Article 1 – Name and formation
a) The name of the organisation shall be Nature Trust (Malta) (Fondazzjoni Natura – Malta) with the letters NTM as its acronym. This organisation has been formed by a merger between the Society for the Study and Conservation of Nature (SSCN), Arbor (The Society for Protection of Trees and the Natural Environment) and Ghaqda Ambjentali Verde on the 8th January 1999. On 21st June 2001, Marine Life Care Group – MLCG also merged with and became part of Nature Trust.
b) This Statute has been approved during the Extraordinary General Meeting of the 12th December 1998.
c) This Statute has been amended with the approval of the Annual General meeting on the 29th May 2003 and 11 March 2008
Article 2 – Registered Address
a) The registered address of Nature Trust (Malta) shall be – Nature Trust (Malta), P.O. Box 9, Valletta CMR 01, MALTA.
b) The offices of Nature Trust (Malta) will be situated at Wied Ghollieqa Environment Centre, L/O University of Malta, Gzira, Malta
Article 3- Characteristics
Nature Trust is a not-for-profit, voluntary non-governmental organisation set up with the aim of safeguarding the environment
Article 4 – Objectives
The objectives of the organisation shall be:
a) to bring together organisations and individuals with similar interests to those stated below
b) To foster the scientific study and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge on local natural history
c) To promote among the public and other institutions, the need to preserve and protect our biological diversity and the environment in general.
d) To promote the sustainable use of all natural, geological, woodland and scenic resources of our Islands
e) To undertake initiatives aimed at enhancing, restoring or rehabilitating areas or habitats which are deemed to be highly neglected, degraded, or under threat of destruction.
f) To manage areas of ecological, natural, biological, geological and historical value, either acquired or given to hold in trust by individuals or authorities.
g) To influence all levels of public or national institutions so that they give priority to and include environmental considerations on their planning and management agendas.
h) To secure for the enjoyment and benefit of present and future generations the richness, diversity and beauty of nature and the unique environment of our Islands.
Article 5 – Powers
a) Nature Trust may carry out all such acts as are reasonably necessary to reach the above objectives.
In particular it may:
(i) obtain a pecuniary gain from its activities when such gain is not received or credited to any private interest but is exclusively utilised for the purposes of the organisation;
(ii) buy or sell or otherwise deal in goods or services where such activities are exclusively related to its principal purposes; and
iii) employ any person deemed suitable by the Council of Nature Trust.
Provided that if such person is a member of the Executive Committee the amount accorded to him or her as salary shall be such that his or her remuneration shall not constitute any substantial part of the income of the organisation as a whole.
Article 6 – Membership
a) The membership of the organisation shall be open to all and shall consist of Honorary membership, Ordinary membership, Kids Membership, Youths membership, Joint membership, Life Membership and any other membership category as deemed fit by the Council. Membership entitles one to all privileges as may from time to time be determined by the Council.
b) Honorary members are nominated by any duly paid member of the Organisation. Each nomination shall be presented to the Executive Committee and proposed for appointment at a General Meeting. Honorary Members are to be appointed in recognition of their outstanding work in the Organisation. They shall enjoy the full privileges of membership.
c) Ordinary, Joint and Junior members pay an annual subscription as determined from time to time by the Executive Committee.
d) Ordinary Members are those who have attained the age of 16 years
e) Any person paying once such sum as may from time to time be stipulated for the purpose by the Executive Committee will be a Life Member.
f) Any person not paying the annual subscription within three months after it is due, shall, after due notification, be deleted from the membership list
g) If a member in any grade or capacity, is considered as acting or having acted either contrary to the aims of the Organisation, or in a manner detrimental to its interests, the Council may, after due warning and process, rule that the name of this person be deleted from the membership list. In such a case the member struck off shall have no right whatsoever of claiming a refund of any subscription or part thereof
h) Anyone may become a member of NTM subject to an advanced membership payment of the membership fee. The fee for each category can be determined and approved by the Executive Committee.
i) The Council may reject applications for any membership without the need to give reasons and may delegate this function to the Executive Committee. Termination of membership may be done either by; the same member submitting a formal resignation or membership is not renewed within a stipulated period.
Article 7 – The Council
a) The Council shall consist of seven members elected every two years at a General Meeting.
b) Only Life Members and paid up ordinary members of the Society may contest the election for council and vote.
c) The Senior Officials of the organisation are to occupy the post of President, VicePresident, General Secretary and Finance Secretary.
d) Members of the organisation whose profession, employment of interests may give rise to a conflict of interest, may contest the election; however, they may not occupy the post of any of the Senior Officials of the Organisation. Any finding of aconflict of interest shall be determined by the outgoing council and ratified by the General Meeting prior to the election.
e) Members of the Society who are active in politics may contest the election; however they may not occupy the post of any of the Senior Officials of the organisation. Such members shall also not make any statements to the media on behalf of the organisation unless authorised by the presiding Council. The status of being “Active in Politics” shall be taken to mean being a Political Party member at administration level or active in Political Party campaigns, and its existence or otherwise shall be determined by the presiding Council.
f) Members elected on the Council but who have not yet attained the age of 18 years may not occupy the post of Senior Officials of the organisation.
g) During the first meeting of the council a person from the electoral board shall chair the meeting. The members present must elect a President and a General Secretary amongst their number.
h) Council members who are appointed to the senior posts have to sign a declaration confirming that they are not “Active in Politics’ as per clause 5.e. nor have any ‘conflict of interest’ as per clause 5.d.
i) The Council shall have the right to co-opt not more than two other members provided that such co-options are made after the posts of President, Vice President, and General Secretary have been filled. Co-opted members shall enjoy the same rights as elected Council members.
j) The Council shall appoint a Finance Secretary and any other official it deems necessary from among its members whether elected or co-opted.
k) Elections shall be held under the direction of an Electoral Board consisting of two persons not standing for election and who are appointed by the council.
l) Nominations for election to the Council shall be made in writing on a form drawn up for the purpose by the electoral board and are to be submitted by a date to be established and notified by the Board. The Electoral Board shall contact nominees to confirm their acceptance of the nomination.
m) If seven members or less are nominated, they will be considered as forming the new Council. If less than seven candidates are nominated the members forming the new council may fill in the remaining vacancies by co-opting persons of their choice. If at any time the number of co-opted members exceed the number of elected members, the Council must hold elections at the next general meeting.
n) If more than seven candidates are nominated, a secret ballot shall be held during the General Meeting and the seven candidates obtaining the highest number of votes shall be considered as forming the new Council.
o) If a complete change of Council Members results from an election, the outgoing President and the outgoing Hon. General Secretary shall be invited to attend the meetings of the new council for the first three months to ensure a proper hand-over and continuity of commitments.
p) The Council is to meet at least once every three months. Decisions may also be taken by voting through other electronic media such as via email
q) The Council meetings shall be called by the President or by the Secretary General following consultation with the President.
r) The quorum necessary at any meeting for the transaction of the business of the organisation shall be of half the Council members plus one.
s) The President, or in his absence the vice president, shall chair the Council meetings. If both the President and Vice President are absent, a temporary chairman shall be elected by the Council members present provided there is a quorum.
t) Each member of the Council shall have one vote. The President shall also have a casting vote.
u) The Council shall have the right to appoint Committees. The Chairperson of each Committee shall be invited to attend the Council Meetings, but will not have a vote unless he/she is already a council member.
v) The Council shall have the right to appoint full time and part-time employees for specific posts through a contract basis. Such employees shall fall under the responsibility of the Executive Committee.
w) Any Council member who is absent for three consecutive meetings without justification may be asked to resign and shall be replaced in accordance with Clause 5.i.
x) The Council shall be administered by a set of Policy Rules and Regulations agreed upon by two thirds of the Council Members.
y) The Council shall appoint an Auditor to audit the books of the organisation at the end of each financial year.
Article 8 – The Executive Committee
a) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the administration of the organisation, and shall consist of the President, the Secretary General and the Finance Secretary.
b) The Executive Committee together can take administrative decisions, which have to be unanimous. Such decisions are to be made known to the Council during the next meeting.
c) The Executive Committee officials shall also be the official signatories of the organisation. Any two of the officials must sign official documents of behalf of Nature Trust (Malta).
Article 9 – Youths Section
a) The Organisation shall have a Youth Section to cater for Youths’ activities and publications. This section shall be called Nature Trust Youths.
b) Members below the age of 35 will automatically form part of this Section.
c) The section shall have its Rules and Regulations which must be approved by the Council. Any amendments to these rules and Regulations must also be presented for approval by the Council.
d) The Youth Secretary on the Council shall be the chairperson of Nature Trust Youths.
Article 10– Meetings
a) An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be called by the Council in the first quarter of each year.
b) Apart from other items, the business of the AGM shall include the President’s Address and the reports of the Secretary General and Treasurer respectively, preceded by the minutes of the last AGM.
c) Minutes of the General Meetings, Council and Executive Committee Meetings shall be kept by the General Secretary.
d) General Meetings are open to Nature Trust members. Guests shall be invited at the discretion of the Executive Committee or Council.
e) The President has the right to call an Extraordinary General Meeting after approval of the Executive Committee.
f) Any thirty members or two thirds of the effective membership, whichever may be less, have the right to ask the Executive Committee to call a general meeting stating the reason for their request.
g) Any members who have attained the age of 18 shallhave the right to vote in any General meeting.
h) At any general meeting, including the AGM, seven ordinary members who have duly paid their membership subscription to date, or two thirds of the ordinary members who have paid their subscription to date, whichever of the two alternatives is the less, shall constitute a quorum. If the number of members present remains less than required after fifteen minutes from the time set, they shall be considered a quorum.
Article 11 – Publications
The organisation shall endeavour to issue a scientific/educational periodical publication at least once a year. Each publication shall be run by an editor to be nominated and approved by the Executive Committee. The editor may be helped where he/she deems necessary by an Editorial Board after informing the Committee.
Article 12 – Funds
a) The Finance Secretary is responsible for all the organisation’s funds. He/she may delegate his/her work to other Council members, but the overall responsibility remains his/hers.
b) Promissory notes and bills of exchange issued by the organisation are to be signed by the Finance Secretary and countersigned by the President or another Executive official.
Article 13– Statute Amendments
a) Any amendments to this statute can only be approved by a general meeting, provided that such amendments be made known to members in a previous circular sent at least two weeks before such a meeting.
Article 14 – Merger Clause
a) Any organisation that decides to merge with Nature Trust (Malta) cannot after the merger is effected back out of such a merger nor can the organisation that has merged be formed again by the officials concerned.
b) Nature Trust is open to all natural environment NGOs that may wish to merge therewith. Such organisations will have to abide by Nature Trust’s statute and its objectives upon merging.
c) Any organisation which has decided to merge with Nature Trust (Malta) will need to be approved at a General Meeting of Nature Trust (Malta).
Article 15– Dissolution
a) The Organisation may only be dissolved by a general meeting after due discussion and on a decision backed by a majority vote.
b) All financial aspects in connection with the dissolution of the organisation shall be taken care of by the auditor appointed at the last General Meeting before the said dissolution.
c) In the event of dissolution the assets shall be disposed of as decided by the Council, such however that no Council member or other member of Nature Trust may receive any part of such assets except in lieu of such credit as may be certified due to him or her by the auditor referred to in para. (b) above.
Version 11 March 2008