The MAP CAMP "Malta" Project was approved by the Eighth Ordinary Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in 1993 in Antalya. First activities related to the formulation of the project started in 1996. By the end of 1997, a Diagnostic Analysis report (EPD, 1997) was prepared by the Environment Protection Department, Ministry for the Environment (Malta). Detailed preparatory activities were implemented during 1998 - 99, and the Project Agreement and Terms of Reference were finalised in September 1999. The Agreement was signed in November 1999.
The project area is defined at two levels (see Fig. 1):
- the island of Malta as a broader level, and
- the Northwest area, as the operational level.
|Figure 1. The Project Area|
The island of Malta covers 246km2 with a maximum length of 27km and width of 14.5km. About 50% of the 190km long coastline is accessible. By its very nature, the whole of Malta may thus be considered as a coastal zone. The total population of Malta is 376,000 (1995, Central Office of Statistics). The Northwest area of the island is 117 km2 and has 33,798 inhabitants.
Major problems and issues
Since most of the industrial activities require a coastal location due to their operations, the industrial activities are concentrated around the main port-city conurbation and along the coastline. Such activities include port development and management, freshwater production by desalination, energy production, offshore oil storing and tourism. In addition, urban expansion strongly competes with other coastal facilities and infrastructures.
The intensive and partly unplanned development within the existing physical conditions and the socio-economic context led to increased pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, endangered biodiversity and degradation of the marine environment. Abandonment of traditional agricultural practices resulted in deterioration of retaining wall systems, increased soil erosion and loss of fertile land. Increased freshwater demand, more than 60 % dependent on desalination, calls for an imperative protection from pollution of available freshwater resources and for a most rational water resource management. The increase in the tourism industry also led to increased pollution and waste discharge, high pressure on infrastructure, and to socio-cultural impacts on the local population. The importance of tourism for the national economy (40% of GNP) also calls for high standards, increased consumption of freshwater and energy, and an increase in demand for appropriate coastal and marine facilities. Cumulative impacts result in overexploitation of the coastal strip and of the marine environment, with inappropriate siting of activities and facilities, degradation and eradication of coastal and marine habitats, and with degradation of the perched aquifer and of the mean sea level aquifer.
The Northwest area of the island has not suffered as yet drastic urbanisation, and the main activity in the area, other than being touristic, is for agricultural purposes. The perched aquifer and few springs though need urgent protection from pollution, while the abandonment of traditional agricultural practices calls for appropriate erosion control management.
The cliffed headlands and secluded bays need to be conserved, protected in a sustainable way. The area supports amongst the Island’s most important flora and fauna, most of which are endemic species.
Mellieha, St. Paul's Bay and Rabat are the main settlements of the Northwest area and are under serious threat of uncontrolled expansion. Archaeological and cultural sites of high value are also found within the Northwest area.
Project objectives and strategy
The general objective of the project is to contribute to national efforts towards sustainable management and environment protection in Malta.
The immediate objectives of the project are as follows:
i) to identify and elaborate strategies, solutions, tools and actions for sustainable development, environment protection and rational utilisation of coastal and marine resources of the island of Malta, in particular related to the Northwest area of the island,
ii) to apply methodologies, tools and practices of sustainable coastal management and of Integrated Coastal and Marine Areas Management (ICAM),
iii) to contribute to the upgrading of the relevant national and local capacities,
iv) to provide for the application in practice of the Project results and experiences, creating conditions for the implementation of the post project activities, as envisaged by the Project Agreement,
v) to use the experiences and results achieved by the project in other areas at national and regional levels.
The expected results at the project level are:
- formulation of integrated policies and elaboration of proposals and documents related to achievement of sustainable development of the island,
- in-depth elaboration of a management plan for the NW area, aiming at a sustainable development, protection and rational use of resources, pollution control and mitigation,
- provision of qualified inputs for post-project activities, aiming at practical implementation of the project results,
- upgrading of national professional and institutional capacities for ICAM and planning / management for sustainable development,
- application, and, if needed, adaptation, of tools and techniques specific for sustainable development and ICAM, within national decision-making, planning and management practices,and
- experience gained, related to:
- application of principles of and procedures for integration and systemic approach, when implementing complex environment / development related projects,
- application of principles and tools of participation of the general public and stakeholders in environment / development decision-making process,
- application of methodologies and tools within individual project activities.
The general Project Workplan and Timetable
1. Signature of Agreement November 19992. Detailed formulation of Project November 1999 - January 2000
- Inception Report
- Inception Workshop
- Meeting prerequisites for implementation
3. Implementation January 2000 - May 2002
3.1. Initial activities January - February 2000
- Technical Specifications
- TORs for consultants
- Signature of consultants’ contracts
3.2. Implementation of individual project activities February 2000 - January 2002
- Initial activities February 2000
- Implementation February 2000 - October 2001
- Presentation of final activity documents December 2001
3.3 Integration of results January - April 2002
- Final integrated project documents
- Terminal Report
4. Post project activities May 2002 - May 2004
4.1. Follow-up activities (host country)
4.2. Monitoring, evaluation, reporting (host country)
4.3. Presentation of project results at MAP level
1. A Tool for Sustainable Use of Coastal Resources with Particular reference to the Northwest
2. Final Presentation Conference Report (Malta, November 28-29, 2002)
3. Final Integrated Project Database (CD)
4. Final Report on the Systemic and Prospective Sustainability Analysis Project within CAMP "Malta"
5. Strategic Management Plan - North West Coast of Malta
6. Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the Draft North West Local Plan
7. Coastal Policies
8. A Pilot Study for the Evaluation, Designation and Management of a Marine Protected Area: Rdum Majjiesa to Raheb Cave (N.W. Coast of Malta) – Final Report
9. Integrated Water Management of the North-Western Region of Malta - Summary Report
10. Integrated Water Management of the North-Western Region of Malta – Part I: Hydroclimatological Factors; Surface Water; Groundwater; Soil Characteristics
11. Integrated Water Management of the North-Western Region of Malta Part II: Water Infrastructure Development; Hydrological Cycle and Water Balance of Catchment Areas; Socio-Economic System of the Catchment Area; Water Demand and Needs Assessment; General Water Resources Development Plan; Water Resources Development and Management of the NW Area
12. Protection of Soil and Rural Landscapes in Northwest Malta
13. A Study of Environmental Health Effects on Tourism
14. Thematic maps were produced by four thematic activities, i.e. sustainable coastal management, marine conservation areas, integrated water resources management and soil erosion/desertification control management. The tourism and health activity concentrated on descriptive rather than spatial analysis. Worth mentioning are the erosion risk map for Northwest Malta and the marine habitats map for the benthos stretching from Rdum Majjiesa and Ras il-Raheb (also along the Northwest coast of Malta).A set of Sustainability Indicators with relevant baseline data for each thematic activity was drawn up.
15. A poster depicting the various interests occurring along the coast was also drawn. This was distributed amongst stakeholders, the public in general as well as in schools.
16. Articles on the CAMP Malta Project as well as individual thematic activities were published in the local papers and journals. Articles on specialised journals and magazines, especially those aimed for school children were also published. Moreover, the public participation exercise included the setting up of an exhibition, with exhibits on the thematic and horizontal activities.