The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre inaugurated at Xrobb l-Għaġin, co-financed EU funds

Tuesday, 28 November 2023, 06:55 Last update: about 8 months ago

A new Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre within the grounds of the Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park will provide improved shelter and rehabilitation facilities for injured wildlife as well as a hub for environmental research and education. This Centre is already offering care to nine sea turtles and seven hedgehogs.

The project was inaugurated by Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett, in the presence of the President of Nature Trust Malta Vince Attard and Director General of Ambjent Malta Herman Galea.

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The centre was developed by Nature Trust Malta, in collaboration with Ambjent Malta, with a €2.5 million investment co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre encompasses rehabilitation facilities for diverse wildlife, including marine, terrestrial and avian fauna, offering a sanctuary for their recovery before potential reintroduction to their habitats.

The centre will provide improved facilities for Nature Trust’s Wildlife Rescue Team, which receives financial assistance from the Environment and Resources Authority and other contributors, to rescue and care for injured wildlife.

The project also includes a Marine Research Centre and an educational area for children and visitors, where they will be able to learn about Maltese wildlife and their conservation.

The Centre is housed in the former building of the Deutsche Welle radio station, which closed down in 1996. The building, which is recognised as a structure of significant industrial heritage value, was restored and repurposed for its new life as a wildlife centre. It also includes several sustainable building services, such as renewable energy, water conservation and waste management systems.

With the support of Ambjent Malta, more than 20,000 native trees and shrubs were planted around the building and in other areas of the nature park, creating a thriving ecosystem.

Minister Miriam Dalli explained that this project marks a significant step forward for wildlife rehabilitation and conservation in Malta, emphasising the nation's commitment to preserving its ecological diversity.

“We need to maintain our commitments towards the protection of our natural heritage. This Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is not just a building with specialised equipment. It is a holistic environmental experience that brings together children and adults from all walks of life towards a common objective. Let’s keep working together towards a more sustainable future,” Miriam Dalli said whilst thanking Nature Trust, Ambjent Malta and the Parliamentary Secretariat for European Funds for their pivotal roles in bringing this transformative project to fruition.

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett highlighted the importance of investing in environmental protection to mitigate the impacts of climate change and preserve biodiversity. He explained how EU funds support projects that improve the quality of life for citizens, promote social inclusion, and enhance the cultural heritage of regions.

“The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at Xrobb l-Għaġin exemplifies the overarching vision of this government in the environmental landscape. With a total project value of €2.5 million, including €1.6 million from European funds, this centre serves as a refuge for wildlife, a symbol of environmental conservation and an example of an investment on a collective future. A collective future where economy, environment and social wellbeing are well intertwined,” concluded Parliamentary Secretary Bonett

Other individuals who supported this project were present during the inauguration.

The Xrobb l-Ghagin Nature Park will now be open every day from 8am to 5pm.

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