iGEN regularly sponsors deserving individuals and charities as a way of giving back to the community. On 23rd June 2023, iGEN invited four organisations to present their charitable work, with the aim of securing sponsorship from our members. The four organisations were Malta Community Chest Foundation, Puttinu Cares, Foodbank Lifeline Foundation and the newly formed Malta Ranger Unit, and each had a 15-minute slot to present.
Malta Ranger Unit (MRU) was officially launched as an NGO in July 2023, after the founders recognised the need for a dedicated group to address the gap between the reporting of environmental crimes, and their successful prosecution. The MRU was formed out of the Majjistral Park Rangers, previously sponsored by iGEN, who had a remit to safeguard the nation’s national parks for the Heritage Parks Federation.
Over the years ahead, the MRU aims to increase the number of trained Rangers. The more Rangers in the field, the better their ability to address their main areas of focus, namely: illegal littering, illegal fires/burning, illegal fishing, illegal poaching, illegal Natura 2000 or Outside Development Zone (ODZ) construction or in protected areas, the illegal dumping of construction waste, vehicle pollution, noise pollution, unregistered waste carriers, air pollution & illegal off-roading.
The MRU actively engages in lobbying efforts to improve and enforce environmental legislation through constructive dialogue with lawmakers. The aim of the MRU is to increase the levels of public awareness about environmental legislation through educational campaigns and school visits as well as through legal action. One of the most important elements of the MRU is voluntary work. For those who wish to contribute through their time, the MRU offers training.
The success of the MRU will be highly dependent upon the support of the Maltese community; the MRU is a totally independent and objective organisation, and their operations are solely funded by public and business donations.
Between 28th July & 28th August, the MRU will be carrying out a large-scale fundraiser to raise 50,000 EUR which will be used to upgrade equipment, as well as employ more Rangers. For this activity, two Rangers will complete an 800km sponsored walk across Spain, following the Camino de Santiago. The Rangers will also write a book, where the importance of nature for mental health and wellbeing is highlighted.