PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Minister Herrera addresses the ‘UNCCD World Day to Combat Desertification’ event in Ankara, Turkey

Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Jose Herrera addressed the Ministerial Roundtable at the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification Global Observance’ event organised by the Government of Turkey in Ankara.

During his Ministerial statement, Minister Herrera shared practices and measures which Malta is undertaking to combat desertification. He stated that Malta recognises the risks of exposure to desertification patterns within our territory and is committed to tackling desertification. He said that different elements, such as water scarcity, climate change and soil erosion, risks affecting not only our future environment but also our socio-economic growth and development.

Minister Herrera explained that Malta has already embarked on developing the necessary policies to respond to such challenges. He said that Ambjent Malta is revaluing parks and promoting the development of green infrastructures in urban areas as well as regenerating rural areas through the restoration of rubble-walls, thus preserving our soil, whilst also maintaining valleys and watercourses which will improve water-flows, capturing and storing the necessary resources and reducing risks from floods.

Minister Herrera explained that to respond to the high demand of the water resource, the government is promoting measures for the re-use of secondary water sources, particularly in the agricultural sector, in a way to preserve our limited fresh water sources. Recently, the government has also announced the addition of high-quality water reclamation and reuse through the government’s New Water programme. Malta is also transforming its national water utility into a net-zero impact, in a way that the water returns to the environment compensating for the extracted resource.

Minister Herrera stated that these alternative water resources enable Malta to meet its national water demand in a sustainable manner, ensuring the availability of sufficient water resources to sustain the islands’ groundwater dependent terrestrial ecosystems and addressing the impacts deriving from desertification.

Minister Herrera was accompanied by the Ambassador of Malta to Turkey Carmel Vassallo.

Source: Government of Malta