eNGO calls on authorities to stop 'senselessly' destroying trees

The Luqa roads project will see the destruction of more than 500 trees

(Photo: Google Maps)
(Photo: Google Maps)

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar called on Maltese Authorities to put a stop to ‘senseless tree destruction’ and rather plan to plant more trees around Malta and Gozo.

In a statement, the eNGO reacted to the news that the Luqa roads project would destroy some 500 trees, including the iconic old cypresses that line the road overlooking the Addolorata Cemetery. These cypresses are protected trees, being over 50 years old, FAA said.

The organisation said that , in addition to over 300 trees to be destroyed on the arterial roads, a further 150 trees are to be removed from the St Thomas Moore School grounds, to make way for a jogging track.

“How can the authorities justify this destruction, when Sta Lucija already has a jogging track in a different location and when the jogging track can weave between the trees, saving most of them?” FAA asked.

“These trees alongside the school presently shield the students from vehicle pollution which is proven to stunt lung development in children. Without the trees to screen them, the students will be exposed to higher levels of toxic emissions which contribute to heart problems, strokes and fertility issues.”

The eNGO called on Transport Minister Ian Borg, Santa Lucia Local Council, the Planning Authority, the Environment Resources Authority, and the President of Malta to put a stop to the cutting of the trees.

Recent EU statistics show that Malta's performance on reducing air pollution is one of the worst in the EU.  Statistics indicate that around one in five deaths at a young age could be attributed to long-term exposure to pollution.

“Instead of acting to reduce the use of private vehicles, control emissions on commercial vehicles and plant more trees, this Government is doing just the opposite.”

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