From Marine Life to Air Quality: You Need To Check Out The Stands At This Weekend's Festival In Valletta

Welcome the ERA of change!

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Over the weekend Malta's capital city will be turning green, not with envy, but in a celebration of all things natural that make our island what it is. The Valletta Green Festival 2019 has arrived! And the Environment and Resources Authority (the ERA) will be setting up camp all weekend to teach us all about the importance of our environment and what we can do to protect it.

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From the 9th to the 12th of May, ERA will be setting up several stands that aim to motivate us all about caring for the natural world, the danger it is in, and what we can do to help

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With interactive stands on air quality and marine litter, a giant board game, competitions, and exhibitions, there's something for everyone. These stands will teach us about things like the sources, monitoring, effects, benefits, and actions of air quality and pollution.

Or the realities of plastic; how long does it take to degrade? What are some alternatives we can use?

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Guests will also be able to give their opinion on the National Strategy for the Environment that ERA are currently working on and developing.

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A couple of exhibitions will be set up during the festival

The first will include photographs taken during LIFE BaĦAR; a project dedicated to raising awareness on marine flora and fauna in Malta. LIFE BaĦAR aims to extend existing marine Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and identify new SCIs for inclusion within the Natura 2000 network. The Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas throughout the EU and it is considered the largest coherent group of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 network was established in 1992 under the Habitats Directive, with the long term aim of protecting Europe’s most vulnerable and threatened species and habitats.

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The second exhibition comes in the form of a 'vitrine', or glass display case, that houses several specimen.

This vitrine is intended to raise awareness on CITES – (Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species). This convention is intended to protect certain wild species from being traded and exploited unsustainably as their extinction would have irreversible ecological consequences and economic and social effects. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives as tourist souvenirs, food sources, health care and cosmetics products and for fashion. The vitrine includes the following specimens:

Dwarf Crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis handbag

  • Imported for decorative purposes
  • Under the EU wildlife trade regulation

Red Coral Corallium rubrum necklace

  • Imported as use of premium jewellery, protected under the Flora and fauna regulation

Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta carapace

  • It was found displayed in a restaurant as a decorative and it was confiscated under the reptiles protection regulation

Silver Fox Vulpes vulpes pelt

  • Imported without an import license in breach of the importation control regulation.

Four packets of Asian medicine; three bearing the label “moschus” at the back, and one bearing the symbol of tiger bone

  • Imported for medicinal use

Queen Conch Strombus gigas shell

  • Imported for trading

Frame bearing several butterflies with one Trogonoptera brookiana in the centre of the display

  • Imported for decorative purposes.

African Rock Python sebae skin

  • Imported for decorative purposes.
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For more information and to keep updated, check out the Valletta Green Festival event page

And get ready to learn all about why and how we can save our island, and our planet. The festival is a Valletta Cultural Agency project, in collaboration with the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), the Environmental Landscaping Consortium (ELC), Ambjent Malta, WasteServ Malta Ltd, and several other environmental NGOs.

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Written By

Steffie Weenink

Steffie is a fan of equality and the arts. She's also partial to a meme or two. And she drinks a lot of tea.