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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANNING - Our natural heritage needs to be protected just like any other form of heritage: investment of nearly €60,000 into two Natura 2000 sites

Reference Number: PR202087en, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 26, 2020
investment of nearly €60,000 into two Natura 2000 sites
The Ministry will continue to invest in the work being done by Birdlife Malta on the management of two Natura 2000 sites, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia announced. 
 
Through an agreement signed between the Ministry, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), and Birdlife Malta, the Government is strengthening its commitment to improving the state of existing Natura 2000 sites, including the Għadira Nature Reserve and the Simar Nature Reserve.
 
These two sites, which are considered to be bird sanctuaries, are classified as Special Zones of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.
 
The Minister explained that these additional funds will improve the livelihood and propagation of protected species, including those that visit the sites such as the Mediterranean Killfish, the Maltese Painted Frog, and protected birds among others. 
 
The interventions will include:
 
The creation of a research laboratory in Simar;
The use of new products and machinery for tree-planting;
Installation of security cameras;
The construction of new sanitary facilities at the Għadira site.
 
“Our natural heritage needs to be protected just like any other form of heritage. The extent to which future generations can enjoy our natural environment depends on how far we are willing to protect it. The purpose of these interventions being carried out around Natura 2000 sites is to protect our natural environment, ensuring the sites are kept in a good state to be enjoyed in the most sustainable way by everyone, creating a balance between the use of these sites and their conservation. With these initiatives we want to emphasize the importance of protecting the environment around us, but also ensuring that human activity does not negatively impact the quality of our biodiversity,” Minister Farrugia said. 
 
In fact, over 13% of the land on our islands constitutes 34 Natura 2000 sites, which amounts to around 44 km2, while the marine N2K sites cover over 35.5% of Maltese waters.
 
This was announced during a press conference attended by representatives of BirdLife Malta, ERA, and Ambjent Malta.