¢â¬ ¢ Marine and coastal environment Ã¢â¬ ¢ Land use Ã¢â¬ ¢ Transport Ã¢â¬ ¢ Natural and technological risks Ã¢â¬ ¢ Leisure and the environment 3. 1. 2 Air Quality and Climate Change The quality of MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s air should be completely safe for human health and able to support biodiversity. In addition, human activities should have the smallest possible impact on climate and on global life-supporting systems (including the ozone layer). The significant improvement in data availability since 1998 has allowed a thorough quantitative assessment of air quality over the Maltese Islands.Parallel work on determining emissions, the drawing up of a greenhouse gas inventory, as well as observation of transboundary pollution, have provided a detailed identification of sources and their relative importance, providing a sound information base for policy. 15 Electricity generation and transport are the major contributors to air pollution in Malta. In recent years, greenhouse gas emissions have increased due to the increased demand for electrical energy and the growth in private car ownership. This has resulted in atmospheric pollution by particulates, ozone, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds including benzene and lead.A shift to better-quality and lower-sulphur fuels was made in 2004 and leaded petrol was phased out in January 2003. Results from the national air monitoring programme indicate that the two main air pollutants of concern are particulate matter and ozone, while nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide also pose challenges. The main anthropogenic sources of particulate matter are transport and electricity generation, as well as quarrying and construction activ ities. As a user of ozonedepleting substances (ODSs), Malta also contributes to dispersion in the environment of these substances. The challenge in this area is to attain EU air quality standards while ensuring efficient production and use of energy, as well as a cost effective transport system.Measures designed to encourage energy end-use efficiency, to use renewable sources of energy and to restrict overall vehicle use, including the provision of a high-quality public transport as well as traffic management measures, will be conducive towards this end. Furthermore, support for the use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel should be continued. Government has already introduced financial incentives to promote biofuels, through the exemption from excise duty of the biomass content in biodiesel.. The biodiesel produced in Malta originates from waste cooking oil, and waste collection programmes have been established. Targets for the use of biofuels in road transport have also been set . A balance needs to be found between the costs of introducing alternative fuels and the benefits of reduction in use of conventional fuels. Landfills have been a source of air pollution for many years.The rehabilitation of old landfills and the proper engineering of new ones are expected to resolve the negative impacts associated with past operating practices of MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s landfills. Mitigation and adaptation issues and the political and economic aspects of climate change need to be properly addressed as these involve significant economic costs and may impact heavily on MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s development. Adaptation to rising global surface temperatures and the anticipated consequential rise in sea level need to feature in future development strategies. In particular, future development strategies should consider the impacts of climate change on coastal areas in terms of risks to settlements and human safety, commercial activities and habitats. 16 Promote the adoption of new technologi es, including mandating use of catalytic converters, to affect Ã¢â¬ ¢ Take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through an energy policy which seeks to promote Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ã¢â¬ ¢ environmental protection, competitiveness and security of supplies, and as a result decouple the rate of growth of energy demand from economic growth. Take remedial action to control emissions of air pollutants (ambient levels of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, lead, ozone, heavy metals and nitrogen oxides) and achieve compliance with European standards. Encourage people to make use of public transport or to adopt car-pooling practices in order to reduce vehicle emissions. Introduce smaller buses on certain public transport routes.Require the construction industry to reduce generation of fine dust particles. Continue to monitor landfills for air pollution and take remedial action as required. Continue to monitor transboundary p ollution and take remedial action as required. Develop a hazard map for coastal areas prone to erosion and flooding. Take action to reduce Malta's vulnerability to Climate Change. significant cut-backs in vehicle emissions. Main strategic directions with regard to air quality and climate change: 3. 1. 3 Energy-efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources. Energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources (RES) can be economically and environmentally advantageous.RES are not extensively used in Malta, although they may have immediate local application. Solar water heating could offset a substantial proportion of annual generation of electricity, avoiding emissions of CO2. Generation of electricity using photovoltaics (PV) is currently limited to a small number of specialised applications. The use of photovoltaics will, in practice, be determined by economic factors (the cost of panels and associated equipment), the extent to which these systems can be connected to the electricit y grid, and the associated feed-in tariff established, including any support measures for renewable electricity. Various incentives and support measures could speed up market penetration.Market forces on their own may not spur the use of RES, and government intervention in the form of subsidies or other incentives is required to encourage investors to develop these sources of energy and to encourage consumers to use them. It is important, however, to ensure that the use of RES does not pose unduly high fiscal burdens. In 2005, the Government of Malta introduced a series of measures to support electricity generation from RES. These include financial incentives in the form of grants on the capital costs of photovoltaic installations and micro-wind generation systems by domestic households. A net metering arrangement and purchase by Enemalta at established tariffs of excess electricity generated from small-scale PV systems have also been introduced.In addition, grants on the capital co st of solar thermal water heaters installed by domestic consumers and other financial incentives related to meter installation charges for new domestic consumers installing such systems have been established. The Government has also published a draft Renewable Energy Policy for Malta, with the three key objectives of promoting RES, improving the quality of life and providing support facilities and services in a holistic manner. Further reductions in CO2 emissions are likely to be attained through the construction of energyefficient buildings and the use of small combined heat and power plants by industry, the introduction of energy-efficient electric motors and drives, the proper dimensioning of airconditioning units and attendant ducting, and further use of energy-saving lamps.Emissions could also be reduced through improvements in electricity generation and use, as discussed in the previous section. Such reductions could also be attained through fuel pricing as part of an energy 1 7 policy, and through making available alternative sources such as Biodiesel, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The use of energy from animal waste and oil waste is also being studied and reviewed by Government. Efficiency in government electricity usage should be very visible so as to encourage private users to change their own behaviour with regard to electricity usage, as well as to curb light pollution. Such visibility includes more efficient street lighting and luminous devices used in road safety signs.Floodlighting of public buildings could also be reduced late at night. Government departments should adopt energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning in order to lead by example. Energy-saving pilot projects by the Housing Authority should be encouraged. Main strategic directions with regard to energy-saving and renewable resources Ã¢â¬ ¢ Adopt a national energy policy that seeks to improve efficiency in electricity generation and to promote a sec ure, competitively priced, and environmentally sound energy supply, Ã¢â¬ ¢ Put in place an integrated approach, supported by a nationwide educational campaign, to promote energy efficiency and conservation by users. Carry out an energy audit of street lighting and propose measures to promote efficiency in lighting Ã¢â¬ ¢ Step up funding for research to improve knowledge on local materials and conditions in building for energy efficiency and in the use of renewable energy sources Ã¢â¬ ¢ Adopt building regulations that would include design requirements relating to thermal efficiency. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Direct more development permit applicants to adopt energy efficiency measures. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Promote the introduction and use of renewable energy sources through support mechanisms and other appropriate measures. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Promote energy audits and energy-efficiency improvements in commercial and industrial establishments. Heighten water conservation methods to reduce dependency on reverse osmosis plan ts. 3. 1. 4 Freshwater Water in the Maltese Islands remains a scarce and basic resource and is under intense pressure from competing users. While traditional problems associated with the lack of availability of supply have been addressed mainly though significant investment in desalination plants, this has been achieved at a high cost. Furthermore, new challenges emerge as more information becomes available from studies carried out on environmental impacts. It is likely that modern technological progress will chart the way towards higher levels of efficiency in the use of water resources.The fair allocation of water resources is considered to be a major priority that needs to be addressed throughout the decision-making process. Water demand and supply need to be managed on a geographical basis, especially in areas where second class water requirements take precedence. The integrated management of water resources at water catchment district level is considered to be crucial. Availabl e water resources should be fairly allocated to the different stakeholders while taking into account sectoral requirements in terms of quality and quantity. Such an exercise would require a sound regulatory system and a clear policy, backed by legislation, that sets priorities for water use and lays the foundations for the sustainable management of water resources.In this context, Malta will have to eliminate wasteful practices and move towards the conjunctive use of groundwater with other non-conventional sources such as desalination, treated sewage effluent and stormwater. StakeholdersÃ¢â¬â¢ requirements, the relative supply costs and the benefits accrued, as well as the value of the externalities generated by the use of water, need to be carefully assessed. 18 The quality and integrity of groundwater bodies in the Maltese Islands are currently at risk mainly from over-exploitation (including uncontrolled private abstraction of groundwater), leading to increased salinity, and fr om contamination by excess nitrates (mainly from agriculture) and other pollutants.Information on and awareness of the importance of groundwater and the risks posed to its integrity by over-exploitation and pollution need to be more widely disseminated. The Ã¢â¬Ëpolluter pays principleÃ¢â¬â¢, as well as the EU Environmental Liability Directive provisions, need to be more extensively used and enforced. Investment in stormwater management and flood relief are key priorities for the Maltese Islands. The installation of stormwater catchment facilities will allow this source of freshwater to be utilised for a wide variety of purposes, reducing the strain on the current freshwater resources. Furthermore, road and land development have often failed to recognise the importance of maintaining natural aquifer recharge.Legislative changes introduced in 2000 with the establishment of the Malta Resources Authority involved the separation of the regulatory and operational responsibilities pre viously carried out by the Water Services Corporation. This has led to a clear distinction of regulatory and operational roles between the regulator and the utility agency, thus promoting an improvement in the level of services provided, to the consumers as well as better regulation of the sector. Drinking water quality standards have improved during the past three years as a result of infrastructural improvements which allow a more uniform blending of groundwater with desalinated water throughout the Maltese Islands.Further improvement is foreseen as the Water Services Corporation plans to upgrade its desalination facilities in an endeavour to improve product quality and energy efficiency. The introduction of a better-regulated system for groundwater abstraction, together with enforcement of environmental measures to improve the qualitative standards of groundwater supplies, is also envisaged. In recent years, the Water Services Corporation has also stepped up its water conservatio n efforts and has reduced losses from the distribution network. Better use of harvested rainwater and treated sewage effluent is envisaged in the coming years, while further measures and incentives to store stormwater run-off in urban/semi-urban areas will be considered.Potable water quality needs to be improved in order to reach EU standards and the present plans of the Water Services Corporation and of the Malta Resources Authority to achieve this aim need to be fully implemented in a sustainable manner. Through EU Structural Funds, measures and projects are underway to improve drinking water quality. At the same time, conservation measures related to water produced through sewage treatment, controlled abstraction of groundwater, the better use of cisterns and wells, and the cleaning of existing dams and building of new ones in strategic locations need to be encouraged through the enforcement of existing legislation, a more effective consumer education programmes and, possibly, ec onomic incentives and disincentives. Measures to store rainwater, including the use of disused quarries, need to be explored.Valley beds need to be cleared from unauthorised interventions in order to allow for the safe collection of water; however, the ecological value of valleys must be recognised in addition to their water transport function, and the haphazard clearing of valleys should be prohibited. As well as supplying potable water for human use, freshwater also sustains a variety of perennial springs and small water bodies which, in turn, support a variety of species. Such freshwater ecosystems are extremely threatened by the combined effects of habitat loss and by the lack of water availability, resulting from anthropogenic activities and recurring episodes of drought.These freshwater habitats need to be very carefully managed and all efforts should be made to safeguard them before they are completely lost. To this end, the importance of such measures will be 19 reflected in the implementation of the Water Catchment Management Plan under the national legislation transposing the Water Framework Directive. Around 14. 3Mm3/year of treated sewage effluent are expected to be available for re-use in Malta and Gozo during the next five years. As a signatory to the Barcelona Convention, Malta is committed to treat all wastewater before discharging at sea, and is thus planning to set up three new sewage treatment plants: one in Gozo and two in Malta.The treatment plant in Gozo and that in the north of Malta are expected to be operational by 2008. Once the projected sewage treatment plants are operational, the country should have significant quantities of second-class water. While not suitable for human consumption, this water may be suitable for other purposes. Other uses should be explored, especially for those sectors and activities with heavy water consumption. In this regard, projects that require large quantities of water to sustain them need to be careful ly assessed for their impact on the water supply. Since sewage is increasingly being seen as a water resource, it must also be protected against contamination from hazardous industrial and other effluents.Main strategic directions with regard to freshwater: Ã¢â¬ ¢ Adopt a policy with the aim of ensuring the utilisation of the nationÃ¢â¬â¢s water resources in a manner that is environmentally and economically sustainable. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Allow the natural biodiversity of surface water eco-systems to be sustained and to flourish, and achieve good ecological status for inland surface waters by 2015 in line with the Water Framework Directive. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Ensure a reliable and good-quality supply of potable water in accordance with international water quality standards. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Reduce and prevent further pollution of waters with the aim of achieving good status of all water bodies by 2015 in line with the Water Framework Directive. Establish and operate comprehensive monitoring networks for all wa ter bodies in the Maltese Islands in order to reliably assess the achievement of Ã¢â¬Ëgood statusÃ¢â¬â¢ objectives in these bodies. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Encourage initiatives for the adoption of water efficiency and conservation measures. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Introduce effective catchment management and design roads so as to maximise the channelling of water towards reservoirs. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Improve public awareness on the environmental, social and economic value of water. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Strengthen and enforce regulatory measures with regard to illegal abstraction. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Encourage the recycling of non-potable sources of water for secondary use. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Assess projects that require large quantities of water in order to ascertain that they do not unduly create water supply shortages. Optimise the use of second-class water particularly in those sectors that make heavy use of water. 3. 1. 5 Biodiversity Though small in size, the Maltese Islands and their territorial waters support a variety of habitats and significant biodiversity which are still not adequately recognised as an environmental asset to be protected and sustained. Loss of biodiversity, i. e. the irreversible loss of species and ecosystems, can have very damaging effects on various aspects of a nationÃ¢â¬â¢s development. A number of endemic and sub-endemic species are not only of scientific importance but are also of evolutionary and biogeographical interest, being relics of past Mediterranean flora and fauna.Over the years, not enough commitment has been shown to protect such biodiversity, leading to rapid habitat loss and uncontrolled exploitation of wildlife. This has meant that unique and important habitats such as wetlands, sand dunes and woodlands have disappeared or are on the verge of disappearing. Furthermore, some elements of MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s biodiversity have a wider regional and global importance, and as such are protected under international legislation. 20 Extinction and loss of species has been documented since 1998 by the State of the Environment Reports. In spite of the introduction of substantial legal protection for important habitats during the last 15 years, effective protection has lagged behind.Effective conservation requires the allocation of financial, physical and human resources to enable management, including short- and long-term monitoring. Moreover, in situ and ex situ conservation is urgently required (e. g. propagation, habitat restoration, containment, control or eradication of invasive alien species and reintroduction of indigenous species). In spite of efforts to protect and manage indigenous biodiversity, most threatened species and the majority of endemic species, remain under threat from human-mediated activities (such as overexploitation, illegal capture and killing, land development and introduction of alien species) and from the consequences of such activities such as loss and degradation of habitats, pollution, disruption of food webs, erosion and eutrophication) that l ead to undesirable changes in ecosystems. The dwindling areas of garigue, sand dunes and cliff faces are some examples of habitats that are endangered. Due to the state of such habitats, even certain recreational activities, such off-roading, camping and abseiling, need to be better regulated. The state of knowledge of local biota is still poor and resources for the implementation and enforcement of existing regulations have still not reached the required levels. The biodiversity monitoring programme is still rudimentary and under-funded.Exploitation, whether illegal or unregulated, of a number of wildlife species and communities is still ongoing (and, in some cases, possibly increasing), mainly through hunting, trapping and fishing. The currently available data on such activities are not sufficient and not sufficiently reliable to permit a thorough assessment of the impact of such exploitation on the local biodiversity. This issue should be addressed as an immediate priority. Land reclamation in sensitive ecological areas should be prohibited and the re-use of abandoned fields encouraged. This needs to be linked to the promotion of land stewardship, establishment of ecological corridors and organic farming. The uncontrolled introduction of alien species into local eco-systems continues to be of serious concern.An increasing number of such species are establishing themselves in the wild, with adverse effects on the local eco-systems. It is widely documented globally that human-mediated activities, namely trade and tourism, facilitate the introduction and transfer of such species into new environments. Once alien species are introduced, either deliberately or accidentally, into the environment, they can establish themselves. In certain cases, alien species start to compete with native species, in which case they become invasive and could become the dominant species. Invasive alien species involve and affect a wide range of social, ecological and economic activi ties and can also affect public health.To prevent these impacts, a strategy to control existent alien species and to prevent the further introduction of alien invasive species, should be drawn up. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be considered as alien species and the regulation of GMOs should be included in any policy and/or legislation on alien species. MaltaÃ¢â¬â¢s official policy is that applications to deliberately release or place on the market GMOs are assessed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis and by means of a thorough scientific assessment. Support should be given to research and development to predict and prevent invasive behaviour of alien species and GMOs before they are released into the environment.The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety should be ratified and implemented in order to control transboundary movements of GMOs with the aim of providing a comprehensive and holistic approach to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of natu ral resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits deriving from the use of genetic resources. 21 In order to comply with the EU nature protection acquis, Malta has designated an extensive network of Special Areas of Conservation, of which 31 are of international importance and which amount to a respectable 12. 5 per cent of the national territory in terms of land area. The total area of protected terrestrial habitat on the Maltese Islands relative to the total surface area compares favourably to the EU average.Additional efforts should now be made so that rare or scientifically important eco-systems not yet protected, as well as representative examples of more widespread habitats such as marine eco-systems, are afforded legal protection. Natural areas which are declared protected need to be monitored and managed in accordance with adopted management plans, the more so since this is also a legal obligation. Management plans have already been adopted for some of the sites, and others are in the pipeline. Monitoring work has been undertaken and policy provisions are being drawn up to ensure that the EU Directives are adhered to. Nonetheless, the process of agreeing on management plans for protected areas will have to be significantly accelerated in order to meet Malta's national and international obligations.A commendable dev