Evaluation of Malta’s Rural Development Programme
Adi Associates is supporting a consortium of local and international experts in undertaking the Evaluation of Malta’s Rural Development Programme for the period 2014-2020. Key expert of the local environmental team, Rachel Xuereb, explains that Adi Associates’ role is to evaluate the environmental impact of various measures in the Rural Development Programme.
Of particular relevance to this funding period are climate change and biodiversity where several measures are geared towards addressing these issues. A number of agri-environmental measures are contemplated in the Programme including setting up of bee boxes, planting of trees, conservation of important local species, and decreased use of pesticides.
Agri-environment-climate measures are designed to encourage farmers to protect and enhance the environment on the land that they manage. They provide payments to farmers in return for a service, in the form of a multi-annual commitment to observe a set of prescribed management practices over a period of 5 years. The agri-environmental-climate measures for Malta aim to enhance cultivation methods adapted to the environment and the features of the landscape. Specifically, they aim to:
- Enhance Maltese biodiversity and ecosystem services;
- Promote water conservation and water quality improvement; and
- Contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation principally by increasing efficiency of input use and improving soil management.
By supporting the more sustainable management of land in rural areas, they contribute to the maintenance of a favourable landscape and environment for the wider Maltese population and for tourists and other visitors to the islands.