Enforcement of legislation pertaining to protected areas and natural habitats protection

Regulations enforced

  • Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Regulations (S.L. 549.44) (in relation to those provisions regulating activities within terrestrial and marine Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas)
  • Filfla Nature Reserve Act (Act XV of 1988)
  • Selmunett Islands (St. Paul’s Islands) Nature Reserve Regulations (S.L. 549.03)
  • Fungus Rock (il-Ġebla tal-Ġeneral) Nature Reserve Regulations (S.L. 549.01)
  • Emergency/Conservation Orders regarding sites, for example, Conservation Orders No. 1371 to 1378 of 2016 (in relation to regulated activities within the sites)
  • Majjistral Nature and History Park Site Regulations (S.L. 549.83)
  •  Environment Protection Act (Act I of 2016) (in relation to those provisions controlling activities that may cause environmental damage to habitats)
  • Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (in relation to those provisions regulating accidental and deliberate release affecting natural habitats) and ancillary EU Regulations
  • Control of Invasive Alien Species of European Union Concern Regulations (S.L. 549.119) (in relation to those provisions regulating accidental and deliberate release affecting natural habitats)

Major roles

  • Guiding the public and other regulated bodies on matters pertaining to the control of activities that may be deleterious to the natural environment
  • Carrying out investigations in connection with reported damage to habitats within protected areas and other sites of ecological value
  • Screening Nature Permits, and carrying out pre and post permit inspections and monitoring of permitted activities according to a risk-based approach
  • Ensuring compliance of regulated activities within Nature Reserves, Special Areas of Conservation; Special Protection Areas and other protected areas
  • Assisting other law enforcement agencies by providing expert identification of species; determining the legal status of affected species and habitats; effecting assessments of environmental damage; securing evidence and acting as ex parte court experts in court
  • Drafting and issuing of Stop Orders and Stop and Compliance Orders when necessary to stop environmental damage from occurring
  • Ensuring that environmental remediation measures obliged by virtue of Stop Orders or Stop and Compliance Orders are carried out according to previously authorised method statements in an environmentally sound and sensitive manner
  • Taking administrative legal action by issuing administrative fines and representing the Authority during Environment and Planning Review Tribunal sittings
  • Following up on Court decisions including drafting of notices of appeal and liaising with the office of the Attorney General
  • Maintaining a database of the type of infringements detected and the spatial extent impacted by the illegal activities
  • Maintaining abreast on developments in the field of enforcement of habitat protection legislation by participating in internationally and locally organised meetings and workshops