Safeguarding the Marine Environment Together – Bridging Conservation and Stakeholder Uses in the North-East Marine Protected Area

04 juin 2019 - 04 juin 2019

St. Paul’s Bay

The North-East Marine Protected Area (MPA) covers an area of 155.2 km2 (from St. George’s Bay in Malta to the Comino Channels and the eastern coast of Gozo), equivalent to 4% of Malta’s territorial waters. This MPA hosts more than 80% of the priority habitat Posidonia Oceanica seagrass meadows found in the Maltese Islands and other protected marine habitats, including reefs and caves, as well as a number of iconic marine species endemic to the Mediterranean. It is also the playing field for key activities like shipping, tourism, fisheries, infrastructure, bunkering, and aquaculture constituting economic assets in the local marine and maritime sectors. The conservation and management of such a designated marine area is a commendable challenge that requires specific methodologies and geospatial tools for multiple stressors assessment, and the support of coordinated environmental monitoring, multi-criteria analyses and effective stakeholder engagements.

A workshop organised by the MED Programme project ‘Actions for Marine Protected Areas’ (AMAre) aims to empower stakeholders in the appraisal of existing conflicts between conservation objectives and the effects of human activities carried out within the North-East Marine Protected Area in the Maltese Islands. The programme comprises a practical marine spatial planning exercise to investigate possible solutions to meet conservation objectives without disrupting essential economic activities. The workshop is designed to network the stakeholders and build dialogue and awareness on common issues. It is about involving local communities for active participation in decision making and in finding solutions to match development with environmental conservation; re-assessing economic activities to reduce conflicts for the same space and resources; identifying new management measures to mitigate the impacts of human activities on coastal habitats, and developing common, coordinated and feasible actions to fulfil national and EU goals, directives and legislation.

The event intends to bring together direct stakeholders in the marine area, researchers and academics, government authorities, marine professionals, NGOs as well as local councils to influence with their ideas in an empowering workshop. Local and foreign experts will be running the programme which is detailed in the workshop webpage on