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Natura 2000

Malta protects Important Bird Areas

On Sunday October 12 BirdLife Malta (BirdLife in Malta) congratulated the Maltese government on the recent declaration of protection areas in the Maltese islands under the European Natura 2000 network.

“The government’s recent decision to fully protect all the eleven Important Bird Areas (as identified by BirdLife International) of the Maltese Islands as Special Protection Areas for birds as well as the important Ta’ Cenc habitat under the EU Natura 2000 network is an excellent move to safeguard Malta’s wildlife and will be beneficial for people and tourism. We congratulate all staff of the Maltese Environment & Planning Authority for all the hard work they put in to realizing these designations”, said Tolga Temuge, BirdLife Malta’s Executive Director.BirdLife Malta has identified eleven Important Bird Areas, the majority of which include important seabird colonies. Initially, only four of these were fully included in the Natura 2000 network. Of the remaining sites, six were given partial protection and one, the cliffs from Wied ix-Xaqqa to Wied Moqbol, had been completely excluded. But now the government is giving these areas the protection they deserve, BirdLife Malta said.

Konstantin Kreiser, BirdLife International's EU Policy Manager added: “Several EU Member States had to be brought before the European Court before they designated sufficient sites under Natura 2000. We are very glad to see that Malta is following a more pro-active approach. In Natura 2000 economic development is not excluded, but can be reconciled with nature conservation.”

“The next step is to prepare management plans for all these sites so that the Maltese people and tourists can enjoy and benefit more from Malta’s unique nature” concluded Temuge.

4th July 2014