Start date: 19 July 2021
Closing date: 30 August 2021
Title of the public consultation: Intent and Objectives: Conservation Objectives and Measures for Malta’s Terrestrial Natura 2000 sites
Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning
Entity: Environment and Resources Authority
In terms of Article 51 of the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549), the public is duly notified that the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has initiated the revision process for the “Conservation Objectives and Measures for Malta’s Terrestrial Natura 2000 sites”, in line with the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.44). The revised conservation objectives and measures for Malta’s terrestrial Natura 2000 sites build upon Malta’s first ‘‘Management Plans and Conservation Orders for Terrestrial Natura 2000 Sites in Malta & Gozo’’ which were adopted in 2016, in order to continue the Government’s long-term efforts on Natura 2000 site management and biodiversity conservation. The exercise shall also take into consideration any additional sites or extension/s to existing sites which have been designated since then.
The Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.44) require the setting up of appropriate conservation measures for protected sites, addressing the habitats and species for which the sites were designated. Such conservation measures are aimed to follow good governance principles with a long-term view and shall include criteria and indicators for assessing and monitoring the effectiveness of such a management approach. As per regulation 14(6) of the Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.44), the competent authority shall review the management plans of each SAC or SPA, and regularly assess the state of the protected site and the progress made in the implementation of the management plan and these regulations.
The network of terrestrial Natura 2000 sites in Malta was created following the provisions of the EU Nature Directives; the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) and the Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive). Such site designations are based on the criteria established through Schedule IV of S.L. 549.44 and the scientific data collected on habitats and species listed in Schedules I and II of the same Regulations and Schedule I of S.L. 549.42. More information regarding these sites is included in the respective Standard Data Forms for each site available from here.
The main objectives of the proposed revision process for the “Conservation Objectives and Measures for Malta’s Terrestrial Natura 2000 sites” are to:
- contribute to maintain or restore, at a favourable conservation status, the natural habitat types and species of wild fauna and flora of community interest for which the sites were designated;
- reduce direct and indirect pressures and threats affecting the conservation status of habitats and species of community interest and hence their future prospects;
- elaboration of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) objectives and tangible measures;
- improve knowledge on and monitoring of habitats and species;
- increase conservation and restoration efforts for pertinent habitats and species following a prioritised approach;
- manage activities within terrestrial Natura 2000 sites;
- ensure stakeholder involvement and cooperation among entities;
- increase public awareness and support research and education efforts on terrestrial habitats and species;
- fulfil the obligations under the European Union Nature Directives, namely the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (Directive 2009/147/EC) and related multilateral environmental agreements.
The public is invited to submit any feedback or comments on the intent and objectives regarding the conservation objectives and measures for Malta’s terrestrial Natura 2000 Network, in line with the following consultation questions:
- Do you agree with the proposed intent and objectives presented here?
- What do you envision for Malta’s terrestrial Natura 2000 Network to 2030?
- What aspects do you retain to be crucial to safeguard Malta’s terrestrial Natura 2000 Network to 2030?
- Submission of feedback
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Further notes:
Please be informed that comments submitted, together with the identity of the contributor, may be published online at the end of the public consultation, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.
All comments submitted shall be duly considered.
The draft revised “Conservation Objectives and Measures for Malta’s Terrestrial Natura 2000 sites” will be available for public consultation in due course at the following web link: https://era.org.mt/consultation-on-legislation-and-policy/.