The Malta Independent 20 February 2019, Wednesday

40 trees planted to celebrate Arbor day at Wied Ghollieqa

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 14:52 Last update: about 2 months ago

40 trees were planted on Wednesday in Wied Ghollieqa nature reserve in a special event to celebrate Arbor Day.

This was done through the LEAF programme which allowed a group of students to plant various indigenous trees and shrubs in the area, whilst also attending various hands-on educational sessions led by experts on various aspects of the valley.

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The Tree Your Town scheme was also launched whereby a number of schools can now benefit from funds to embellish their village cores with indigenous trees and shrubs. Fourteen schools benefitted from the scheme last year with around 600 trees and shrubs planted.

Speaking at the event, Nature Trust Malta (NTM) President Vincent Attard explained that Arbor Day is celebrated worldwide to remember the contribution trees give to our environment.

“We must remember that when we work on sustainable development, we must also take note of the social and environmental aspects in terms of the event taking place today”

Quoting a United Nations report, Attard stressed that in the last 100 years, the number of species that have gone extinct is so big that we hear of a new species going extinct almost everyday.

"On this occasion, along with students and teachers, we are trying to raise public awareness on the importance of green spaces and how we must care for them."

Gzira mayor Conrad Borg Manche also said a few words, insisting that although there are almost 500,000 people living in the country, we can all contribute along with the students present at the event.

Minister for the Environment Jose Herrera celebrated how events such as this were a different way to teach children the importance of the environment, also noting how people who are brought up in an urban environment may be informed on the environment.

The event closed with the planting of a couple of trees by Mayor Borg Manche and Minister Herrera. 

Also present for the event was former assistant director of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s environment directorateMr Alfred Baldacchino, who designed and launched a new series of educational posters on the importance of indigenous trees, and Dr Eman Calleja who devised the ecological restoration plan of the valley.

The event was organised with the support of Plant Health Directorate, Ambjent Malta, Civil Protection Department, Grow 10 Trees Project and MCAST Institute of Applied Sciences.

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