Start date: 8 October 2019
Closing date: 5 November 2019
Title of the public consultation: Nature Reserves Regulations, 2019
Ministry: Ministry for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change
Entity: Environment & Resources Authority
1. Background

‘Nature Reserves’ is an internationally-used term allocated to protected areas that are strictly set aside to conserve biodiversity and related geological and geomorphological features, where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure the protection of conservation values. Malta presently has three Nature Reserves, namely Filfla and its surrounding islets, Fungus Rocks and the Selmunett Islands, set up through respective legal instruments.

The proposed new regulations aim to establish a framework for the setting of Nature Reserves in line with international criteria and update earlier regulations to include additional provisions. These regulations include restrictions on access to the concerned Nature Reserves and the exploitation of wildlife therein. Additional restrictions are proposed on activities that could
negatively affect the biodiversity or landscape of the Nature Reserve including prohibitions on undertaking commercial activities, dumping of chemical waste, releasing non-native species, causing unnecessary noise or light, etc.

The proposed regulations also propose to designate five additional sites as Nature Reserves, namely Kemmunett and its surrounding islets; Il-Ġebla tal-Ħalfa (Gozo); Il-Ġebla taċ-Ċawl (Gozo); l-Iskoll tal-Għallis; and Il-Ħnejja. Most of the Nature Reserves are designated as Natura 2000 sites.

2. Consultation

In line with article 55 of the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549) the public is invited to make submissions to ERA with their comments as to why and how these regulations could be amended.

3. Documents

Nature Reserves Regulations, 2019 / Regolamenti dwar ir-Riservi Naturali, 2019

4. Submission of feedback

Comments will be received by email on [email protected].

5. 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.