NTM concerned over “massacres of trees” in urban areas including Gozo
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“The recent reports of massacres of trees in urban areas,” including one site in Gozo, has been highlighted by Nature Trust – FEE Malta.
In a statement this morning the eNGO voiced its concern over “the recent reports of massacres of trees in urban areas,” including 14 Mulberry trees in Ghajn Qatet Street, Victoria, Gozo, a Holm Oak tree just outside the Upper Barrakka in Valletta, and the iconic Carob tree in Villa Forte Garden in Lija. The latter has a planning application which had been halted (PA 4852/16).
NTM argued that “at a time when both local reports and reports from the European Union show that Malta has high levels of Carbon Dioxide and that air quality is low, the removal of trees will only lead to a further decline in air quality and more respiratory problems.”
It pointed out that “trees act to mitigate such problems and help in the reduction of air pollution and carbon sequestration from the air, besides also reducing the amount of water going into drains.”
The same road after the trees had been removed – NTMNTM continued by saying that it hopes that investigations will be carried out “as to why such trees have been cut, and whether such actions were, in fact, legal or otherwise.”
It questioned why the carob tree in Lija was cut down. “It is about time that law enforcement is taken seriously on environmental issues and that the respective authorities that have been set up to safeguard our natural heritage take adequate action,” said NTM.
“Over the years when the Maltese Islands were occupied by various civilisations, the Maltese Islands have lost numerous trees, and now the few that remain are also being destroyed,” it said.
This can be witnessed in many projects, including national ones like road networks and unsustainable projects that are mushrooming everywhere, stated NTM.
The eNGO went on to suggest incorporating a unit on soft landscaping in the new Infrastructure Malta agency being proposed.
“Trees not only help in mitigating air pollution and reducing the carbon footprint, but are also important in improving the social and mental well-being and aesthetic value of the area.”
NT-FEE Malta concluded by saying “that it is ironic that while MSDEC is attempting to increase trees, others are destroying them.”