Petition to save trees is launched
Senglea residents yesterday joined forces to call on the Government to protect the trees that line the city’s promenade.
They will be among the first to sign a petition launched by environmental organisation Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar calling on the authorities to stop the destruction of trees around the island.
“FAA Tree group regrets that it needs to stand here and declare it is launching a campaign to stop the Government’s recent concerted campaign to destroy and remove mature trees from Malta’s streets,” Antonio Anastasi said.
On Thursday the Transport Ministry said trees would be shifted by a few metres to accommodate road alignment as part of a €1.6 million EU-funded embellishment project of the Senglea waterfront which started in recent days. The plan was to line the promenade with other indigenous trees.
Mr Anastasi said removing the 38 trees would signal their death since the country did not have the necessary expertise to move them.
The trees have stood for over 50 years. They have managed to withstand the harsh weather and provided clean air for the area.
FAA member and resident Anna Spiteri said the trees were part of the community and removing them would mean taking away residents’ “sense of place”.
Resident Vincent Zammit, who is Education Minister Dolores Cristina’s brother, said a compromise should be sought, fearing that residents’ objections would stall the embellishment project in the area.
But Ms Vella said the Government was bound to consult the public before making such decisions.
The petition is addressed to Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Resources Minister George Pullicino, Environment Minister Mario de Marco and Infrastructure Minister Austin Gatt.
It was launched in collaboration with Ramblers’ Association, Nature Trust Malta, Friends of the Earth (Malta), Malta Organic Agriculture Movement, Greenhouse, Youth for the Environment and the Gozo University Group.