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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANNING - Further afforestation initiatives in Natura2000 sites

Reference Number: PR202241en, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 11, 2020
Further afforestation initiatives in Natura2000 sites
​Around a thousand trees and shrubs are currently being planted at Majjistral Park as part of ongoing works by Ambjent Malta to improve our natural environment, and as part of an agreement between the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning and the Turkish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. 
 
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia during a tree-planting activity at Majjistral Park, one of the major Natura 2000 sites on our islands, which was also attended by representatives from the Turkish Ministry, Turkish Embassy, and Ambjent Malta. 
 
The Minister said that such initiatives demonstrate the government’s resolve towards strengthening the rehabilitation and restoration efforts in favour of our environment. 
 
He said that, through this collaboration, Ambjent Malta is planting a thousand trees and shrubs in the Majjistral Nature Park. The trees are from local stock, and an irrigation system has been installed with them, so that they can be watered as needed.
 
The project will also be rehabilitating an area of 8,000m² of green land, which the public may continue to enjoy and benefit from.
 
“Such efforts are important because the repercussions of pollution and climate change are something that affects all countries, and tangible change can only be brought about through agreement and collective cooperation,” the Minister said. 
 
The aim of this initiative is to restore the land that was previously derelict, and to complement the rest of the surrounding ecological environment. For this reason, the trees and shrubs planted on this site are indigenous and compatible with the climate of Malta, such as olive trees, carob trees and the national Maltese tree, known as tal-għargħar.
 
On behalf of the Turkish Embassy, Charges D'Affaires ad interim Mrs Tugba Alan Ozdenfedakar explained that this initiative is part of a joint tree-planting initiative on an international scale, with the aim of creating synergy regarding forestation and serving to build a greener future for everyone.
 
Majjistral Park Chairman Sammy Vella praised this initiative, which he said is a step in the right direction. He stated that we need to plant more trees so that our population can enjoy cool and pleasant environments in which to recreate itself. “In the past, we tried to plant more trees, but we haven’t always planted wisely. Today, we are much more aware that we need to be selective in our planting strategies.”