Pictured above: Mġarr Mayor Paul Vella, HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson, UoM Rector Professor Juanito Camilleri and Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera.
The HSBC Malta Foundation, the University of Malta, and Mgarr local council have signed a 10-year collective agreement taking the I–land Observatory and Interpretation Centre in Mġarr an important step closer to its implementation.
Initially announced in February 2012, I–land Observatory involves the setting up of Malta’s first centre for integrated natural and cultural heritage management. It will include outreach facilities and regular educational activities with the aim of promoting environmental awareness and greater appreciation for Malta’s natural and cultural heritage.
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Culture José Herrera said: “This is a truly collaborative effort that pools together the resources, connections and expertise of a local council, a world leading financial organisation, and the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is great to see such close and constructively collaboration of this kind for a project that will benefit all. We are currently scrutinizing similar initiatiatives to provide a framework that attracts different stakeholders to invest in our heritage following holistic guidelines. ”
“By blending cutting edge science with recreational and educational facilities, the I-Land Observatory will promote and implement a heightened sensitivity to Malta’s natural environment, while offering the equipment and expertise to apply restorative ecology and promote more sustainable practices in Malta,” Parliamentary Secretary Herrera said.
The project comprises four key elements: the ecological restoration of degraded tracts of land in the area; the restoration and rehabilitation of the military and rural structures; the development of interpretation, observation and recreational facilities housing a lecture area, audio-visual centre, and an exhibition hall; and the development of interpretation materials.