Green infrastructure

1.  POLICY SETTING

Several of Malta’s policies explicitly address green infrastructure and connectivity and the government has introduced various policies to preserve Malta’s biodiversity.

  • National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan[1] (2012-2020) – aims to halt biodiversity loss by 2020 and explicitly addresses Green Infrastructure and connectivity. Besides maintaining biodiversity and natural areas, benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services should be enhanced, e.g. by restoring degraded ecosystems and taking climate adaptation measures. Furthermore, the Strategy stresses the need to address the full range of biodiversity and ecosystem services (including the role in addressing other environmental challenges such as climate change) within all levels of policy-making and expresses the need for awareness of the linkages between biodiversity, economic prosperity and human welfare. Specific measures that are formulated are, for example: the uptake of community initiatives for urban GI, continued efforts on the National Ecological Network, using linear landscape features as ecological corridors between fragmented and protected areas, implementing GI to improve the coherence of the Natura2000 network while at the same time providing other functions (MEPA, 2012).
  • National Environment Policy[2] (2012) guides action from 2012 to 2020. It explicitly mentions green infrastructure for the restoration of ecosystems, establishing that an action plan will be drawn up to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems using green infrastructure through the  Measure 2.6.22 “Draw up action plan to restore at least 15 % of damaged ecosystems by 2020”; however, it does not set a deadline for developing the action plan. Connectivity is emphasised in the context of maintaining and growing the Natura 2000 network, especially in Marine Protected Areas.  To this end Malta has proposed 14 sites to be designated under the Habitats and Birds Directives, as indicated below (Ministry for Tourism, the Environment and Culture, National Environment Policy, 2012).
  • National Climate Adaptation Strategy[3] (2012) – mentions the conservation of habitats, ecosystems, and biodiversity as core elements of adaptation (action 17), but does not formulate specific actions (Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs, 2012). 
  • Rural Policy and Design Guidance[4] (2014) protects landscape features and ecological corridors such as rubble walls, natural ponds, stands of indigenous trees, etc. in agricultural areas, which enhance connectivity while providing habitats for flora and fauna (MEPA, 2014). 
  • Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development – SPED (2015) addresses the spatial issues for the Maltese Islands in the coming years. Green infrastructure and references to “greening open spaces”; “developing ecological corridors” and “improving the quality of design, and life, in urban areas, by providing quality green open areas are included.
  • The ‘EcoGozo’ vision document[5], released in November 2009, is a compendium of ideas and measures to turn the Maltese island of Gozo into an eco-island by 2020. It includes nature conservation initiatives, such as tree planting and establishing marine Special Areas of Conservation to improve Gozo’s natural heritage. The ideas and measures in ‘Ecogozo’ have the potential to restore habitats for biodiversity and to improve the delivery of ecosystem services; they should also make local farming practices more sustainable and create new tourism and new job opportunities. Thus, Gozo can become a multifunctional Green Infrastructure area capable of combining farming, tourism and recreational activities. A synthesis of the public consultation process on the EcoGozo vision was published in 2012 (Ministry of Gozo, 2012).
  • The Green Economy Action Plan (2015) sets out the Government’s vision for the green economy in Malta, focusing particularly on achieving sustainable growth, the effective use of resources, ensuring ecosystem resilience and enhancing social equity. This plan establishes specific Action Points, which aim at stimulating the transition towards a green economy.
  • The National Research and Innovation Strategy 2020, launched in 2014, supports capacity building for excellence in climate change adaptation. The Strategy recognises the need for climate change knowledge to guide policy as well as business decisions. More concretely, in Malta’s Smart Specialisation Strategy, ‘Resource-efficient buildings’ was identified as an area as there is scope for exploring innovative solutions in the sector to address water scarcity and energy dependence, two of Malta’s main economic challenges. The aim is to transform the sector by increasing green jobs and growth, solutions for improved resource efficiency in new and existing infrastructure.

 

2.  IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Ecological corridors in the form of rubble walls in agricultural areas are found everywhere in Malta and serve as borders between fields and farms. These structures enhance connectivity while providing refuge for fauna and allow excess rainwater to drain from the fields, both benefiting agriculture production and minimising soil erosion. They are a good example of how integrated design of Green Infrastructure helps to deliver multiple benefits such as storm water management, maintenance of the water table and interconnected wildlife refuges (European Commission, 2017). The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 included 2 measures which aimed at maintaining, restoring and preservation of the rubble walls, namely, Measure 121 – Modernization of Agricultural Holdings under Axis I of the RDP and Measure 323 - Conservation and Upgrading of Rural Heritage under Axis III of the RDP. The recent Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) highlighted that Malta’s protection of traditional stone walls are a concrete example of delivering multiple benefits for agriculture and the environment (European Commission, 2017).
  • Alter Aqua Water Programme: Malta has limited freshwater resources. The Alter Aqua Programme, initiated in 2011, aims to mobilise non-conventional water resources in order to secure water availability and facilitate sustainable development. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, financed by Maltese Ministries and The Coca Cola Foundation. It was launched in November 2011, in Gozo, and expanded to the Island of Malta in January 2014. The Programme’s activities include rainwater harvesting, grey water reuse systems and storm water management in the Ramla Valley. The latter involves reconstructing rubble walls in Ramla Valley to increase water availability for irrigation, allow aquifer replenishment and prevent soil erosion. As mentioned above, rubble walls also serve as an important ecological corridor and a refuge for a number of endangered terrestrial fauna. Cost: EUR 1.14 million. Benefits of the project include: increased water availability, prevention of soil erosion and increase in connectivity and biodiversity (Trinomics et al., 2016).
  • Malta is part of the Green Infrastructure Network (GreenInfraNet), an INTERREG supported partnership of 11 regions from across Europe, which collaborate to promote the development and implementation of green infrastructure in EU regions (GreenInfraNet, n.d.).
  • The LifeMedGreenRoof Project, set up within the Faculty for the Built Environment of the University of Malta and co-financed by LIFE, aims to demonstrate how Green Infrastructure can enhance the quality of life in urban areas, delivering multiple benefits. In particular, the project is constructing two demonstration green roofs to experiment with growing media and choice of plants. It serves as a pilot to investigate how green roofs perform in a Mediterranean climate. It tests the potential of green roofs as insulation against heat, especially in the summer months, and the reduction of the use of air conditioning and the potential of green roofs for mitigating local flooding. The project proposes a holistic approach, including insulation, the generation of alternative energy and the creation of wildlife habitats. At the end of the project, a draft policy document will be submitted to the Planning Authority to be considered for integration in the Planning Policies. Benefits of the project include:
    • Amenity and recreational space and thermal insulation of the underlying rooms.
    • Reduction of the carbon footprint of buildings and energy bills.
    • Mitigation of localised flooding as the growing medium absorbs rainfall and delays water run-off.
    • Plants attract wildlife, which in turn provide ecosystem services.
    • Green roofs make photovoltaic panels more efficient by reducing the ambient temperature above the roof.
    • The installation of a green roof increases property value (Trinomics et al., 2016).
  • Life Saving Buskett[6] is a project within L-Inħawi tal-Buskett and tal-Girgenti, one of the largest Special Areas of Conservation within the Natura 2000 network in the Maltese Islands. It consists of three valley systems - Wied l-Isqof, Wied il-Luq and Wied il-Girgenti - each sustaining a permanent watercourse. They support the highest concentration of riparian woodlands in the Maltese Islands. The Life Saving Buskett Project is being implemented by the Parks Directorate from July 2013 to May 2018. The project aims to safeguard four habitats listed in Annex I to the Habitats Directive. The project is also tackling soil erosion. Hence, extensive restructuring of soil retaining walls is being undertaken to sustain the unique habitats.

    • Majjistral Nature and History Park – A Green Network[7], which is Malta's first natural national park, is managed by the Heritage Parks Federation consisting of three NGOs. This Park incorporates part of the coastal cliffs of the North West of Malta, which form part of the Natura 2000 network. The area is also known for a number of historical and archaeological sites. The Park is a member of the EUROPARC Federation, which aims to promote good practice in the management of protected areas. The Park offers an extensive natural and recreational area for locals and tourists alike. The site is used for country walks, trekking and horse riding. (Heritage Parks Federation, n.a.)
    • Enhancing Sicily-Malta BIOgeographical Transboundary Insular Connectivity (SIMBIOTIC)[8]: This project aimed to strengthen the planning and management and restore a system of south-eastern Sicilia Natura 2000 protected coastal wetlands of primary national and European community importance, and rehabilitate stepping stones on natural Mediterranean maquis habitat in Gozo’s agricultural landscape to enhance the ecological connectivity of the transboundary area.  Participatory planning and implementation of landscape restoration actions are conducted with the local administrations of the Comune di Pachino in the Province of Syracuse, the Ministry and local councils in Gozo as well as local land owners/users. Three Government-owned and one privately-owned sites were selected.  The actions planned for these sites included site clearance, especially of accumulated urban and building waste where necessary, removal of alien plan species and preparation of the terrain for planting of indigenous trees and shrubs.
    • E2STORMED Project[9] deals with the challenge of capturing and reusing storm water runoff before it flows as surface water, by exploring Sustainable Drainage Systems, with the end goal of increasing energy efficiency. The latter may be achieved by looking at storm water as a resource that can alleviate the use of potable water and hence reduce the energy demand on desalination, reducing the inflow of storm water into sewers thus reducing the energy demand for water treatment, and by contributing towards green building and energy efficiency. The basic principle behind Sustainable Drainage Systems is to manage storm water by following natural hydrologic processes. Examples of Sustainable Drainage Systems are for instance green roofs and porous surfaces for parking lots and roads as a source control of storm water. Hence, there is a direct link between Sustainable Drainage Systems and green and blue infrastructure components. (http://www.e2stormed.eu, n.a.)

 

3.  MAINSTREAMING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

Nature

The EU Natura 2000 network is at the core of the EU's Green Infrastructure. Malta hosts 30 habitat types and 52 species covered by the Habitats Directive. The country also hosts breeding populations of four species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive. Since 2012, 13.2 % of the national land area of Malta was covered by Natura 2000 (EU average 18.1 %), with Birds Directive SPAs covering 4.2 % (EU average 12.3 %) and Habitats Directive SCIs covering 12.8 % (EU average 13.8 %) (European Commission, 2017).

Agriculture

Agriculture policy refers to ‘sustainability of ecosystem services’ and adapting to local geo-climatic conditions. The Rural Policy and Design Guidance (2014) protects landscape features and ecological corridors such as rubble walls, natural ponds, stands of indigenous trees, etc. in agricultural areas, which enhance connectivity while providing habitats for flora and fauna (MEPA, 2014). 

Forestry

The Government has identified that afforestation projects are given priority in order to further enhance the forestry sector. In addition, the restoration of the countryside was further developed through measures implemented from the Rural Development Plan for Malta 2014-2020.  

More information regarding afforestation projects may be found in section 5.1.

Spatial planning

The Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED) is a strategic plan founded on an integrated planning system regulating the sustainable use and management of land and sea resources. This Plan replaces the 1990 Structure Plan and provides a strategic spatial policy framework for environment and development up to 2020 complementing Government’s policy direction for the same period.

The SPED is based on national government policy and plans and translates them into spatial policies. As a national strategic document, the SPED is intended to guide the spatial aspect of Government sectoral policies, plans and programmes, including those emerging from the EDPA (Subsidiary Plans), as well as to form the primary basis for decisions on all development and environmental permit applications.  The implementation of the SPED is aimed to secure a more integrated approach to the management of development and environment protection at a national level.

Water management

Malta’s Second Water Catchment Management Plan[10] (WCMP) has recently been adopted in line with the WFD obligations. This second WCMP recognises the role valleys play in transporting contaminants and, in this context, calls for further studies to strengthen the knowledge base in this field. Such knowledge acquisition may in turn provide insight into exploring the role of GI in mitigating pollution transfer.  Another knowledge gap that the second WCMP seeks to address is in terms of gaining an understanding of the quantitative aspect of water and related biodiversity requirements vis-à-vis ecological flows. Given the current lack of knowledge in Malta in this field, the potential of GI in relation to improving water quantity in ecologically sensitive sites will only be known in the longer term. A more immediate role of GI would be in terms of exploring further the link between soil and water and their conservation needs. In this respect, the WCMP includes a measure related to integrated valley managementwhich could consider what GI can contribute in terms of improving soil resources and water quality through soil conservation measures. (ERA, 2016)

Marine and coastal policy

In terms of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), to date, work at national level has involved the initial assessment of environmental status throughout Malta's marine waters, the development of a monitoring programme for the ongoing assessment of such status and the development of the Programme of Measures (PoMs). The Programme of Measures has ensured links with the Marine Protected Areas designated to date. While no new spatial protection measures have been put forward, the PoMs seek the improvement of knowledge on pressures with a view to enabling work towards healthy ecosystems both within and beyond MPAs. This would contribute to connectivity across MPAs.

The deliverables of the MSFD need to be taken into consideration as part of the Maritime Spatial Planning process, which is a key process for exploring opportunities of GI in the marine environment. (ERA, 2016)

Tourism

Although the National Tourism Policy[11] (2015-2020) does not mention GI, it does refer to “better landscaping and a general greening of the environment”. Moreover, Gozo is being developed and promoted as an eco-destination (Ministry for Tourism, 2015).

Climate change adaptation

A prime objective of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy rests in preserving and strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and, wherever possible, in reducing the pressures that could reduce their inherent capacity to adapt and counter the effects of climate change. The protection of essential resources such as water and soil will have a high priority in this context.

Economy

The Green Economy Strategy and Action Plan sets the vision that Malta’s economy shall in the future: (1) grow sustainably and for the long term, (2) use natural resources efficiently and effectively, (3) exploit comparative advantages, (4) be more resilient, (5) provide quality rewarding jobs for people and (6) embrace all social sectors. This document incorporates 53 initiatives spread across a total of 9 pillars (or sectors), amongst which is that on “Agriculture, Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure”.

The section on GI mentions the underlying principle of multi-functionality and the economic benefits of GI. The document notes the current commitment by Government to greening urban areas, whilst setting the agenda for future policy development and action.

Transport

National Transport Strategy, 2050 (NTS) and Transport Master Plan, 2025 (TMP) have been developed to cover all relevant transport modes (land, public transport, sea and air) for the short, medium and long term for Malta.

The NTS consists of a vision outlining where Malta wants to be in the long term, the strategic goals, the strategic direction on how to get there and the indicators necessary to measure the progress of this strategy.

Six strategic goals define what the transportation system should achieve. These goals are based on sustainable development principles considering economic, social and environmental factors. One of the goals aims to promote environmental and urban sustainability which defines specific aspects, one of which is to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

 

4.  FINANCING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

The GI projects in Malta are co-funded by the Government, EU funds and in some cases, contributions by the private sector. With regard to EU funding for GI, the multiannual financial framework 2014 to 2020 enables the provision of financial assistance to carry out GI-related projects in Malta through the following funds:

     -     EU Structural and Investment (ESI) funds set out in the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) (EU) No 1303/2013.[12] Sub-section 4.5 on the Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and the Environmental Acquis, requires that complementarity and coordination with LIFE is to be ensured, in particular with integrated projects in the areas of nature, biodiversity, water, waste, air, climate change mitigation and adaptation. Such coordination shall be achieved by promoting the use of solutions, methods and approaches validated under LIFE, inter alia, including investments in GI. Moreover, Malta’s Partnership Agreement, launched on 4 November 2014, sets out the framework for the implementation of the ESI funds at a national level. [13][14] Environment features under the funding priority on: Sustaining an environmentally friendly and resource efficient economy. Green infrastructure in the Partnership Agreement is addressed in the context of the CPR’s thematic objective 6 under point d: Protecting and restoring biodiversity and soil protection and restoration and promoting ecosystem services, including through Natura 2000, and green infrastructure. In this section, the Partnership Agreement mentions GI as envisaged to feature in the scope of actions that will cover environmental challenges.

     -     The Cohesion Fund (Article 4 paragraph c point iii) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (Article 5 paragraph 6 point e) identify GI as one of the investment priorities under the objective on environment protection. [15],[16] Additionally, in order to achieve the thematic objective to protect the environment and promote resource efficiency, the Commission recommended that Malta undertakes to protect and restore biodiversity, including through green infrastructures by: Providing support for the preparation of management plans (for instance, for Natura 2000 sites) incorporating biodiversity measures and  strengthening the integration of Natura 2000 financing into the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds and the LIFE Programme; Providing support for farming systems with a high nature value, promoting environmentally sound farming systems, including organic farming; halting biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020 and restoring them in so far as feasible. GI is mentioned in Malta’s Operational Programme I vis-à-vis categories of intervention – ERDF – Code 85 on Protection and enhancement of biodiversity, nature protection and green infrastructure.

     -     The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – Pillar I encourages GI by way of preventing land abandonment and via the greening of direct payments to ensure provision of environment public goods.[17] Pillar II – through rural development programmes – enables small scale measures through non-productive investments, agro-environmental measures, payments for Natura 2000 areas and afforestation measures. Complementing this are the Local Development Strategies that also offer possibilities for Green Infrastructure support, with a global allocation of circa €30 000 000 (Public support) for these measures.

     -     Horizon 2020 does not make any direct reference to GI, however it does call for nature-based solutions (NBS) for territorial resilience under societal challenge 5 - "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials”.[18] The EU's research and innovation funding scheme follows a new Work Programme for 2016-17 while a new Work Programme for 2018-20 is being developed and will be published in late October 2017.

     -     The LIFE Programme explicitly mentions GI in Article 20 on co-financing rates and eligibility of costs for projects.[19] Under this Article in paragraph 3a, it is explained that: costs relating to the purchase of land shall be considered eligible for Union financing for projects referred to in Article 18 [projects] provided that: (a) the purchase will contribute to improving, maintaining and restoring the integrity of the Natura 2000 network set up under Article 3 of Directive 92/43/EEC, including through improving connectivity by the creation of corridors, stepping stones, or other elements of green infrastructure.

     -     The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF)[20] is created through EC financing funded by the LIFE budget blended with funding to be provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The NCFF provides financing, through debt and equity instruments, of projects that promote the preservation of natural capital. Projects need to fulfil a number of eligibility criteria in order to be financed by the NCFF and must also fall into one of the project categories, which include GI (e.g. green roofs, green walls, ecosystem-based rainwater collection/water reuse systems, flood protection and erosion control).[21]

The Research and Innovation Programme at the Malta Council for Science and Technology manages national funds through the development and operation of programmes that create vehicles for industrial and academic applied research, and that can result in commercialisation and a positive economic impact on the local economy. The R&I Programme has an annual budget of EUR 1.6 million (in 2017) that funds technology and development projects, as well as provides commercialisation vouchers to projects that specifically address Malta’s Smart Specialisation Areas, including Resource Efficient Buildings.

Malta’s Operational Programme for the European Regional Development Fund has a dedicated Priority Axis for Research, Development, Technology and Innovation, and for proposals to be considered for funding under this axis, they need to be in line with Malta’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and in Malta’s R&I Action Plan. Therefore, proposals addressing various aspects and facets of resource-efficient buildings are eligible for funding under this programme, for which there are approximately EUR 57 million allocated from EU funds, while the top up Maltese contribution will be about EUR 15 million.

 

5.  CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR GI DEVELOPMENT

Best practice/points of excellence

Various projects have been undertaken by Parks to re-establish derelict countryside sites across the Maltese Islands.  Projects include soil conservation, through the reconstruction of collapsed walls and sites re-instated to their original state.   Please refer to section 2. “Ecological corridors in the form of rubble walls in agricultural areas “

Furthermore, several afforestation initiatives in the Maltese Islands have been taken through tree planting projects and upgrading projects with the aim of safeguarding, enhancing and preservation of the LULUCF Sector.

  • Green belts projects to extend the coverage of wooded areas in a coordinated and systematic manner for both conservation and social ends such as “Green belts project in Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Swatar, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq,Wied Blandun”;
  • Upgrading of the Garden “Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta;
  • Works on upgrading of the Buskett Woodland Area including  planting of indigenous trees;
  • Upgrading of the park in Kennedy Grove and Salina;
  • Restoration and upgrading of the Argotti Gardens.  The gardens located in Valletta will be all linked via green corridors i.e. l-Argotti, il-Ġnien ta’ San Filippu and Il- Mall and will be changed into a big  botanic garden.

Another scheme is the 34U campaign which aims to plant more trees in various identified sites.

This project is being managed by PARKS, Afforestation and Countryside Restoration (PARKS) Department within the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change.  The main objectives are the following;

  • Planting of indigenous trees,
  • Afforestation,
  • Increase the surface area with permanent vegetation
  • Recreating tracts of Mediterranean woodland to encourage biodiversity in Malta.

The Afforestation areas in the Maltese Islands include the following areas;

  • Foresta 2000’ sites in Mellieħa
  • Buskett woodland,
  • Salina National Park,
  • Ta’ Qali National Park,
  • Xrobb l-Għaġin Park
  • Rehabilitation of the closed Magħtab landfill and
  • Various other projects in conjunction with Local Councils, schools and other entities.

Challenges/gaps/needs

In the framework of a previous study on GI (Trinomics et al., 2016), national experts identified the following challenges and opportunities that could enhance GI implementation in the country:

  • Analysis of available funds is a necessary step, followed by technical assistance facilitating the use of the various available funds;
  • Financial incentives by local or central governments or legislation are needed to encourage green roof technology;
  • Structures to promote public-private partnerships to find additional finance are needed;
  • Lack of figures on benefits to convince decision makers of the opportunities of investing in Green Infrastructure;
  • Lack of awareness and public participation to gain broader buy-in for Green Infrastructure efforts;
  • Limited capacity presents a major barrier to improved Green Infrastructure implementation;
  • The Maltese coast is being used intensively, which can lead to conflicts to the detriment of the legitimate coastal uses as well as the natural and cultural resources (Planning Authority, 2001). GI can help with the conflicts between land use at the coast by offering multifunctional solutions;
  • Limitation of spatial data which currently only provides land use and land cover data for Large Urban Zones with more than 100.000 inhabitants as defined by the Urban Atlas. (EEA, Urban Atlas, 2011).

Opportunities

  • Promotional efforts should emphasise socio-economic growth benefits of Green Infrastructure, not just environmental benefits;
  • GI presents opportunities to integrate biodiversity and ecological concerns into spatial planning especially since it places emphasis on promoting the multi-functionality of areas to bring multiple co-benefits;
  • Capacity building and training of relevant stakeholders to improve interaction across disciplines and sectors relevant for ‘mainstreaming’ Green Infrastructure;
  • The outcome of the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) process would be useful for spatially explicit prioritisation and problem identification in relation to Green Infrastructure uptake.

Benefits

Natura 2000 is the largest GI network in Europe which contributes to reduction of ecosystem fragmentation and loss of biodiversity. In Malta there are currently 35 Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) declared under the EC Habitats Directive and 21 Special Protection Areas (SPAs) declared under the EC Birds Directive – including terrestrial and marine sites. When considering land area, over 41km(>13%) is covered by such sites, while the marine sites cover more than 3,450km2 of the marine environment. Some SCIs completely overlap with SPAs, while some others partially overlap. (ERA, 2016).  This network together with other projects listed earlier are contributing to GI.

 

6.  KNOWLEDGE BASE

  • Valletta is one of the cities participating in the EnRoute project (Enhancing Resilience Of Urban Ecosystems through Green Infrastructure) implemented in the framework of EU MAES, which runs from 2017 until 2018. The project aims to introduce the MAES approach into the local policy arena, connecting the governance levels horizontally and vertically, with a view to contributing to the further deployment of GI in cities and in urban contexts. In the “city labs”, the URBAN-MAES framework will be implemented using local data and involving in the process the local stakeholders and focusing on specific issues. The outcomes of this project will contribute to the development of the MAES national assessment, once it is completed.  (Maes et al. 2017).
  • Malta has carried out a preliminary identification of key ecosystems and ecosystem services as part of Malta’s Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  On the basis of this exercise, work has commenced to implement the measures relating to MAES in Malta’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2012-2020.  This work involves prioritising ecosystems and ecosystem services for mapping and assessment, determining the level of detail best applicable for Malta, identifying available data/data sources that can be used in this regard and data gaps that will need to be addressed, as well as stakeholders/experts to be consulted in the process, in particular for selection of the indicators to be used. The ecosystem classification in the 1st MAES Report has been adapted for the local scenario by making it more detailed and linking it to Article 17 habitats that are typically found in the ecosystems so as to ensure as much as possible a synergistic approach with Habitats Directive and other reporting. In parallel, Malta invested in capacity-building for mapping through intense GIS training. The next step is to start trial mapping of the amended typology and determine the appropriate mapping resolution, so as to balance between the most appropriate scale for use in policy and the mapping effort required. Consultations with stakeholders will be carried out in parallel in relation to the detailed ecosystem typology, available data, and the priority ecosystem services (and indicators) to be included in the national assessment (BISE, 2017).
  • See also to the LifeMed Green Roof project mentioned above.

 

7.  LIST OF CONSULTED REFERENCES

BISE (2017). MAES-related developments in Malta. http://biodiversity.europa.eu/maes/maes_countries/malta

ERA (2016). Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Accessed 03 July 2017: http://era.org.mt/en/Pages/MSFD.aspx

ERA (2011). The Second Water Catchment Management Plan for the Maltese Islands.

http://era.org.mt/en/Documents/1st%20WCMP_final.pdf

European Commission (2017). The EU Environmental Implementation Review Country Report – Malta. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/pdf/report_mt_en.pdf

European Commission (2013). Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital. COM(2013) 249 final.

GreenInfraNet (n.d.). About the project. Accessed 4 April 2017: http://www.greeninfranet.org/index.php?page=about-the-project

Heritage Parks Federation. (n.a.) Accessed 03 July 2017: http://mt.majjistral.org/home

Maes, J., Zulian, G. and Thijssen, M. (2017). Inception report: EnROUTE. Final draft version (10 February 2017). Unpublished manuscript.

MESDC. (n.a.) Accessed 03 July 2017: http://lifesavingbuskett.org.mt

MESDC (2015). National Strategy and Action Plan for the Green Economy.

https://socialdialogue.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/MSDEC/Documents/Green%20Economy/Consultation%20Document%20-%20Green%20Economy.pdf

MEPA (2014). Rural Policy and Design Guidance. https://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjjp8C4yP7SAhWJuBQKHQKwCPUQFggfMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mepa.org.mt%2Ffile.aspx%3Ff%3D11655&usg=AFQjCNGvqlfHVkgq5dwFAuwuJVR34s0DYw&sig2=J85j32WhgTl496miD_57tg

MEPA (2012). Malta’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2012-2020. http://era.org.mt/en/Documents/NBSAP%202012-2020.pdf

MEPA (n.d.). The Structure Plan. Accessed 4 April 2017: http://www.mepa.org.mt/lpg-structureplan

MEPA (2015). Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development (SPED): http://www.pa.org.mt/sped

Ministry for Gozo (2012). A vision for an eco-island. EcoGozo. Synthesis of the public consultation process on the EcoGozo vision. http://www.ecogozo.com/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=category&download=118%3Aa-vision-for-an-eco-island&id=13%3Avision-2020&lang=en

Ministry for Gozo. (n.a. ) Accessed 03 July 2017: http://www.ecogozo.com

Ministry for Gozo (n.a.) Accessed 03 July 2017: http://www.ecogozo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138%3Asimbiotic-project&catid=5%3Aenvironment&Itemid=45&lang=en

Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (2012). National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/Publications/Documents/MSDEC/National%20Adaptation%20Strategy.pdf

Ministry for Tourism (2015). National Tourism Policy 2015-2020. https://tourism.gov.mt/en/publicconsultations/Documents/Draft%20National%20Tourism%20Policy%202015%20-%202020.pdf

Ministry for Tourism, the Environment and Culture, National Environment Policy (2012). http://msdec.gov.mt/en/decc/documents/environment/national%20environment%20policy.pdf

Polytechnic University of Valencia (n.a.). Accessed 03 July 2017: http://www.e2stormed.eu/

Trinomics, ALTERRA, Arcadis, Risk & Policy Analysis, STELLA Consulting, and Regional Environmental Centre (2016). 'Green Infrastructure in Malta', in Supporting the Implementation of Green Infrastructure, Final Report to the European Commission under Service Contract ENV.B.2/SER/2014/0012, Annex I. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/ecosystems/pdf/Green%20Infrastructure/GI_MT.pdf

 

[1] http://era.org.mt/en/Documents/NBSAP%202012-2020.pdf

[2] http://msdec.gov.mt/en/decc/documents/environment/national%20environment%20policy.pdf

[3]https://msdec.gov.mt/en/Document%20Repository/Malta%20Climate%20Change%20Adaptation%20Strategy/National%20Adaptation%20Strategy.pdf

[4] https://era.org.mt/en/Pages/RURAL-POLICY-AND-DESIGN-GUIDANCE-2014.aspx

[5] https://www.ecogozo.com/docs/Eco-Gozo_proposed_action%202010_2012.pdf

[6] http://lifesavingbuskett.org.mt/life-saving-buskett/

[7] http://mt.majjistral.org/home

[8] http://www.simbiotic.eu/

[9] http://www.e2stormed.eu/project/

[10]https://energywateragency.gov.mt/en/Documents/2nd%20Water%20Catchment%20Management%20Plan%20-%20Malta.pdf

[11] http://mhra.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/TOURISM-POLICY-2015-2020.pdf

[12] Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 .

[13] http://eufunds.gov.mt/en/Information/Pages/Partnership-Agreement.aspx

[14] http://eufunds.gov.mt/en/Information/Documents/MT%20PA%20-%20October%202014.pdf

[15] Regulation (EU) No 1300/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the Cohesion Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006 .

[16] Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 .

[17] http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/direct-support/direct-payments/docs/direct-payments-schemes_en.pdf

[18] http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/

[19] Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 614/2007.

[20] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/business/assets/pdf/ncff.pdf

[21] www.eib.org/ncff