Nature Trust Malta - News

Wed, Mar 22, 2017

Press Release – World Water Day

World Water Day 22 March

On this World Water Day, Nature Trust Malta calls upon the Government to show strong leadership on water

issues both at home and abroad.

“As EU president and chair-in- office of the Commonwealth Malta has the unique opportunity to advocate on

global water issues,” Nature Trust’s President Vincent Attard stated. “Many countries are already facing

severe droughts and /or unprecedented flooding and will face the progressive worsening of these problems

due to the growing impact of climate change. Malta itself is classified as one of the most ‘water poor’ nations

on the planet while the Mediterranean will be amongst the regions hardest hit by climate change.”

“Malta urgently needs a formal national water plan emerging from an inclusive national dialogue bringing

together all stakeholders. Parliament should then enact a long-term national water strategy, aligned with both

the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 and existing Mediterranean initiatives. Also needed is a

clear delineation and reorganisation of responsibilities of the current water governance structure.”

“Malta island’s mean sealevel aquifer is its main source of freshwater – but increasingly threatened by the

rising sea level caused to climate change which increases the water’s salt content. Already about 60% of our

water comes from seawater desalination – which is energy intensive, producing large quantities of waste and

is vulnerable to any major oil spill offshore, or suspension of supplies due to some political crisis in the

region. Continued reliance on this source is inevitable but the nation must make every effort to maximise our

own resources, through water saving, maximum possible capture of rainwater, stormwater and reuse of

treated waste water from the current sewage plants”.

“We commend the WSC’s water saving tips posted on its website – but these should be enclosed in every

water bill sent to consumers. The identification, registration and metering of currently illegal boreholes must

be completed, and a strategy worked out to bill their owners for withdrawals. Government purchases from

private (bowser) suppliers must also be critically reviewed . \So must the growing numbers of swimming

pools and car washing facilities and of what water they use – fresh or recycled? ”.

“Agriculture remains the leading water user. Under the Strategy we propose farmers must be strongly

motivated to conserve and capture water on-site, enabled to use polished wastewater and review their current

cropping patterns so as to progressively adopt less water-intensive and more drought resistant strains”.

“Water capture and storage systems must be mandatory in all new buildings and fiscal incentives offered to

all building owners to instal such systems, or revive systems originally built into the structure which are now

disused.”

Nature Trust Malta has been actively contributing to improving Malta’s water situation as local manager of

the international Alter Aqua project on non-conventional resources.  NTM has trained 926 educators while

some 10358 students have attended interactive workshops conducted by Ekoskola (80% of schools) teachers

and at the Xrobb l’Ghagin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre where applications can be made

for training. Nature Trust also partners with HBSC in its’Catch the Drop’ project.

Wed, Jun 15, 2016

Press Release 15 June 2016

MSCAST Students do Environmental conservation work at Wied Ghollieqa Nature Reserve

Students studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability at MCAST, together with one of their lecturers Dr Eman Calleja dedicated a half day conservation work at the Wied Ghollieqa Nature Reserve managed by Nature Trust (Malta)
The students focused on the removal of invasive alien species in the valley bed, clearing almost a tumolo of land from the Castor Oil tree and other aliens. Seeds of these species are carried every year into the site by rain water currents coming from the San Gwann Industrial Estate and the Mater Dei Hospital. Furthermore the students also removed litter that is brought into the site by rain water currents and by people visiting the valley. The students and the Lecturer were joined by the NTM Wied Ghollieqa Site Manager Ms Louise Bajjada.
The Wied Ghollieqa project started way back in the late 1980s when students members of Arbor managed to stop heavy development planned for the valley area. Over the years kilometres of rubble walls were restored and thousands of trees and shrubs were planted by the Nature Trust (Malta) Volunteers. Today these form a healthy semi-natural Mediterranean schlerophyllous Woodland. Trees include the Carob tree, the Aleppo Pine, the Holm Oak, the Sandarac Tree, the Mediterranean Dwarf Palm and Olive trees.
The valley is being ecologically restored and today houses a large number of fauna and avi fauna in this green lung located right between Kappara and the University of Malta. The reserve has also been declared a Nataura 2000 site of National Importance.
This Nature Reserve is open to the public to enjoy and is also used by students to study environmental education, scientific research and also other conservation projects.
Nature Trust (Malta) would like to thank all the students for giving up part of their free time towards the conservation of our Natural Heritage. It also appeals to the public who may note vandalism in the area to report these either to the Police or Nature Trust (Malta) on 21313150 or by email info@naturetrustmalta.org

Sat, Feb 13, 2016

Press Release 13 February 2016

NTM expresses concern over unsustainable proposals at Wied Ghomor – ODZ site

 

Nature Trust (Malta) joins in the concerns raised by the Swieqi Local Council and the San Gwann Local council over the the proposed development of a tourist village in an ODZ valley between the two localities.
NTM feels that the way ODZ areas are being treated by the authorities is a major concern today and has simply become a rubber band in the hands of our politicians in the last 15 years leading to numerous unsustainable developments.
Wied Ghomor is a valley system offering a variety of fauna and flora and also acting as the green lung for two densely populated villages – Swieqi and San Gwann. The development if approved will further contribute to the destruction of this green belt, cause more air pollution due to added traffic and will become another unsustainable project approved by our national authorities who should be safeguarding the remaining ODZ areas.

Wied Ghomor forms part of a valley system cutting into the lower coralline limestone, which is crucial in the replenishment of the mean sea level aquifer. Any form of development would render this natural infiltration impossible. Just a few weeks ago, the media also reported the redevelopment of an old people’s home in a quarry further up in this valley.

Such use of abandoned land in ODZ and in water catchment areas for development purposes should be refused and instead landscaped and restored to mimic the original state of the valley system and so contain the ever increasing threats to our diminishing aquifers.

NTM strongly opposes this proposed development and calls on MEPA to pull up its stocks and act to stop this craze of ODZ developments. ODZ applications should be the exception not the rule with many applications being filed.

Wed, Jan 6, 2016

Event: Launch of MEDTRENDS Report

Nature Trust Malta in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Malta is proud to invite you for the launch of the results of the MEDTRENDS project, a Med Programme funded project on Wednesday,13th January 2016 at 10:00am at Europe House, 254, St. Paul Street, Valletta.

The launch of the MedTrends project will celebrate the completion of a Mediterranean-wide project aimed at carrying out an overall analysis of growth trends and potential cumulative impacts of human activities at sea, with an emphasis on the achievement of the Good Environmental Status (GES) objective set by the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). MedTrends has been scoped to illustrate and map the most likely future scenarios of marine economic growth at a national and transnational level in Med-EU countries.
A number of over-arching sectors have been chosen for this exercise. As far as Malta’s reporting is concerned, relevant themes such as maritime transport, extraction of living and non-living resources, coastal infrastructure, land-based activities, and waste disposal were assessed. The local report forms part of a collection of other national reports compiled by the MedTrends partners, together with a transnational report which outlines scenarios for the future development.
By means of this project, Nature Trust (Malta) is presenting a number of important viewpoints and recommendations in order to assist national authorities towards achieving GES of the local marine environment by 2020.
The partners in the MEDTRENDS project want to promote a common and integrated management of maritime space among all the involved stakeholders and an approach that takes into consideration the overall picture. A healthy marine environment must be at the heart of the integrated management of the Mediterranean.
Copies of the report will be made available on the MEDTRENDS page during the launch event.

Partners in the MEDTRENDS project:
– WWF-France
– WWF-MedPO in partnership with WWF-Italy
– WWF-Greece
– WWF-Spain
– Nature Trust (Malta)

Programme
10:00      Registration and welcome coffee
10:20      Welcome speech by Ms Elena Grech, Head of the European Commission Representation in Malta
10:30      Introduction by Mr Vincent Attard, CEO Nature Trust Malta
10:40      Results and recommendations by Dr Charles Galdies
11:10       Questions from the floor
11:25       Conclusion

Attendance by registration only: info@naturetrustmalta.org