2022 was a busy year for us at Friends of the Earth Malta, and with your support we have had a very productive year, which has seen our team expanding rapidly, with 9 new staff members joining the organisation. Through our projects we have established various initiatives, including the Ucuh tar-raba exhibition which featured the images and stories of 10 Maltese farmers, captured by Darrin Zammit Lupi, and we organised a Climate Action Camp where a group of enthusiastic youth participants learnt about the links between climate change and migration. We raised over 10,000 euros during the Earth Garden Festival and other activities which will help kick start the restoration of the bakery in Comino.
The Green Resource Centre has been very busy this year, we restarted our community garden, established a weekly environmental youth hub and several other activities. And, we celebrated some great successes including the major win at Mzieb & Ahrax in collaboration 4 other NGOs and as FoEM we brought the energy supply debate into the national arena, specifically in relation to the climate impacts of our energy sources and finally we collected over 1,000 signatures for the European-wide #ClimateOfChange campaign.
Friends of the Earth Malta engaged the community with everyday small-scale actions which ultimately help to support the local environment, to raise awareness about the global environmental and provide an opportunity for people to make real change in their local community. In doing so, we hope that a greater engagement with widespread local actions can produce global effects.
During 2022 we organised many activities and events as part of our campaigns targeting issues related to Climate Justice, environmental protection, food related issues, bees and environmental justice. Considerable effort was placed in strengthening the FoE Malta’s ability to influence the policy decision-making process at national level and establishing resources necessary for tasks planned for 2023.
Here are some of the highlight activities of the year:
Climate Action Camp
In August 2022 we organised a Youth Activist Camp aimed at educating 30 participants about the interlinkages between climate change and migration, the challenges for Malta, Europe and the world in terms of climate mitigation and adaptation. We invited experts in the field, offered practical tools and shared inspiring examples of climate action.
YEAH Environmental Youth Hub
In 2022 we established the first Environmental Youth Hub in Malta. The Youth Hub offers support and alternative leisure spaces, where young people between 16 and 25 years can spend their free time interacting with peers in a safe environment, exploring their talents and developing personal, political and social skills. The Youth Hub will run once a week until the end of the project.
The young people involved create their own agenda, a democratic structure, shape the space to be inclusive, tackle injustices, intersectional issues within the group and is in itself an experiment in radical democracy. Creating a youth hub, a space where young people meet and engage, can also serve as an incubator for developing visions for a positive future without current societal boundaries, oppressions and limitations, and create a vision for the future that transcends them.
Uċuħ tar-raba’ – Photography exhibition
In Spring 2022 we launched a photography exhibition by award winning photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi, telling the story of ten Maltese farmers, who have been chosen for their environmentally–friendly farming practices, and reveal some of the faces behind Maltese produce.
Farmers are vital to keeping the island’s rural landscape lush, green and well preserved. They also produce an abundance of diverse and healthy fruit and vegetables that are picked fresh throughout the seasons, providing us with nutritious food. Despite their essential work, farmers experience several challenges and are not always supported, especially by important policies that are shaping the food and farming landscape.
Climate Resilient Gardening – Community Gardening in Floriana
The Giving Garden at our office space in Floriana is an urban community garden where people come together and learn to grow their own crops and herbs. This initiative aims to develop a sense of ownership and belonging and positively contribute to the therapeutic needs of Maltese communities.
In 2022 we turned our focus on urban gardening activities within the climate emergency reality both in terms of practical preparedness in a warming climate and also highlighting the importance of urban gardens in a world in crisis. It offered participants the tools and expertise on how to grow their own food in urban areas whilst offering a haven for biodiversity to thrive.
The Climate Resilient Gardening is also promoting the importance and relevance of fresh and healthy local food and highlight the importance of pollinators as keystone species. Join one of our sessions in 2023
SWAP NOT SHOP!
As a in previous years we also organised a clothes swap event as an alternative to Black Friday,
People were asked to dip into the back of their closet and bring along any clothes that they no longer wear. This way they had the opportunity to give their clothes a second life and leave with some great pre-loved clothing.
During this event we also organised a mini-repair cafe for some basic clothing repairs. This event was organised for the European Week for Waste Reduction by the youth volunteers of Friends of the Earth Malta.
Bees and pollinators
As part of our BeeCause campaign we continued with our educational work related to protecting bees and pollinators. This also included the Save Bees and Farmers campaign whereby together with 90 organisations from across the EU we were part of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). Through this initiative we collected over 1.1 million signatures within the EU demanding for an 80% reduction by 2030 and a full phase-out of synthetic pesticides by 2035 to address both biodiversity and health crises.
Wild and domesticated bees are an integral part of healthy ecosystems. Changes in farming practices, such as the use of agrochemicals, have hugely changed the dynamics of ecosystems. There are policies at a European and National level that can influence agricultural practices to support the beekeepers and the bee population. Two main policies are the National Agricultural Policy for the Maltese Islands and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which both mention the importance to steer towards sustainable farming practices.
Stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter and like our facebook page in order to be the first to know about our activities and events during the coming year. We have some exciting new plans for 2023!
All this work would not have been possible without your support. Help us make 2023 yet another successful year by becoming a supporter or renewing your support. Tick the “make this donation yearly” on the form and you will receive the gifts listed, plus until the 10th of February, you will be eligible to win our giveaway.