Authorities urged to consult with communities before uprooting/pruning trees
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The National Hub for Ethnobotanical Research is urging authorities to carry out “meaningful consultations” with the affected communities before “removing, savagely pruning or relocating trees” in their locality.
The Hub, in a statement today, said that it is “very concerned by the disregard to trees in the quest for rapid urbanisation.”
The National Hub for Ethnobotanical Research is made up of a group of experts within the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.
The Hub also questioned whether the rapid urbanisation was sustainable, and if feasible alternatives were being considered.
It continued by saying that, “while replanting is a viable option, a number of trees die in the process. Consequently, the infrastructural changes that follow this rapid urbanisation are making many people feel disillusioned and helpless.”
It urged the authorities to seek more “creative and ecologically respectful and sustainable solutions” before uprooting old trees that have been gracing the island’s road for decades.
“The loss of the natural environment has a direct impact on people’s wellbeing, and the inclusion of nature in new projects could significantly enhance the wellbeing of those living in those areas, while serving the natural environment itself,” it added.
Investing in creating “more nature,” and more gardens in urban spaces was not only “environmentally conscientious, but also a long-term investment in the health of communities,” remarked the Hub.
It added that, “as we read about and witness the loss of trees in urban areas, of small or larger gardens, we feel many are grieving the loss of landscape. Architecture should help us feel at home, give us a sense of place…”
It concluded by saying that, “many of the new structures offer none of this, as we seem to forget we are living on a Mediterranean island, and with some planning, we can be living in a Mediterranean garden.”
File photograph of work in Triq Ghajn Qatet, Victoria