Nature Trust Malta - News
Wed, Mar 6, 2019
Tender for Services related to the Project Management of ERDF Project ERDF.PA5.0121 –
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Result of Tender Evaluation Document – Recommendation for Award – In-terms-of-Clause-270-and-Clause-271-Award Recommendation web-site-
Wed, Feb 6, 2019
Updated page on ERDF project
Within the parameters afforded by Section 1, Clause 2 of the Tender Document, the Contracting Authority has today, 6 February 2019, uploaded additional forms for use by bidders when making their submission. This is being done for simplification purposes.
ERDF PA 5.0121 – Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – NTM tender
Submissions opened today 18 Feb 2019 at 10 am
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Sat, Feb 2, 2019
BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE
Malta celebrate World Wetlands Day
Both eNGOs raising awareness of precious wetland habitats
in the Maltese Islands
Today BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE Malta have teamed up to commemorate
World Wetlands Day (WWD), an international awareness day which occurs annually
on this date and marks the date of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on
Wetlands on February 2nd, 1971.
Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the
planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably
since then. The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores
of the Caspian Sea and the theme for 2019 is “Wetlands and Climate Change”.
Every natural habitat which is in regular contact with significant volumes of water
may be considered as a wetland.
Wetlands around the world provide important services to humans and the
environment whilst also providing a home to thousands of species of plants,
insects, birds, mammals, and fish. Globally, wetlands have provided home to very
rare species and also are particularly important for birds, especially during
migration. These habitats provide much needed food, water and shelter during the
arduous spring and autumn bird migration. Locally, these are home to the endemic
Maltese Killifish (Aphanius fascatius, Bużaqq in Maltese) which has a very
restricted range. Apart from these reserves, this fish used to be found also at the
Marsa port, although today it has been eradicated due to infrastructural works
which were carried out on site.
In Malta, wetland habitats are scarce however both Nature Trust-FEE Malta and
BirdLife Malta manage a number of these habitats including Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk
and Il-Magħluq ta’ Marsaskala which are managed by Nature Trust-FEE Malta; and
Salina, Simar and Għadira Nature Reserves managed by BirdLife Malta, thus
ensuring the ongoing protection and conservation of these important sites.
On this day both nature organisations state: “Malta has limited wetlands which
require protection. Both BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust-FEE Malta are working
hard to improve the conditions of these wetlands and therefore the benefits they
provide to humans and wildlife. However, threats such as insensitive development,
coastal erosion, littering, poaching, and climate change are ever-present and need
extra efforts to address.
Apart from their environmental importance these wetlands are particularly
important as they absorb rainwater, reduce flooding and provide other important
services for free, otherwise known as ecosystem services”.
Wetlands such as those managed by BirdLife Malta are open to the public to enjoy.
Simar and Għadira Nature Reserves are open throughout the winter months during
weekends whilst Salina is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entry to all the
sites is free and there is no need to book to visit.
Il-Magħluq ta’ Marsaskala is also open 24 hours a day and the public is encouraged
to visit at any point to enjoy this unique open space. Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk is
open to the general public and the public is advised to stick to the existing
footpaths. Both sites have been handed over to Nature Trust-FEE Malta since
October and thus conservation works are just starting. Nature Trust-FEE Malta
encourages anyone who wants to help out with these sites to reach out via the
contact details on the website.
Sat, Feb 2, 2019
Press Statement 1 February 2019
Following the recent media reports quoting the Malta Developer Association’s call to find a suitable area at sea for the dumping of construction waste, Nature Trust – FEE Malta is particularly disappointed that the sea may be the next to fall victim to environmental degradation, besides the fact that this quick-fix solution is dumping a special resource.
This problem has been brought up time and time again but government after government, this was not addressed and no long-term construction waste strategy was devised, allowing this problem to reach its critical stage today. Developers are now irresponsibly taking the easy way out by recommending dumping at sea as a quick fix solution. In 2004, when Malta joined the European Union, many hoped that our islands would have a long-term plan to address the waste issue. Fourteen years later, not only did we not solve this issue but have had our authorities re open landfills again.
A large proportion of Malta’s immediate territorial waters was recently designated as Marine Protected Areas in the form of Special Protected Areas or Special Areas of Conservation (and consequently Natura 2000 sites) and our marine environment is also a major source of income for our islands, both in terms of fisheries but also in terms of trade and tourism.
While acknowledging that construction and demolition waste is a major source of waste on our islands, the organisation feels that prevention is better than cure. As highlighted by the 2008 European Union Waste Framework Directive, disposal is the worst possible option for the environment while reduction is the most advisable.
Waste Hierarchy (adapted from Directive 2008/98/EC)
Since the current construction frenzy does not appear to be slowing down, NT-FEE Malta believes that reducing the generation of stone at source may mitigate generation of construction waste in the first place.
Possible ideas to reduce waste may be to:
- Practice deconstruction instead of demolition
- Encourage plans and designs that generate less waste
- Use standard sizes and quantities of materials in buildings to reduce off cuts and, should off cuts be generated, these may be stored and used in future buildings
- Use waste stone to restore rubble walls around the Maltese Islands
- Use waste stone to reconstitute building blocks
- Pulverization of limestone in order to create limestone dust and used for other purposes
Finally, only recently was it announced that the local Globigerina Limestone was designated as a Global Heritage Stone Resource by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Yet, the it seems that the MDA deems it fit to dump one of the most important rock types into the sea.