Ministry sets up ad hoc group to protect the “rape of trees”
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This morning the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change, Leo Brincat spoke about the work being done by the Ministry to “protect and address the intolerable rape of trees.” The Minister said that the simple key message is “no to the rape of trees.”
The Minister announced that an ad hoc working group had been set up, the purpose of which is to propose practical suggestions to the Government on how to stop the ongoing rape of trees. The working group is made up of Alfred E. Baldacchino, Charles F. Grech, Steve Borg, Anna Spiteri and Pamela Hansen.
The Minister explained that this group had already met several time, with work intensifying in the coming weeks.
Minister Leo Brincat said that the Legal Notice No 12 of 2001 was undermined, by removing a provision to preserve trees in urban locations. He said that the “Government has no intention of hampering economic growth in the country, however, nor is it willing to tolerate those who make illicit profits with practices that go against the protection of trees.”
“There is an urgent need to devise a structure that leads to an action plan on a national scale, as well as a need for an action plan that identifies the powers of an effective regulator.To implement this we need to look at strengthening the legal aspect of ecological, social and financial areas, with educational measures to raise awareness.”
The Minister said that he will ensure that the Parks Division, which falls under his Ministry, will adhere in full and strict compliance with these principles at all times.
He said some current practices regarding the pruning of trees by people involved in landscpaing as well as some local councils were unacceptable and was often leading to the destruction of native plants. Pruning, he said, would be controlled by a legal notice
The Minister announced that the ad hoc group will be calling for suggestions from the public on this subject. At the same time the Ministry intends to organise a seminar on the protection of trees, which the public will be invited, together with all stakeholders, including traders and local councils.
The Photograph shows trees in Independence Square Victoria, following their “pruning” in 2012. The trees in front of the Ministry for Gozo in St Francis Square Victoria, have just met with a similar fate.