Let us children plant hope in our life
In his welcoming speech Nature Trust Malta Executive President Mr Vincent Attard, thanked the workers and officers within the respective departments for supporting schools in the LEAF programme. He said that when the programme was introduced 3 years ago most were understandably sceptic about the success of the programme since our native forests have been receding ever since the arrival of the first inhabitants and according to the latest State of the Environment Report forest land cover stands at 1%. Nevertheless, thanks to the interest shown by various educators and the students’ enthusiasm, the programme is now picking up fast and last year four schools were awarded the prestigious international LEAF Award.
Mr Johann Gatt, LEAF National coordinator elaborated on four key aspects that the programme tries to address based on the realities of the local scenario:preserving the last remaining pockets of native forest, instilling love for trees, making responsible choices, and planting more trees. Mr Gatt said that each year LEAF Malta receives a number of requests from international lobby groups to join in tree planting events in a bid to enhance biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, offset carbon emissions, restore native forests and other similar noble causes. ENO Tree Planting Day for Peace is one such campaign and with today’s event Malta will be joining 150 countries around the world to send a strong message in favour of cultural diversity and tolerance’ Mr Gatt said.
The students’ speech was however the main highlight of the event. The students outlined the main benefits of trees and through a series of pertinent pledges urged the general public to do their part, pull up their socks and start to lead by example.