Project: ACT Malta

Think global, act local

ACT believes that Malta has the potential to become a pioneer for Mediterranean ecological prosperity and constructive civic engagement. ACT strives to empower individuals and communities through learning opportunities, positive engagement and collaboration.

ACT is an NGO that started in 2018 as a group of friends who wanted to implement positive change in Malta. ACT works to ensure there are community-led initiatives that enable access to nature, along with creating a green economy with a social purpose, and developing nature-based solutions to address some of Malta’s most pressing challenges.

Malta’s ecosystems are facing persistent pressures: dry seasons, scorching heat and droughts, and diminishing groundwater reserves. Air and noise pollution are on the rise, negatively influencing the population’s wellbeing. According to the Eurostat Published in March 2021, Malta’s forest land cover stands at around 1%. The impending desertification of the Maltese Islands can be overcome by promoting the rehabilitation of natural landscapes through conscious ecological designs and active social participation.

ACT strives to conserve and promote native flora species, promote arts in public spaces, influence policy and bring about constructive civic engagement. Through growing and protecting native plant species, ACT aims to rehabilitate Malta’s unique landscapes in an ecological manner, to ensure long-term environmental resilience.

Since its beginning, ACT has also held sessions to provide a space for dialogue where individuals, NGOs, and other stakeholders openly exchange ideas and share opinions. Through these sessions, ACT has been active in numerous policy consultations. ACT has called for the formation of various strategies, whilst submitting proposals on issues such as woodland protection, single use plastics and wellbeing.

For the past 5 years, ACT has been sourcing seeds and cuttings from the available native stock around the Maltese Islands. The team have successfully propagated more than 55 different species of local trees, shrubs, flowers, succulents and plants. ACT has managed to conserve endangered native flora species that were at risk of extinction. They have more than 9,000 flora species in their stock that will be utilised to assist private landowners and public entities to rehabilitate land with an ecological mindset. In 2022, over 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted together with local NGOs and the Government. ACT aims to grow 15,000 trees and shrubs in 2023/2024.

ACT’s activities are coordinated and implemented mainly through the sheer passion and dedication of volunteers. To bolster the organisation’s stability and growth, the Foundation has supported ACT Malta with a grant towards rent and staff costs, which will enable ACT’s only paid staff member to transition from part-time to full-time. With this additional capacity ACT aims to increase their number of native trees, seeds and cuttings, as well as actively involve local communities, schools, and NGOs with the organisation.

With support from the Foundation, ACT will also evolve their strategy for growing and selling trees, increasing the number larger trees they grow. Mature trees have a higher chance of thriving and mitigating climate change, as well adding to ACT’s aim of retaining Malta’s natural heritage. These trees can also be sold to national parks and private land owners for a higher price, increasing ACT’s income and sustainability. ACT will also explore wider partnerships to enable volunteering opportunities for various groups, such as people with learning difficulties.