Malta takes on man­age­ment of Salini

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Photo: Michael Camil­leri

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.

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