Malta’s membership in the EU has brought with it many new rights but also obligations in various aspects. Upgrades in the environment and related infrastructure – one of the areas were Malta lacked significantly when compared to the other EU member states – was a top priority.

  • General

    Location

    General

  • European Regional and Development Fund

    Fund

    European Regional and Development Fund

  • Urban Regeneration and Improving the Quality of Life

    Programme

    Urban Regeneration and Improving the Quality of Life

  • €4,206,860

    Cost of Project

    €4,206,860

  • €3,575,831

    Total EU Allocation

    €3,575,831

In order to abide by the various environmental directives, intended to provide a sustainable future for the EU, Malta, like the rest of the other member states, had to start reporting important and sensitive data on various aspects of its environment. This included the quality of its air and water, its level of noise in urban and rural areas, the quality of its soil and possible radiation levels, among others.

In 2009, through the use of millions of Euros in EU funds, the then Malta Environment and Planning Authority – today the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) – was entrusted to build from scratch a new national monitoring programme on how the island’s quality of air, water, noise and soil were to start being monitored.

Apart from a new strategy, with the help of methodological research, the funds were also used to acquire the necessary equipment and to make the gathering of such environmental data easier and possible. These included air monitoring stations placed in strategic positions around the island and a further mobile station to fill in the gaps where the fixed stations could not cover.

With regards to soil, baseline surveys were commissioned to act as a start for future updates on the state of this important resource while 3D high resolution maps of Maltese landscapes were commissioned for the first time together with a survey of the seabed near the coastline ranging up to one nautical mile from shore. Through these maps, new nautical charts were produced to facilitate land use and marine spatial planning.

EU funds in this project were also crucial to obtain the latest possible information management systems to be able to collate all this important data. All data being gathered was also made available to the public, online and free of charge.

Training on how to use the new systems was also crucial and Malta today has a number environmental experts capable of not only managing the monitoring systems but also interpreting the data so that policy makers can make important decisions for Malta’s environmental future.

www.era.org.mt

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