​​​As an EU Member State, Malta is committed to submit information, on an annual basis, on various core data flows maintained by the European Environment Agency (EEA)​, with support from the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity​.

The core data flow relevant to biodiversity is a report on areas designated under national legislation for the purpose of nature protection. This report, which is also known as the Common Database on Designated Areas (CDDA) report, is essentially a database of the various designated areas in national Law. It consists of a spatial dataset, incorporating details such as date of designation, the legal document under which each site has become designated, and the IUCN protected area management category, amongst other information. The reports submitted by Malta can be found here.

Ramla l-Ħamra - Gozo
Ramla l-Ħamra, Gozo – Special Area of Conservation of International Importance


The table below lists the different national designations reported by Malta, and provides the number of sites that fall under these designations, as submitted to the EEA by Malta. One should be aware that the number of sites reported under every national designation varies from one year to another, in view of updates in the national protected area designation process.

Designation type Number of sites*
Area of Ecological Importance 24
Area of Ecological Importance and Site of Scientific Importance 42
Area of High Landscape Value 13
Bird Sanctuary 26
List of Historical Trees Having an Antiquarian Importance 6
National Park​ 1
Nature Reserve 3
Protected Beaches 11
Site of Scientific Importance 10
Special Area of Geological Importance 1
Special Areas of Conservation – International Importance 40
Special Areas of Conservation – National Importance​ 9
Special Protection Areas 22
Tree Protection Areas​ 60

The data submitted in the CDDA report feeds into a central inventory, which began in 1995 under the CORINE programme of the European Commission. In turn, this inventory is used as the official source of protected area information from European countries to the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA), which is the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas.​​

*The latest submission by Malta on the CDDA report was carried out in March of 2020, and hence it will not include updates by Malta in the same year.

Other links