2300 new trees in Gozo for the International Year of Forests

Ministry for Gozo Ta't Chambray afforestation and restoration ecology project supported by HSBC Malta Foundation.

One year on since its launch, the Afforestation and Restoration Ecology Project at the site known as Ta't Chambray in Gozo is taking shape, with the tree planting project on the site now completed. To mark this milestone, HSBCs Gozo staff and their families planted the last trees needed to complete an area of 11,000 sq metres designated for afforestation, that resulted in the planting of 2,300 new trees and shrubs. The Mgarr Harbour Grove will now cover 45,000 sq metres of land in this area.

2300 more trees in GozoApart from the aesthetic benefits, this recreational grove will also help to prevent soil erosion and to preserve the natural landscape of this picturesque area. An irrigation system has also been set up and watering is being carried out on a weekly basis. Further planned works include the construction of reservoirs, rubble walls, passage ways and viewing areas.

The Ta't Chambray project, which is part of the Ministry for Gozos Eco-Gozo action plan, will cost some ¬200,000 and it is being equally financed by the HSBC Malta Foundation and the Maltese Government.  It is one of the four sites designated as part of Gozos Afforestation and Restoration Ecology initiatives under the Eco-Gozo action plan.

It is a privilege for the HSBC Malta Foundation to form an active part of this project, said the Chairperson of the HSBC Malta Foundation Mrs Catherine Gonzi. Eco-Gozo is an ambitious project which not only benefits the island but the Maltese economy in general. This project is also a small but important step in helping to achieve a stable and healthy environment for the next generation of Gozo.

Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono explained how the implementation of this project was the fruit of coordinated works by the Ministry for Gozo.. The newly planted trees were all grown at the Dawwara Nursery that falls within the Ministry for Gozos Agriculture Branch. This branch was also responsible for the preparation and execution of the planting process in collaboration with the Directorate for Eco-Gozo and Regional Development within the same Ministry. This project will also allow for the achievement of the Ministry for Gozos targets that relate to an increase of at least 1% of the tree cover around Gozo continued the Minister for Gozo.  The Hon. Giovanna Debono also referred to the commemoration of World Environment Day with this years theme being the International Year of Forests. The existing groves together with those that are planned will increase green spaces that will continue to enhance Gozos rural environment concluded Minister Debono.

HSBC has been a supporter of afforestation projects since it started its Malta operation. So far, over 25,000 trees have been planted in designated areas such as Mellieha and Delimara by HSBC as part of this national programme.

HSBCs commitment to supporting ecological projects is part of a wider responsibility the HSBC Group feels it has towards the communities it serves.  HSBC was the first major bank to go carbon neutral back in 2005 and today it is working with four leading global organisations (WWF, Earthwatch Institute, Climate Group, and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), through the HSBC Climate Partnership, a US$100 million community investment initiative in climate change research.

Thirty-five Maltese HSBC employees out of 1,000 employees across the HSBC Group have been trained to become Climate Champions.