PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE AND BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE Euros 2 million investment for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Minister for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Jose Herrera and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Docial Dialogue Aaron Farrugia, together with Nature Trust have launched a project with an investment of around Euros 2 million; 80% financed by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund and 20% funded by the ministry for the Environment in order to set up a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. This centre will be located in an area within the Xrobb l-Ghagin Park and will be managed by Nature Trust.

Minister Herrera said that this project was brought forward by Nature Trust and will be done in collaboration with his ministry. He stated that they were aware of the need to have a centre where they can rehabilitate wildlife species and thus the area within the park is suitable to be transformed into a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. He said that this project is a clear example of how government is investing in the valorisation of our resources, also for tourism purposes.

Minister Herrera explained that this centre will be responsible for the rehabilitation of wild species such as turtles, hedgehogs, snakes, bats and birds. After rehabilitation, if possible, they are released back in their natural habitat. He said that this project will offer visitors a unique attraction park and a creative and educational experience throughout the year.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that he will remain focused on working with both the ministry and environmental entities to make use of the upcoming EU budget for an ecological transition in the country.

He said that due to a number of factors, ranging from human activity to climate change, Maltese and European wildlife species are increasingly in danger. He explained that few places in the world have such a unique patchwork for habitats, wildlife, and cultural landscapes in such a small area.

For this reason, Malta could attract eco-tourism and different niches of tourists. In this sense, economic prosperity and environmental protection go hand in hand, to ensure a truly sustainable economy. Aaron Farrugia said that with this investment of Euros 2 million from the European Regional Development Fund, the number of visitors is expected to increase significantly.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister