“Green wardens” will be patrolling and monitoring the woodland areas of Miżieb and Aħrax following the signing of a new deal between the government and the Federazzjoni Kaċċaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti.
They will be responsible for safeguarding the areas and will also have the ability to issue fines to those who are found breaking the law.
“It’s our obligation to safeguard the ecosystem for the hunters, the public and the future generations coming,” said FKNK spokesperson Lucas Micallef during an interview with Lovin Malta.
“They will have executive powers, the same system being done in Europe – they will reassure there isn’t any illegal dumping of materials or naked flames where they aren’t supposed to be,” he said.
Last year, several fires broke out in Miżieb and Aħrax, some caused by acts of vandalism and others as a result of amateur campers.
A deal was signed last weekend between the Lands Authority, ERA and the FKNK which effectively put the two woodland areas under the management of the hunting lobby.
It has proven highly controversial, with a spontaneous protest held last Sunday at Miżieb by those opposing the deal, including BirdLife Malta.
“We’ve been asking to have such surveillance for years. Everyone liked the idea but no one moved the idea forward until now,” he said.
The green wardens will also issue fines to hunters who are found to be breaking the law, including the littering of used shells and cartridges.
“We want to safeguard the environment and hunters have more responsible and set an example not just for the hunting community but the public as well,” Micallef continued.
Malta’s woodland areas have become notorious dumping grounds often left behind by recreational activities in the area. They’re also littered with shotgun pellets left behind by hunters.
The green wardens will consist of third-party individuals, neither hunters nor Birdlife, who will be chosen by a government procedure.
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