V-18 infiorata ‘environmentally contradictory’ says Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth Malta says Valletta infiorata sends out a contradictory message regarding environmental sustainability

Staff Reporter
30 April 2014, 2:05pm
Friends of the Earth Malta has expressed doubt at the effectiveness of presenting a floral carpet using species which are not native to the Maltese islands, for the V-18 programme.

FOE said it was happy to note that environmental consciousness and sustainability were targets for the V-18 programme following a statement made by chairman Jason Micallef regarding plans to place a floral carpet in St. George’s square for the Valletta Foundation 2018 events.

But FOE added that petunias and pansies were not native Maltese species.

“Petunias are a genus of species which originate from South America and a Pansy is a hybrid plant which is derived from plants commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere. Placing a large amount of these flowers in Valletta and passing it off as a way to raise environmental consciousness and promote environmental sustainability is a contradiction,” J.D. Farrugia from Friends of the Earth Malta said.

“The promotion of local flowers and plants sends out a stronger message about our environment and ties in a lot more with an event which is meant to promote the culture of the Maltese islands. The use of non-native species in such events as well as in public spaces like roundabouts also means that they require more maintenance such as irrigation, pesticides and the use of herbicide such as glyphosate.”

Last year, Friends of the Earth Malta found traces of glyphosate in the urine of 90% of a sample of Maltese people during a study carried out by Friends of the Earth Europe. The same herbicide is commonly sprayed on such non-native species on local roundabouts and public spaces by the ELC itself, who is organising the infiorata which is set to happen in Valletta.