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Sixth National Report

  published:26 Oct 2020

Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level

Malta

Target 1: More than 55% of Maltese citizens are aware of the term “biodiversity”, know what it means and also know what steps they can take to conserve and use biodiversity in a sustainable manner .

This national target was set up to ensure that people know the meaning of the term "biodiversity" and are aware of ways to use it in a sustainable manner. 

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
People are aware of the steps they can take to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity

Target 2: The values of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the opportunities derived from their conservation and sustainable use, are recognised and integrated in national policies (including national accounting, as appropriate), as well as decision-making and planning processes.

This national target was set up to ensure that the values of ecosystems and their services are recognised and incorporated in the national policy and relevant decision-making processes.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
2. Integration of biodiversity values
Biodiversity values integrated into national and local planning processes
Biodiversity values incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate

Target 3: Positive incentives for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are increasingly promoted. Malta cooperates in efforts to address environmentally harmful subsidies.

This national target was set up to ensure that positive incentives for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are increasingly promoted and utilised by various stakeholders. 

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
3. Incentives
Positive incentives for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity developed and applied

Target 4: Main sectors that are beneficiaries of ecosystem services have incorporated biodiversity concerns into their sectoral and cross-sectoral plans, policies and programmes, as appropriate.

This national target was set up to ensure that biodiversity concerns are mainstreamed across all main sectors as well as Government policies and programmes.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
4. Use of natural resources

Target 5: The rate of loss of natural and semi-natural habitats of conservation value is at least halved, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced. The percentage cover of “forests and semi-natural areas” has not decreased below the CORINE land cover data of 2006.

This national target was set up to ensure that natural and semi-natural habitats are conserved and their degradation is significantly reduced.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
5. Loss of habitats
The rate of loss of forests is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero
The loss of all habitats is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero
Degradation and fragmentation are significantly reduced

Target 6: Pressure on vulnerable ecosystems through overexploitation of biological resources is reduced by adopting sustainable practices.

This national target was set up to ensure that pressure on vulnerable ecosystems is reduced by adopting sustainable practices.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
6. Sustainable fisheries

Target 7: Areas under agriculture and aquaculture are managed sustainably, ensuring the conservation of biodiversity.

This national target was set up to ensure that areas used for agriculture and aquaculture are managed in a sustainable manner. 

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
7. Areas under sustainable management
Areas under agriculture are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity
Areas under aquaculture are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity

Target 8: The implementation of effective measures to address pollution (including from excess nutrients) in line with the requirements of established legislation, is showing signs of a decreasing trend in current pollution levels, where feasible.

This national target was set up to ensure that pollution from various sources is addressed in line with the requirements of established legislation.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
8. Pollution
Pollutants (of all types) has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity
Pollution from excess nutrients has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity

Target 9: Measures are in place to prevent, in so far as practical, the introduction and establishment of new invasive non-native species, while those that are established are identified and prioritised for eradication or control, where feasible.

This national target was set up to ensure that new introductions of invasive alien species are prevented, while those that are already established are identified and prioritised for eradication or control.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
9. Invasive Alien Species
Invasive alien species identified and prioritized
Priority species controlled or eradicated
Introduction and establishment of invasive alien species prevented

Target 10: Malta's 13% land area covered by terrestrial Natura 2000 sites is maintained, and Malta's sufficiency in the designation of key marine biodiversity areas is improved through a representative network of marine protected areas.

This national target was set up to ensure that terrestrial and marine protected areas are maintained and managed sufficiently.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
11. Protected areas
Areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services protected
Protected areas are ecologically representative

Target 11: The risk of local extirpation of known threatened species has been reduced, with 30% of the species of European Community Importance in the Maltese territory having a favourable or improved conservation status.

This national target was set up to ensure that the risk of local extirpation of known threatened species is reduced as much as possible.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
12. Preventing extinctions
Extinction of known threatened species has been prevented
The conservation status of those species most in decline has been improved and sustained

Target 12: The status of crop and livestock genetic diversity in agricultural ecosystems and of wild relatives has been safeguarded and improved, where feasible.

This national target was set up to ensure that genetic diversity important for food and agriculture is conserved and enhanced, when possible.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
13. Agricultural biodiversity
The genetic diversity of cultivated plants is maintained
The genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals is maintained
The genetic diversity of wild relatives is maintained

Target 13: Vulnerable ecosystems that provide essential services are safeguarded, with at least 15% of degraded ecosystems restored, while 20% of the habitats of European Community Importance in the Maltese territory have a favourable or improved conservation status.

This national target was set up to ensure that the most vulnerable ecosystems are safeguarded and restored in cases when needed.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
14. Essential ecosystem services
Ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded

Target 14: The impacts of climate change on ecosystems have been reduced, in so far as feasible and, mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change that support and conserve biodiversity have been agreed and are being implemented.

This national target was set up to ensure that the negative impacts of climate change on ecosystems are addresses and minimised in a timely manner.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
15. Ecosystem resilience
Ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks have been enhanced through conservation and restoration

Target 15: Access to national genetic resources is regulated through a National Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS).

This national target was set up to ensure that access to genetic resources is regulated through an appropriate National Regime.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
The Nagoya Protocol is in force
The Nagoya Protocol is operational, consistent with national legislation

Target 16: Malta is implementing an effective and participatory national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP).

This national target was set up to ensure that Malta's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2012-2020 is implemented efficiently and progress is tracked accordingly.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
17. NBSAPs
NBSAPs are being implemented

Target 17: The contribution of local communities/entities to the sustainable management of biodiversity is recognised and enhanced.

This national target was set up to ensure that local communities are engaged in sustainable management of biodiversity and their valuable contribution is acknowledged.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
18. Traditional knowledge
Traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities are respected

Target 18: Knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved and applied.

This national target was set up to address existing gaps in scientific knowledge of biodiversity status and trends.

EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
19. Biodiversity knowledge
Knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved

Target 19: Capacity for national implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, other related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and EU obligations, has increased from current levels.

This national target was set up to ensure adequate capacity for national implementation of CBD.
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
20. Resource mobilization

Section II. Implementation measures, their effectiveness, and associated obstacles and scientific and technical needs to achieve national targets

GR1: Distinct plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture (i.e. local livestock breeds and crop varieties, as well as wild relatives/landraces) are conserved as a genetic insurance in the face of environmental and climate risks as well as for food security. This is mainly achieved via the uptake of appropriate agri-environmental measures to support genetic diversity in agriculture.

Introductions of new species and varieties for agriculture in Malta have led to deterioration of local genotypes due to limited land availability and increase in varieties and quantities. Therefore, Malta’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 includes sub-measure 10.2 - “Support for conservation and sustainable use and development of genetic resources in agriculture” for the protection and preservation of distinct plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture. This sub-measure intends to support activities that will enable development of varieties (plant and animal) that are specifically vulnerable to genetic erosion. 


Conservation operations supported under this measure concern one or more of the following actions:

  1. actions promoting ex situ and in situ conservation, characterisation, collection and utilisation of genetic resources in agriculture. This includes web-based inventories of genetic resources currently conserved in situ/on-farm conservation as well as ex situ collections (gene banks) and databases.
  2. actions promoting the exchange of information for the conservation, characterisation, collection and utilisation of genetic resources in agriculture, among competent organisations in EU Member States.
  3. information, dissemination and advisory actions involving non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders, training courses and the preparation of technical reports as a result of (1 or 2).

Through the implementation of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the Government aims to encourage farmers to implement measures including sustainable use of pesticides, resulting in protection of biodiversity, local ecosystems, water and public health. In order to aid the implementation of such action, focused training courses will be organised to improve farmers’ knowledge and promote good practice. Such courses aim to improve agronomic practices such as crop rotation, tillage practices, use of fertilisers, irrigation, use of ecological infrastructure to manage plant pests and to promote alternative methods to using chemicals.

As a part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 Malta has allocated €18 million for Sustainable Livestock to ensure availability of funds for young farmers starting agricultural holding for the first time. Additionally, a young farmer apprenticeship scheme is envisaged to support young people not from traditional farming backgrounds to move and start a career in the farming sector.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is another strategic document, which includes agri-environmental measures. One of the action states that: “(55) The Department of Agriculture will work with appropriate stakeholders to study and recommend how local breeds and crop varieties together with new species and hybrids could play an important role in agricultural adaptation.” 

Another project funded under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) called "Study and Sustainable Conservation of Varieties of Plants" is an initiative of the Plant Protection Directorate. The project targets include the following elements:

  • Increase in the importance and awareness of fruit sectors;​
  • Increase in the efficiency of the local nursery sector to satisfy the high demand for plant propagation material, in terms of quantity and quality;
  • Control of the incessant introduction from abroad of new varieties, which are gradually substituting the local germplasm; 
  • Intervention for safeguarding of the local fruit producing plant’s germplasm through its conservation and, where necessary, its enhancement by clonal selection programmes and utilisation through certification programmes;
  • Minimisation of risks relating to the introduction of dangerous quarantine pests in the Maltese Islands.
Effectively, the Study and Sustainable Conservation Of Varieties Of Local Plants project resulted in the production of educational facilities, awareness raising media, knowledge base on local landraces/varieties and wild crop relatives, as well as a small botanic garden hosting landraces and crop wild relatives among other plants, which are at risk and of national importance. The project was implemented by the Plant Protection Directorate under the auspices of the Ministry responsible for the environment in collaboration with Nature Trust Malta between January 2013 and September 2015. The project was co-financed by the EAFRD under Measure 214, Sub-Measure 10 ("Support for the Conservation of Genetic Resources in Agriculture"). Since the new facilities were developed, they have been utilised to raise awareness to farmers and schools about the importance of plant genetic diversity and measures to prevent the spread of agricultural pests and diseases.

EN
Target 11: The risk of local extirpation of known threatened species has been reduced, with 30% of the species of European Community Importance in the Maltese territory having a favourable or improved conservation status.
Target 12: The status of crop and livestock genetic diversity in agricultural ecosystems and of wild relatives has been safeguarded and improved, where feasible.
Target 15: Access to national genetic resources is regulated through a National Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS).
Measure taken has been effective

The status of implementation of the measure has been identified based on the outcome from conducted stakeholder consultation and expert opinion. 

EN

The localisation and identification of crop landraces and heirloom varieties was a main obstacle encountered during the projects titled Study and Sustainable Conservation of Varieties of Local Plants and the Sharing Seeds, Sharing Life (mentioned under measure GR2), since owners of genetic resources showed reluctance in sharing their knowledge with third parties. Moreover, the scientific literature on local agriculture is insufficient. Therefore, officials need to rely to farmers that have excellent knowledge of autochthonous crops and trees varieties.

EN