Aid to environmental NGOs should be made public, FKNK retorts

Miguela Xuereb

The Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) hit back at environmental NGOs calling for the proposed transfer of the Miżieb and Aħrax woodlands to the federation to be made public, insisting that this should only happen if the government funding they received was similarly publicised.

The federation specifically mentioned the Majjistral Park, the Wied Għollieqa reserve, the Ballut reserve, Xrobb l-Għaġin Park and the four sites managed by BirdLife Malta, namely Foresta 2000 and the Għadira, Simar and Salini reserves. It pointed out that the BirdLife received €150,000 each year to manage the Salini reserve alone.

“On the other hand, the Miżieb and Aħrax reserves have been managed on a voluntary basis by the FKNK since 1986,” the federation said, that this included the continual cleaning of refuse left by the general public, the planting and maintenance of trees and the maintenance of rubble walls.

The federation mocked NGOs for their alleged low membership numbers, stating that put together, their numbers were far less than the number of its own members, going on to describe itself as the “largest civil society NGO in the Maltese islands.”

It also insisted that it would take legal action against BirdLife Malta’s president Darryl Grima and CEO Mark Sultana over the criminal complaint the NGO had filed on the issuing of hunting licences by the Gozo Ministry. The complaint was dismissed by the police.