Mr. David Conlin
Proact Project Malta
Dear Mr Conlin,
With reference to your article "We must put a STOP to the barbaric bird slaughter on Malta!" published on your web site www.proactnow.org/malta, I have the following comments to make:
H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco, President of Malta, on the 24th January 2002, just a few days after the St. Thomas Bay incident, has strongly pronounced himself on the matter. The President spoke about this case during the presentation of the re-print of the book, 'Wildlife of the Maltese Islands', which was published by Bird Life and Nature Trust. As I am very certain you are aware of, these two environmental lobby groups enjoy a very high profile in Malta.
Therefore H.E. the President of Malta was one of the first to express his views on what had happened on the 20th January 2002 at St. Thomas Bay. I believe that the fact that His Excellency chose to comment about the incident, whilst addressing the presentation evening, jointly organised by Bird Life and Nature Trust, shows very clearly His concern and interest in this particular matter.
Besides, I would also like to draw to your attention that, following the necessary investigations by the Police, criminal proceedings were commenced.
For your attention, following please find, the press statement issued by the Office of the President on the 25th January 2002 and duly reported by the press:
" On Thursday 24th January 2002 during the presentation of the re-print of the book, Wildlife of the Maltese Islands at Saint James Cavalier, Valletta, H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco praised the work of the authors of this book through their learned contributions as well as the different societies working in favour of nature and the environment which represent the conscience and voice of the Maltese people.
Prof. de Marco said that Malta in the United Nations had given a value to the concept of a common heritage for mankind. Heritage means a continuation process and we therefore have to engage ourselves in the conservation of the nature around us with the responsibility of passing it on to future generations.
With reference to the killing of swans at St. Thomas Bay, President de Marco questioned the reason for the killings. How can there be individuals who destroy the beauty that surrounds us? The President said that there has been a nationwide aversion and condemnation: from environmentalists to the hunters association. In condemning the incident President de Marco praised those who contributed with the necessary evidence for action to be taken by the authorities concerned.
The President said that today there is an increased awareness with regards to the environment around us. For this purpose legal safeguards have been created to ensure that the environmental conservation process can be enforced. Societies such as Birdlife, Nature Trust have to continue to monitor the situation and voice society's environmental concerns."
Whilst trusting that the above has enlightened you further to the President's response to this incident, I hope that you will be publishing this letter of reply on your web page as to give your readers a clear picture of "The Facts" you have made reference to. I will also be sending a copy of this letter to the local media.
Thanks & best regards,
Office of the President of Malta