New & now
This Maltese organisation has embarked on a journey to plant ONE MILLION trees
Yep, you heard that right!

Jillian Mallia

We recently found out some fantastic news: an amazing one million trees will be planted around the Maltese Islands in the coming years. The QLZH Foundation together with ACT have launched an environment sustainability project called Saġġar, and honestly, this is a beacon of hope our rock desperately needed.

saggar

Saggar / Facebook

I spoke with Steve Mercieca, co-founder of the QLZH Foundation and the brains behind the project, who shared all there is to know about it.

Why ‘Saġġar’?

Saġġar actually means ‘to afforest’ in Maltese, pretty much fitting the bill to a tee in this regard. The reason the organisation is embarking on such a venture is because they feel that “the valleys and rural areas of Malta should be full of life” as well as creating adventure places for future generations. Y’all deserve a standing ovation, honestly. Steve also adds that “70 per cent of the project will be afforestation while the remaining 30 per cent will form a social project called ‘Green Lungs.’

saggar

Saggar / Facebook

Where it all began

“Growing up, my family would take me to Miżieb to play, and I had a tree house in Gozo which I spent many hours climbing up and down as a kid,” he reminisces. One day he was walking at Riviera with a friend, Andrew. “He told me he wanted to plant a million trees in Malta. I laughed and said it was impossible.” Anyone would have thought the same, but then a little seed was planted in his mind. “I kept challenging the idea in my head… is it actually possible?”

saggar

Saggar / Facebook

Years went by and Steve dived head first into Real Estate with QuickLets and Zanzi Homes (QLZH). “The QLZH Foundation (the philanthropic arm of QLZH) supports a child’s education with every property we rent, and we plant a tree with every property we sell. We felt that this is not enough, so we decided to plant a million trees.” Steve was introduced to ACT, an NGO that engages citizens in aspects such as the environment, health, arts and socio-economics, and the venture started to take shape.

Steve Mercieca / Facebook

Steve Mercieca / Facebook

The afforestation process

The project has various phases, Steve explains. “Before identifying the final resting place of the trees we are going to plant, we needed to identify a propagation centre. This is where the bulk of the trees will be grown, in three main cycles of 330,000 trees per cycle all in three year periods.”

Steve explains that once the trees are grown, they’re be transported and planted into on ecological reserves, agroforestry, private land and public land.

saggar

Saggar / Facebook

Here’s how you can get involved!

You can get in touch with Saġġar through their website and on social media: “Going forward we will be hosting seminars, workshops, sowing kits and grow kits. People will also be able to sponsor a tree for occasions such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and funerals. When we launch we will have a “land registry” program for people to register their land and at a later stage we will be calling for volunteers to help us plant them. We will not rest until we make this happen!”

We're rooting for you guys (no pun intended)!

30th January 2019


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

You may also like...
New & now
New & now
The new ship will be part of the fleet in the coming weeks.

Jillian Mallia
New & now
New & now
They've dubbed it ‘Buggibafication’.

Jillian Mallia
New & now
New & now
Michela will be performing 11th in tomorrow's semi-final

Jillian Mallia
New & now
New & now
The term ‘drag queen’ is pretty well known (thank you Ru Paul’s drag race!) but how about ‘drag king’? Well, it’s about to get a whole lot more popular as Malta welcomes award-winning show Joan!

Jo Caruana