UPDATE: Authorities praised for saving the trees
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar has praised the authorities’ decision to rescind plans to uproot almost 40 mature trees at Senglea Waterfront following a public outcry.
“It is laudable that the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, Transport Malta, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation and MEPA have re-examined this project, adapting it to incorporate most of the existing trees in their present planting beds,” the organization said.
It said the decision is to the benefit of the Senglea community who enjoy the shade of these trees in one of the only recreational areas in the old city while also attracting much-needed tourists to the Three Cities. The proposed project will upgrade the waterfront while preserving its identity as well as retaining the benefits that these mature trees contribute towards purifying the air and reducing stress in this over-populated area.
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar said that given that most of Isla’s residents were not informed of the project, it urged the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications to strengthen its public consultation procedures, especially in view of the impending changes at Paola Square which will involve changes to traffic, the removal of all the large old trees to be replaced by shrubs in pots and modernization of the square through the use of modern street furniture and concrete.
The organization urged the public to sign the ‘Stop Killing Trees’ petition which as at October 4 stood at 1,500 signatories.
See the video and sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-killing-trees-in-malta
The Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs said that the responsibility for the design of the project of Paola Square was in the hands of the Paola Local Council. The Ministry offered to help in the implementation of the proposal once the Local Council obtains approval from the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.