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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Funding Programme
Technical Support Instrument (under the European Recovery and Resilience Facility)
Year
2021

Development of a National Coastal Protection for the Maltese Islands

The Commission supports the Maltese Public Works Department, Ministry for Transport Infrastructure & Capital Projects (MTIP), and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) in its main objective to develop a National Coastal Protection for the Maltese Islands (MTCOASTAL). The overall objectives and expected impacts are as follows:

  • to develop a national integrative instrument that will identify the full range of policy priorities in order to reduce coastal pressures, while protecting and preserving the shoreline mostly exposed to coastal dynamics.
  • to assess coastal risks and identify sustainable, suitable and effective protective solutions, that take into account the impacts of climate change, the integrated management of water and land-side resources and land-sea interactions.
  • to promote national harmonization among the various ministries and key stakeholders, to implement of coastal protection solutions for the Maltese Islands, by establishing a consistent and holistic strategic framework at national level.

Throughout the project development that will take 24 months, the engagement of stakeholders and communication activities will take a prominent role to facilitate the need for an holistic and integrative process. It is expected that this action will allow the Maltese Authorities to take up the necessary measures to ensure sustainability of coastal functions and activities in the entire Maltese Islands coastline.

Context

The need for a holistic beach management approach, within a wider comprehensive and integrated coastal protection strategy, is one of the more important pain-points in the larger and national coastal-climate vulnerability problem. Urbanisation, infrastructure and economic investment have, over many years, been concentrated in the littoral, assuming coastal areas will remain stable, resourceful, lucrative and secure for wellbeing, and that sea level would not change, and also that potential threats such as, flooding and erosion, would remain within predictable range. Trends now unequivocally indicate that these scenarios, which have impacted on policy making for years, are shifting adversely beyond limits, and in combination are creating unexpected and unprecedented overall coastal-climate related risks to Malta's wellbeing and economic investment, whence the absence of strategic planning and management for adaptation, resilience and mitigation is no longer an option.

Support delivered

Malta is facing a whole suite of problems (as an 'environmental problematique') attributed to the archipelago's overall vulnerability and exposure risks of the coast to natural processes, with the additional stresses of climate change superimposed on top of this. The support measures aim at one overall goal and three specific objectives:

  • Overall Goal: to formulate a national instrument that will provide the requisite strategic direction in a holistic framework;
  • Specific Objectives:
    1. To establish a methodology for scientific integrative coastal erosion risk assessment, in the context of climate change
    2. National risk assessment and formulation of national strategy for protection against the risks of socioeconomic and environmental vulnerability
    3. Policy guidance for action, for all sectors and entities, through nationally prioritised risk mitigation measures through coastal management plans.

Expected results

The overall result is to have a clearer vision on coastal-climate issues with cross-sectoral policy objectives within an integrated risk protection strategy, a tiered planning instrument for coastal-climate action, focusing on territorial needs in the context of a framework of national and EU priorities, added value and capacity of national governance instruments for: land-use planning, environmental protection and integrated coastal zone management, an increased harmonisation to balance economic activities/investments, social wellbeing and protection of natural resources and biodiversity and an increased inter-ministerial and multi-organisation collaboration with clearly defined roles and objectives.