Greening the island: Environment ministry announces tree planting initiative

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia says he is committed to starting a green revolution in Malta

File photo
File photo

Cities and towns all over Malta and Gozo will benefit from a greening initiative announced by the Environment Ministry on Thursday.

The first phase of the project involves local councils that have been granted the funds to implement a number of greening projects. This week, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Qala, Sliema, Gudja, Zebbug, and the Hamrun local councils. 

"Various streets, squares and other public spaces that are limited in terms of greenery and the physical and psychological benefits that trees bring with them have been chosen by the local councils themselves," an environment ministry statement said. 

The species of trees that will be used according to specific guidelines were issued by the Environment and Resources Authority and are, the ministry said, suitable for the designated areas, a mix of indigenous and foreign species that are capable of surviving in the Maltese climate.

Minister Aaron Farrugia said that it was time that the environment in the community is safeguarded.

"While it's good to have nature zones that families can visit, it's important to have green spaces in the heart of our localities. These projects are the first step in a holistic vision of the environmental sector and I am committed to continue working in favour of a change in mentality in this regard," he said.

Apart from the aesthetic effect on Maltese and Gozitan localities, these trees will be beneficial to the community through the purification of the air quality, he added. He said that the trees will also provide refuge for various birds and insects on the island.

"This is just the start. We want to start a green revolution in the country," he said.