Further afforestation initiatives are underway in Natura 2000 sites, as another 500 indigenous trees were planted at Majjistral Park.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia and Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli during a visit to the site, where they planted ten of the pistachio trees.
In total, 200 tamarisk trees, 50 carob trees, and 250 pistachio trees were planted.
Minister Farrugia said that this initiative is part of the many actions the government is taking to continue turning our country green, protecting our natural sites, and fostering biodiversity in our islands.
“Works in these areas are continuous and ongoing, and it is my pleasure to be working closely with Minister Dalli to continue giving Maltese families a healthy environment, not only by improving our surroundings and protecting our biodiversity, but also by ensuring that families have natural areas that they can enjoy and through which they can learn about our natural heritage, which we are committed to preserving,” Minister Farrugia said.
Minister Farrugia spoke of the intensive works that Ambjent Malta overtook at Majjistral Park, investing in the restoration of degraded land and abandoned agricultural fields, including the reinstatement of habitats through the planting of indigenous shrubs and trees that complement the area’s phytosociology. Works also include site preparation such as the removal of ruderal and invasive and non-native plants, re-location of large boulders, and installation of irrigation systems.
“We are continuing to strengthen the rehabilitation and restoration efforts in favour of our natural environment. Such efforts are important to continue improving our natural sites, providing food for pollinators, and mitigating the effects of threats such as pollution and climate change,” Minister Farrugia said.
Minister Miriam Dalli explained how Parks Malta, together with the management of the Majjistral Park, will continue with regeneration projects in the natural park while maintaining cleanliness and the protection of flora and fauna.
“Our commitment is to continue to increase open spaces and at the same time ensure that they are maintained in their natural state. We are doing this work and we have the workers focused on this purpose, but we are encountering situations where not everyone cleans up after themselves. For our part, we are committed to improving the infrastructure necessary to keep the park in the best condition,” said Miriam Dalli.
She explained how trees not only beautify the environment around us, but help to improve air quality and increase biodiversity. Minister Dalli said this is part of the path towards sustainability.
“The pandemic has shown how much we need alternative spaces in which families, young people and children have a place to spend their time, both for recreational purposes and for educational purposes. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and natural parks help give families a new lease of life,” said Minister Dalli.