Local nature reserves to be improved during international scout exchange

March 24, 2016 9:48 am

This week BirdLife Malta are hosting a scout group from Hungary as part of its project ‘Action for Nature’. Together with The Scout Association of Malta (TSAM), this international youth exchange project brings together young people of different cultural backgrounds to work together for nature protection.

The group from the Hungarian YMCA will join with Scouts from Tarxien Scout Troup from the 23rd – 27th March. Over the five days the group of scouts will be helping with a number of activities at Foresta 2000 nature reserve. To improve visitors’ experience and safety at the nature reserve, Hungarian and Maltese scouts plan to create a seating area, build and reinforce the eroded steps to the Red Tower, and design safety and interpretation signs. The exchange also focuses on community involvement, and the scouts will be promoting the restored Foresta 2000 woodland and its protection to the local public and tourists.

To celebrate the work done during the exchange and to involve local community, on Sunday 27th March, the scouts will hold a ‘Foresta Open Day’ with nature related activities for families. Everyone is invited from 10am till 2pm. The event is free of charge and no bookings are required.

Action for Nature’ project is designed to encourage young people to take an active role in protecting the environment and empowering them with the skills to do so.  It is hoped the project will also allow the groups to discover different cultures, strengthen values, and develop respect for others and the environment.

Daniel Galea, Tarxien scout leader said: “This is the first project of its kind in Malta, it would be good to try to expand the idea of looking after the environment, not just at the nature reserves but across Malta. It’s great that two groups from different nationalities have come together for this project.”

Mihály Szikora, from Hungarian YMCA added: “We’re hoping through the project to change the thinking of the young people to make them more aware of looking after the environment.”

Over the course of 20-month project, there will be four similar exchange campaigns conducted in Malta, also including Is-Simar and Għadira nature reserves.