08/06/2017 @ 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm Europe/Malta Timezone

A presentation by Professor Louis Cassar and and Dr Elisabeth Conrad co-authors of the strategic document.

Din l-Art Ħelwa is pleased to present a talk entitled;  ‘A dire need to reclaim Malta’s tree cover: applying concepts of afforestation and restoration ecology’. This is the last talk to be held before the Summer months at the Maurice Caruana Curran Hall, 133, Melita Street, Valletta. The talk is based on a strategic document which Prof Louis F. Cassar shared with  Dr Elisabeth Conrad, co-author .

This talk will focus on the theme of increasing Malta’s tree cover, explaining why this is a dire necessity in the Maltese Islands. The various environmental and social benefits provided by trees will be discussed, as will the particular need for tree planting in the context of a rapidly urbanizing small island state. Previous tree-planting efforts will be reviewed and discussed, together with relevant elements of the local policy and legal framework. The talk will also present proposals for implementing afforestation and restoration schemes that would contribute significantly to the greening of the Maltese Islands, for the benefit of both nature and people.


Prof. Louis F. Cassar Ph.D. is a landscape ecologist and environmental planner by training, and has been involved in conservation since the mid-seventies, initially through local and international NGOs and later professionally. For almost a decade, he served as scientific advisor on coastal management to the International Centre for Science and High Technology of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (ICS-UNIDO). His experience in coastal management and conservation extends to various countries of the Mediterranean region, as well as to West Africa and South America, with further field-work experience in South/South East Asia, the Amazon rainforests of the Guiana Shield, and Southern Africa. He has also been involved in several environmental appraisal assignments, both in Malta and overseas. Between 2001 and 2007, he served as Independent Member on the Board of the MEPA, and, until 2014, as a Member of the SEA Audit Team; he also served as ORNIS Chairman for a term in 2013.

Professor Cassar is Director of the Institute of Earth Systems of the University of Malta, and also holds adjunct professorial status within the Faculty of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University, in Virginia, USA, where he was based as Fulbright Scholar on a curriculum development assignment. His research interests include aspects of environmental management and conservation (including corridor and restoration ecology, participatory methods for stakeholder involvement, and the valuation of ecological resources at landscape scale), as well as specific areas of entomology and biogeography.

Elisabeth Conrad, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer with the Division of Environmental Management and Planning of the Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta and an adjunct faculty member of the Faculty of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University, Virginia. She is an environmental management specialist by training, with her main research and teaching areas including social-ecological systems, protected area management, and landscape conservation. Dr. Conrad has contributed to the coordination and authorship of several Environmental Impact Assessment and related specialist reports and protected area management plans, as well as to various capacity building and curriculum development projects. She has also been actively involved in various international research and outreach initiatives, particularly in areas of landscape conservation and management, conservation and ecosystem management, and sustainability.

Talk is due on Thursday 8th June at 18.30.  Entry to Din l-Art Ħelwa, 133, Melita Street Valletta is free of charge, but donations to DLĦ are much appreciated to help maintain the many sites under the care of Din l-Art Helwa