‘Why Are So Many Dying?’: Maltese Economist Questions Recent Mature Tree Deaths
Leading Maltese economist Clint Flores has raised concerns over an influx of reports that mature trees around Malta are dying – questioning why so many are getting sick in the first place.
Over the last few days, a number of mature trees have been uprooted between Żabbar and Fgura, Mosta, and Marsa – some of them being well over half a century old.
Government officials – including Infrastructure Minister Aaron Farrugia – have since claimed that the trees would have either been removed due to being dead, damaged, or invasive.
“What I’m not understanding is why so many trees are dying! Could it be a problem of heat stress or water stress? Perhaps climate change?” Flores told Lovin Malta after uploading a post to social media.
“These are all physical risks we must start assessing as part of our climate risk taxonomy. Do we have a climate risk taxonomy, if yes we might perhaps revise it.”
“My concern is that if really and truly we have so many trees that are being affected then we either ask the environmental authority to investigate further or if we don’t have the resources we outsource a specialised European company,” he said.
“I think we have many experts here and highly specialized in this field. If anything we take have to take stock of the situation.”
Earlier this morning, Flores spoke out on social media, saying that the state ought to invest in more arborists if so many trees really are getting sick.
“If there are all these trees really getting sick, then it’s only logical to think that we have a problem in the ecosystem that will eventually also make us sick,” he stressed.
Flores has garnered significant experience within the EU, assuming the role of President of the EU Budget during Malta’s 2017 presidency of the European Council and serving as an ambassador for Malta on the Political and Security Committee, which is responsible for the EU’s common foreign, security, and defence policies.
Just last week, over 30 mature trees were uprooted from Vjal il-Kottoner, situated between Fgura and Żabbar.
The same happened during works taking place in Marsa’s Spencer Gardens, where ERA told Lovin Malta that some trees were uprooted due to their “invasive species”.
And also recently, a mature tree was uprooted from a roundabout in Mosta, after it was said to have been infested with woodworm. There was no attempt to save the tree – the first resort was to uproot it.
No full studies, public consultations, or certificates of death have been presented in relation to these cases.
Lovin Malta has also recently learned that another set of mature trees is set to be uprooted in Mosta over the coming days – due to “entanglement with electricity wires”.
Have any mature trees been uprooted in your locality recently? Get in touch with Sasha at [email protected]