Press Release – 22 July 2009

Din l-Art Helwa, Birdlife Malta, Nature Trust (Malta)

Six caravans that were moved into the Foresta 2000 afforestation site on early this month have now left the protected area, Din l-Art Helwa, Nature Trust (Malta) and BirdLife Malta announced today.

The caravans were part of a larger group that were evicted from an area adjacent to the Mellieha Bay Hotel on 30th June.

The NGOs contacted the authorities and demanded the removal of the caravans from the protected area after the caravans were moved into the project site at Mellieha. A meeting between the NGOs and the Mellieha Mayor, Mr Robert Cutajar, was held last week. Following the meeting the Mayor informed the NGOs that the caravans would be leaving the Foresta 2000 project site within a few days. The caravans started leaving the protected area early this week and with the last caravans leaving today, there are now no more left.

“We thank Mr. Cutajar for meeting us and then taking swift action to solve the problem. We believe that communication between the authorities and the NGOs need to improve in order to avoid similar problems in other protected areas in the future.” the NGOs said.

The Foresta 2000 afforestation project is managed by the PARKS department of the Ministry for Rural Affairs and Resources, BirdLife Malta and Din L-art Helwa. The site is also protected as a Bird Sanctuary and is given international protection as a Natura 2000 site under the EU nature conservation directives.