The uprooting of trees has become synonymous with Maltese development, with the upgrade of the country’s road infrastructure seeing trees transplanted to other parts of the island.
While the government oftentimes promotes this as a proposal to alleviate environmental damage, people rarely ever see the results of such projects.
Cami Appelgren, Malta’s resident environmentalist, has uploaded photos claiming that just three out of the 21 trees uprooted from Kappara project have survived their move.
“Ian Borg – skip promoting that plans are to transplant trees or plant new ones. It’s greenwashing, most of the trees will die but you don’t tell people that or don’t you care?” she wrote on social media.
MaltaToday had reported back in 2013 that the plans to uproot the trees may not be a proper solution and would result in the same negative environmental impact of carob and olive trees, some of which are more than 50 years old, and a particular species of fungus.
The issue surrounding the uprooting of trees is not unique to the Kappara project, with potentially 549 trees facing the axe as part of the Central Link project.
The Central Link Project will be decided by the Planning Authority this Thursday. The application has received a large number of objections.
The project will restructure junctions and create bypass lanes between Mrieħel, Rabat, Attard and Ħaż-Żebbuġ. It will also widen existing roads in the area.
The Environmental Resources Authority says that almost 900 trees will be replanted as compensation for those being moved as part of infrastructure efforts in Paola and Rabat. However, if current evidence is anything the go by, the trees’ survival is unlikely.
The constant removal of what is a key component in fighting growing Co2 emissions has plagued areas all across Malta and Gozo.
In August 2018, The Times of Malta even reported how an afforestation project in Gozo had transformed into a barren landscape after neglect.