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  • Writer's pictureKeaton Agius

Seeds Sent Out By Environment Ministry Pose Risk To Local Flora

Seeds that were delivered to households as part of an initiative by the environment ministry are now posing a risk to Malta's endemic flora.

Ambjent Malta stated that these seeds would be both indigenous and endemic. However, it resulted that the seeds were not endemic at all, actually having been flown in from Holland.

The term endemic is only applicable if a species is found in only one region and therefore having a unique genetic structure due to isolation. Foreign seeds pose a risk to the ecosystem due to possible cross-contamination, which can weaken the species by introducing genes that are less suited to the Maltese climate. Another potential risk is that these seeds may be carrying an unwanted disease the local flora is not resistant to.

Ambjent Malta has stated that these concerns are negligible, though have apologised for stating that the seeds were indigenous in pamphlets sent out accompanying the seeds. Herman Galea, from Ambjent Malta, also said that the reason these seeds were imported was due to the quantity needed.

Do you think the seeds should have been sourced locally?

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