​​​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 widely referred to as the database of ‘Nationally Designated Areas’. This database is one of the Eionet priority data flows maintained by the European Environment Agency (EEA) through support from the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD). It is a product of a yearly data flow through Eionet countries, providing technical information on areas designated under national legislation for the purpose of nature protection. This information includes 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. All this is associated with a geospatial dataset, consisting of the protected areas’ boundaries. The reports submitted by Malta until 2021 can be found here.

Iż-żebbuġ tal-Bidnija (limiti tal-Mosta) - Tree Protection Area
Iż-żebbuġ tal-Bidnija (limiti tal-Mosta) - Tree Protection Area

​​​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 14
Bird Sanctuary 26
List of Historical Trees Having an Antiquarian Importance 6
National Park​ 1
Nature Reserve (Filfla) 1
Nature Reserve (Il-Ponta tal-Qawra) 1
Nature Reserve (Islands) 2
No Berthing Zone/No Entry Zone except for Fisheries 1
Protected Beaches 11
Site of Scientific Importance 10
Special Areas of Conservation – International Importance 40
Special Areas of Conservation – National Importance​ 13
Special Area of Geological Importance 1
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. This inventory of spatial data 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.

Malta has recently submitted the report of the Common Database on Designated Areas (CDDA) for 2023, covering national designations up till December 2022. The latest submission by Malta on the CDDA report can be accessed through this link, which is also reflected on ERA’s MEPS Geoportal, under the ‘Protected Areas | National Level’ category.

Other links