Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gaia Foundation

Today I said good bye to Chris and Sayward, who are headed to visit a friend from Tech doing her Ph.D. in Sweden. I went to meet with Rudolph Ragonesi, the leader of the Gaia Foundation project here at Malta. It is located at Ghajn Tuffieha (Ayn Too fee ha) on the coast and has a number of project to protect coastal areas, encourage the planting of native trees and plants (Malta has been heavily affected by exotic species), and encourage environmental education. The meeting was arranged by Joanna Zingarello of the US Embassy. She has been arranging meetings with the leaders of a number of Maltese environmental non-governmental organizations for me.

The Gaia Foundation is going excellent work here--and would like to do more. If you would like to learn more check out their website at: As far as I'm concerned, Malta is a special place and in critical need of efforts to enhance and protect its natural and heritage resources. Various development projects, however, seem to crop up rather ad hoc and threaten the islands that make up Malta. Local residents are increasingly alarmed, so this is not just the view of a visiting foreigner. Sprawl threatens agricultural and natural areas of the US. It threatens Malta--but the Maltese have literally no room for error.

In any event, here are some photos. First is seeing Chris and Sayward off --we were at opposite bus stops. A photo of Dr. Ragonesi. One of Charlotte (foreground) the new communications person and Carmen, who has an astonishing capacity to collect and sprout seeds of highly endangered trees and plants of Malta. Then come some photos of Carmen's handiwork in the Gaia nursery.

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