Malta has failed to coordinate afforestation efforts or to implement large-scale ecological restoration projects, two leading ecology experts have written. 

In a report aimed at shoring up Malta's tepid afforestation initiatives, academics Louis F. Cassar and Elisabeth Conrad noted that despite a series of afforestation initiatives over the years, extending wooded area coverage in a coordinated and systematic manner has not been given much priority. 

Nor has there been any great attempt at creating self-sustaining, self-regenerating long-term eco-systems through ecological restoration projects, Prof. Cassar and Dr Conrad noted. 

The report, which was commissioned by the Environment Ministry, has now been opened to public consultation and published on the ministry's website.

Malta has one of the lowest percentages of forest cover across all of Europe. A 2010 Food and Agriculture Organisation report found that only San Marino, Monaco, the Vatican City and Gibraltar having fewer trees than Malta, relative to land size. 

Launching Prof. Cassar and Dr Conrad's report, Environment Minister Jose Herrera said that the benefits of afforestation projects would be reaped by future generations. 

“It would have been unwise for me not to action this report, which will complement other developments aimed to increase Malta’s natural capital and which will be announced in the coming weeks”, the minister said. 

Correction: This article was amended at 2.15pm to state that one of the report co-authors is Prof. Louis Cassar, not Cutajar as originally stated.

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