Nature Trust Malta - News
Fri, May 10, 2013
Green wardens for our country side needed
Only three weeks after the last clean up at the Xrobb L-Ghagin / Tas Silg peninsula, waste in the area has started mushrooming again on site. This Peninsula is found in the south East of Malta close to Delimara and leading to the Xrobb L-Ghagin Nature Park and the St Paul’s Battery.
This last clean up was held with the full participation of the Youths NGO – Youths for the Environment and the support of the Marsaxlokk local council as part of the Earth Day activities where members from the NGO – Youths for the Environment also planted trees at the Xrobb L-Ghagin Park
Over the last twelve months, Nature Trust (Malta) with the help of various NGOs and business organisations organised three clean ups on the same site. From what can be noted most of the waste appears during weekends. Locals also attribute this waste to picnickers and other visitors to the area.
Nature Trust (Malta) appeals to the public to respect our countryside as it is there for the enjoyment of all. The Ngo has been working hard to attract ecotourism to our Islands to enjoy the Maltese habitats. The Xrobb L-Ghagin Park was one project to restore an open countryside space for the public to enjoy and also to promote ecotourism to this part of the Island. The NGO also calls on the authorities to consider green wardens to patrol our country side especially on weekends or sites that are prone to continuous dumping. The polluter pays principle should be adopted and any one caught littering should be fined. Waste in our countryside creates health issues and damages the tourism economy.
Last year from Pembroke Natura 2000 site alone, NTM clean ups collected over 1000 Kgs of dumped waste
Photo – a television set (hazardous waste) left along the road to Xrobb L-Ghagin last weekend by someone who could easily have called the bulky refuse unit.
Sat, Apr 13, 2013
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS OVER RECENT PROPOSALS
Nature Trust (Malta) and Din L-Art Helwa express their concern on the recent statements made by government namely on the two important issues of land reclamation and new development regulations within Mepa and are asking the authorities to give more information on their intentions.
While both NGOs agree that minor development amendments that could have negligible impact should be fast tracked within the building application process, transparency and professional control need to remain in the system to avoid abuse and encourage best practice. Furthermore the NGOs are disappointed that none of the Environmental organisations have been consulted or contacted before such a change, stating that this does not argue well especially with Malta being an EU country were public consultation and the right to information by civil society is a guiding EU principle. The two NGos will be asking for a meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Mepa so these new amendments can be explained.
NTM and DLH also voice their concern regarding proposals made for private development to declare interests in land reclamation schemes as these can threaten our most scenic coastal areas which can fall prey to speculation for commercial purposes. Such activity may result in total degradation of marine habitats and compromise the protected posidonia meadows that abound in Malta’s waters which are safeguarded by EU law, in particular if silt curtains and monitoring is not done and hazardous waste is dumped. Popular relaxation areas and coastal landscapes important to a sustainable tourism industry can be lost and the economy should not have to depend on construction to be stimulated. Furthermore the coastline is protected by several international conventions and changing its nature will be in direct contravention.
NTM and DLH are looking to the authorities to expand on these proposals and to give opportunity to ENGOs to send in comments and recommendations
Thu, Mar 21, 2013
Burned Oil dumped over cliffs on the south of Malta
Nature Trust (Malta) is very concerned on recent reports it received of burned oil dumped over the Tal-Mara cliffs in the South of Malta. These cliffs, like most other rupestral habitats, host various indigenous and endemic plants species which include our national plant - Cheirolophus crassifolius (Widnet il-Baħar; Maltese Rock Centaury), together with Darniella melitensis (Xebb; Maltese Salt Tree), Chremnophyton lanfrancoi (Bjanka tal-irdum; Maltese Cliff Orache) and less restricted endemics such as Limonium melitensis (Limonju ta’ Malta; Maltese Sea-Lavender) and the subendemic Siculo-Maltese Jacobaea maritima subsp. sicula (Silvery Ragwort: Kromb il-Baħar Isfar).
The non-governmental environment organisation appeals to the public to report any information regarding this oil spill to the police and urges the police to investigate the matter to apprehend the culprits of such an ecological disaster. Rupestral habitats are protected by Legal Notice 311 of 2006.
The report was first raised on the NGO Facebook Group.
Fri, Mar 15, 2013
The Verdala International School is supporting the Turtle rehabilitation
project run by Nature Trust (Malta)
Funds will go towards medication costs for the injured turtles and to help the Nature Trust (Malta) raise enough funds to set up the first wildlife rehabilitation centre in Malta at the Xrobb L-Ghagin Park. This centre will be set up with the latest standards set by the EU to cater for injured local wildlife such a marine turtles, hedgehogs, bats etc. The centre will increase the present capacity from 12 tanks to 30 tanks for turtles thus allowing more injured turtles to be rehabilitated at one time. NTM is also aiming at setting the centre up to be used as an emergency centre for wildlife in case of an oil spill disaster.
Nature Trust (Malta) Executive President Mr Vincent Attard, thanked the students and the school staff for this wonderful initiative to support injured turtles.
Mr Attard said that the turtles have been present on the planet for millions of years – well before mankind appeared, but now due to our human impact, pollution, climate change etc the marine turtle is today an endangered species.
He also commended on the school environmental commitment – the school runs an environmental club “Project Earth” run by a Verdala mother Alexandra White who introduced NTM to the school – the club teaches the children environmental awareness – and supports environmental initiatives both locally and globally.
Verdala’s Project Earth club also has an organic garden where the children are encouraged to grow local vegetables. Mrs White said “we have a dedicated group of children who enjoy gardening and have found out they have green fingers! Watching the magic of nature happening in front of their eyes has been most rewarding. This all started when my daughter Holly White a
Verdala student was concerned about the amount of plastic on our beaches and how we humans were destroying the planet. She approached the Middle school head and asked if she could form an environmental group where children could have their say and make a difference and perhaps an area to grow their own vegetables – the rest is history.”
“The club participates in many projects including the turtle rehabilitation initiative and cleaning up our environment etc.
The club is well supported by parents who have joined in on clean up days , walking to raise money or helping out with planting and digging – the international community of Verdala International school Pembroke are grateful to the beautiful island of Malta for hosting us all and wish to give back to the island.”
The Middle School Principal Mr Noel Buttigieg said, ‘It is part of the school’s ethos to promote such initiatives since these highlight the hidden aspects of the curriculum while promoting respect towards our host nation’.
The students where then presented with adoption certificates for five turtles in the centre.