Preparation of Natura 2000 Management Plans comes to an end
Over the past few weeks, Adi Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd together with international firm Epsilon International SA concluded the preparation of Management Plans for the terrestrial Natura 2000 sites for the Maltese Islands on behalf of MEPA. The preparation of the plans involved a number of surveys and data gathering exercises. This data was evaluated and used to produce conservation objectives for each site.
Stakeholder involvement was a key part of the project. A number of consultation activities and events were undertaken throughout the project, which included:
- 6 briefing sessions;
- 80 meetings with individual stakeholders (both organisations and individual persons);
- 32 group stakeholder events; and
- 9 national and local public events.
A bespoke website, Facebook page and Twitter account were created to raise-awareness, educate and inform stakeholders in relation to Natura 2000, provide updates on the progress of the project, as well as to provide channels for commentary and discussion. The Natura 2000 website and Facebook page in particular were used to advertise stakeholder and public events . E-consultation was conducted to gauge the opinion of stakeholders and the general public on the vision statements, management objectives and actions for the emerging management plans. A project-specific Email address, the Natura 2000 website and Facebook were all used in this process.
In addition to the more mainstream stakeholder activities, a number of other activities were held with the view of raising awareness of the project and of informing and educating the general public on Natura 2000. This range of different activities included presentations at various conferences / seminars, TV / Radio appearances, and long-term display of an Exhibition on Natura 2000 at various venues. In addition, a number of articles were produced for publication in a range of national and local publications.
This project was co-financed by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe Investing in Rural Areas under Measure 323 of the Rural Development Programme for Malta, 2007-2013.