Malta’s National Strategy for the EnvironmentMalta’s natural environment has long faced various challenges, from widespread construction and...Malta’s National Strategy for the Environment
Malta’s natural environment has long faced various challenges, from widespread construction and natural resource exploitation, to littering, environmental degradation and unsustainable waste management. With an ever increasing population and vast numbers of tourists flocking to the island, especially in the summer months, our environment is under ever-increasing pressure.
To this end, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has put together a holistic National Strategy for the Environment (NSE) 2050, which has recently been launched for public consultation. The NSE’s goals range from better air quality, zero waste and flourishing seas to thriving biodiversity; its aim is to ambitiously enable Malta to reach these goals by 2050. The NSE builds on eight strategic goals that tackle traditional environmental facets whilst focusing on key environmental challenges and provides a plan to enable the transformative changes that are required. The Strategy makes it clear that all stakeholders, including the general public must work collectively to pull the same rope to secure a better tomorrow for future generations and achieve the eight main goals:
Sustainable water resources
More than 61% of citizens are highly concerned about the state of freshwater in the Maltese Islands, especially when it comes to freshwater pollution. Malta’s limited freshwater resources are made up of groundwater and surface freshwater bodies, along with some wetlands and intermittent watercourses. Freshwater resources are of vital importance since they are used for drinking, municipal supply, irrigation and certain industrial processes, along with their role in sustaining habitats of high conservation importance. Malta has the lowest natural freshwater availability per capita in the EU, due to its semi-arid climate and high population density, making the protection of the limited water we have imperative.
The NSE aims to achieve good chemical, ecological and quantitative statuses for groundwater and inland surface water bodies in the Maltese Islands. Whilst this is of course important, various initiatives are needed to achieve these goals, ranging from infrastructure to monitoring and enforcement.