Malta takes on management of Salini
NGO. He praised BirdLife Malta for proving how competent and professional it has been down the years in managing projects on a national scale.
He also said that BirdLife Malta realised it had to update its structures to continue growing so that it could invest more in its mission to instil a love for nature in the Maltese Islands.
Minister Herrera announced that in the coming days a series of activities will be held in Salini to make it a popular destination with Maltese and tourists alike as this was a project which strengthened biodiversity in Malta and at the same time portray the history of Salini through the Visitors’ Centre.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi explained that the Salina Rehabilitation Project – Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage was a €7 million project partially financed by the EU under the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013 covering 154,000 square metres.
He said the project was completed over the last three years with intensive work carried out on the restoration of the salt pans, that of Ximenes and the fougasse which was discovered, the reconstruction of the three huts which had deteriorated and which were rebuilt in a way to respect the surrounding environment, the rehabilitation of the salt marsh and the cleaning of the garigue.
He concluded by stating that the whole point of this project is to rekindle the salt production trade and to transform the site into an attraction for locals and tourists who can appreciate its potential – be it natural, cultural or archaeological.
BirdLife Malta’s CEO Mark Sultana said that today’s historical occasion shows the level of trust the government has in BirdLife Malta, and the NGO welcomes this with all the responsibilities it carries with it. He spoke about the need of protecting the limited natural heritage the country has and also called for more awareness on nature in Malta.
Mr Sultana stated that BirdLife Malta will not hesitate to speak out when things go wrong and is ready to continue cooperating with the government so that Malta can reach its environmental targets. He also explained the importance of environmental protection, which is not limited to nature reserves but be put into practice in a much broader sense. It is BirdLife Malta’s intention to open the site to the general public. The first opportunity for the public to visit the site will be in November when an open weekend is being planned.