School children petition Maltese Environment Minister to protect the environment around the clock

"Dear Minister" winner receiving prize from Leo Brincat. Photo: S Abela
By BirdLife Europe, Thu, 11/07/2013 - 12:22

During May, children from nine primary schools in Malta expressed their environmental concerns to the Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, in the annual “Dear Minister” event, for schools participating in BirdLife Malta and Bank of Valletta’s Dinja Waħda environmental education programme.

At the event, the children, aged between eight and eleven years, read out the letters they had written to the Minister, in which they appealed to politicians and people in general to take more consideration of the environment and nature, both in their everyday activities and when making decisions that will affect the environment for years to come.

Nicolette Falzon, Dinja Waħda Manager at BirdLife Malta, said during the event “We launched the Dinja Waħda programme for this school year by emphasizing the importance of adopting a lifestyle that protects nature round the clock, whatever we are doing. As active citizens it is important to bear in mind not only our rights and responsibilities towards society, but also our responsibilities towards the environment”. The topics covered in the children’s letters this year were ‘The Sea’, ‘The Countryside’, ‘Reducing Pollution’ and ‘Waste Management’.

Although nine letters were shortlisted from a total of more than 280, in the end the judges agreed that one letter in particular stood out. Jayden Aquilina, from St. Nicholas College Attard Primary school, read a letter asking the Minister to increase the number of activities for children to teach them about recycling and waste management and for more competitions, games and initiatives to encourage people and businesses to recycle more.

In his responses to the letters, the Minister emphasised the need to increase awareness about the importance of biodiversity for the health of the environment, saying that not even some adults he meets appreciate why biodiversity is so important. He also stressed that it is important for Malta to improve its environmental credentials not just because it is obliged to by the EU, but because the Maltese people appreciate and understand the importance of protecting the environment for themselves and for future generations.

For more information: please contact Nicolette Falzon, BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Wahda Manager.


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