Children ask Dr de Marco “More trees, less pollution please”
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In an event held at the Auberge d’Italie, MTA head office, Dr De Marco, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Tourism and Culture, listened to environmental concerns raised by primary schoolchildren from 12 schools in Malta and Gozo, informing them of how government is tackling, or planning to tackle, their concerns.
All schools in Malta and Gozo were invited to participate in this event as part of Dinja Wahda, BirdLife Malta and Bank of Valletta’s education programme for primary schools. Schoolchildren from 12 schools submitted letters raising a range of environmental issues such as air and sea pollution, the need to promote and facilitate the use of alternative energy amongst households, management of the countryside and afforestation, and the protection of wild animals.
Air quality was a concern that featured in many of the children’s letters. Nina Cole from St Joseph Paola expressed her opinion that "The subsidy should be raised so that more families can afford solar heating and be less of a burden on the power station." while Simon Xerri from Xewkija Primary appealed to Dr De Marco that "Trees should be planted so that our air will be healthier." Other letters shared their wish that one day everyone will get around by bike rather than by car, and pointed out that we cannot improve our air quality without taking such bold steps.
Speaking to the children, Mr Romeo Cutajar, Bank of Valletta’s Executive Head Financial Markets and Investment, said "We feel that through your participation today you continue to show your commitment to the environment. This encourages us to continue supporting environmental initiatives which will help assure sustainable development in Malta and Gozo."
The children then heard the other side of the coin from Dr De Marco, who explained that environmental issues cannot only be treated by Government, but require the collective effort of each and every one of us. He encouraged the students to continue voicing their environmental concerns, and to share their knowledge on environmental issues. He explained that our environment will improve through knowledge and education. It is therefore important for students who have the opportunity to attend to educational programmes such as the one organised by Birdlife, to spread their knowledge with friends, family members and other persons.
The winning letter was written by Mirea Mormina of Naxxar Primary, who voiced her concerns regarding rubbish in our countryside and streets and suggested, "More awareness raising could be done in schools so that children learn from an early age to keep our environment clean."
"Our children’s voices are tools to make government aware of important current environmental issues. We have to continue to keep raising these issues and encourage government to deal with them." concluded Desiree Falzon, BirdLife Malta Education Coordinator.
Photo: Environmental concerns raised by primary schoolchildren In an event organised by Dinja Wahda, Photo by Mark Cassar.