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Environment

  • Communal roosting

    Communal roosting can be seen among several bird species. Every evening, large numbers of birds congregate in a particular spot to sleep. Roosts can consist of birds of a single species or, sometimes, of mixed species. Most roosts can be found in...

  • Planting the next generation of oak trees at this time of year

    The paucity of mature tree cover in Malta, as well as the decline of mature trees in public places, are sacrosanct truths known to all. Official statistics show that about one per cent of the islands are covered by woodland, compared to the EU...

  • The parasite that thrives on living and dead trees

    The fungus inonotus tamaricis, which lives on tamarisk trees, is known in Maltese as lixka tal-bruk. Lixka is the Maltese name for shelf or bracket fungi. In fact, this species characteristically grows in the shape of a shelf or bracket attached...

  • Washrooms, gunpowder, stables and crafty tactics

    Build a cosy little stone room in a field, put up a high wall and slap a padlocked zinc barrier across the entrance. Dig a large rectangular hole in the ground and cover it with cement beams so you can easily start on a second illegal room. Plant...

  • The planets in January

    The cold dark nights of winter offer an excellent opportunity to view the skies. Conditions are usually very good after a storm has passed and the air is clean and clear. Venus and Jupiter are the two bright planets visible soon after sunset – but...

  • Quake watch

    Three earthquakes of a magnitude between five and six took place around the Mediterranean region last month. These occurred at the Strait of Gibraltar (on December 16), western Turkey (on December 28), and central Italy (last Sunday). Despite...

  • The upright stonechat

    The Maltese countryside in winter is enriched by several species of passerine birds that spend several months in the Mediterranean region to avoid the colder winter further north. Some species are also seen in urban areas and often visit gardens...

  • Dissecting the proposed fireworks factories policy

    The proposals recently launched by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority for the enactment of a holistic policy on fireworks factories are yet more grist to the surging mill of policies and proposed policy revisions that the policy-weary...

  • Malta in the shipping pollution superhighway of the Med

    One third of the world’s shipping traffic passes by the Maltese islands and Sicily. These ships spew out greenhouse gases and a pollution cocktail. Prof. Ray Ellul and his team in Gozo have recently identified a link between local pollution and...

  • After the protest… a new ERA?

    A mere nine months ago, billboards entreated the Maltese electorate to vote Labour “…so the environment truly becomes a priority”. The Nationalist administration went down, folding under a wave of general boredom and discontent. Former PN...

  • Global warming evidence

    Someone said that gaining information from the internet is like drinking water from a fire hose. There’s certainly been a tidal wave of reports about the effects of global climate change on our oceans. But however axiomatic it might be to marine...

  • Award for green efforts

    Bank of Valletta was recently presented the Conservation Award for Sustainable Development at the seventh edition of the Environment Award for Enterprise organised by the Cleaner Technology Centre (CTC). The awards recognise the commitment of...

  • Diamond-bearing rock discovered in East Antarctica

    A type of rock that often bears diamonds has been found in Antarctica for the first time in a hint of mineral riches in the vast, icy continent that is off limits to mining, scientists said. A 1991 environmental accord banned mining for at least...

  • The white wall rocket

    The white wall rocket is a very common annual plant, which grows in disturbed habitats such as uncultivated fields and roadsides. It is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean but is now found further north and even reached southern...

  • Measuring fracking emissions

    British scientists are spearheading a European project to identify methane emissions that could have major implications for fracking. Experts from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will help develop new techniques for detecting and measuring...

  • A post-mortem on the environmental protest

    Protests are normally the culmination of months and years of simmering disenchantment that finally boils over and surfaces. The environmental protest held last week merits some analysis. Firstly, the turnout. Most estimates were that around 500...

  • Youths invited to take part in Litter Less campaign

    For the second consecutive year, Malta is taking part in the Litter Less campaign, in which young people aged 11 to 21 are invited to submit photos, videos and articles related to litter and the need to work for a cleaner environment. The campaign...

  • Pharmaceuticals firm wins sustainable development management award

    Pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis Ltd of Żejtun was recently awarded the Management Award for Sustainable Development during the seventh edition of the Environment Award for Enterprise scheme organised by the Cleaner Technology Centre. The award...

  • ‘Lack of funds’ to maintain Paceville’s cleanliness and security – PEP

    Funds allocated for the cleanliness, security and maintenance of Paceville and its surrounding areas are seriously lacking, said the Paceville Environment Protection Group (PEP) in support of a recent statements by St Julian’s Council. The members...

  • Paradise Bay Resort eco-certified

    Paradise Bay Resort in Ċirkewwa recently received eco certification for the third time in a row. The eco certification scheme is the national standard for ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural sustainability of hotels in Malta,...

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