NL-0002-2023

Intent and Objectives: Malta’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators to 2035


Magħluqa

​Ministry:

Ministeru għall-Ambjent, l-Enerġija u l-Intrapriża

​Entity:

Awtorità għall-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi

​Published:

13/02/2023

​Running Till:

17/03/2023

​Last Updated:

13/11/2023




1. Background

The Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549) provides the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) with the duty to formulate and implement policies relating to the protection and management of the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources. Given the current state of pollinators as described below, ERA is planning the Malta’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators (NSAPP) to 2035 and is publishing this consultation brief to duly notify the public and gather feedback in line with Article 51 of Cap. 549.

Globally, nearly 90% of wild flowering plant species depend on pollination to survive and thrive, and in turn such plants are proven to be critical for the continued functioning of ecosystems as they provide food, habitats and other resources. Despite wild pollinators’ significant importance, these species are declining in occurrence, diversity and abundance worldwide, both at regional and local scales. In Europe, a decline is being experienced in northern countries, while southern ones lack the required data and action to detect if such a decline exists. In the EU, at least one in ten bee and butterfly species are on the verge of extinction, while one third of them are in decline. Based on the current state of knowledge and monitoring activities in place, there remains a number of outstanding gaps which need further addressing.

This decline in pollinators and the provision of pollination is seemingly driven by direct drivers that include different land-use changes and management, environmental pollution, invasive alien species, pathogens and climate change. Nonetheless, explicitly linking pollinator declines to these direct drivers is limited by data availability.

On a national scale, while some efforts are in place, further initiatives may be necessary to ensure adequate diversity and abundance of pollinator species present in the Maltese Islands. This requires the development and adoption of the essential responses for the protection, conservation and management of pollinators.

Within this context, steps are necessary to define and implement actions to improve the status of local pollinators and to sustain and enhance pollination services. For this reason, ERA intends to develop and adopt a national strategy that includes targets and proactive actions, which would address the protection of pollinators to help them thrive into future generations.

2. Consultation

Intent and Objectives
The main intent of the National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators to 2035 is to act as the national framework that drives and promotes the safeguarding of pollinator species and their services through a number of short and long-term actions.

The policy’s strategic approach would grant effective measures through the use of existing tools and knowledge, improved management of pressures and threats, and fostering engagement and collaboration from all corners of society.

Moreover, the outcomes of this strategy and action plan would contribute to policies addressing aspects related to pollinators. These include the UN Convention of Biological Diversity’s International Pollinator Initiative, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the EU Pollinators Initiative, and the EU Pollinators Monitoring Scheme, as well as Malta’s National Strategy for the Environment to 2050 and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to 2030 – both currently being developed.

This policy shall aim to safeguard environmental elements, while also taking into consideration and contributing towards socio-economic aspects; while helping local biodiversity continue to build its resilience to climate change.

The National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators to 2035 shall aim to achieve the following objectives:
  • to improve our understanding of key pollinators, including their status and their services;
  • to develop targets and proactive actions for the protection, management and conservation of pollinators;
  • to address the effective management of pressures and threats impacting pollinators;
  • to contribute to the safeguarding of pollination services even beyond its contribution to the environment; and
  • to raise awareness, promote collaboration, and engage the relevant stakeholders, such as local entities and society-at-large, to ensure that the pollinators’ needs are met.

Consultation Questions
ERA invites the public to submit any feedback on the intent and objectives of the National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators to 2035. The following consultation questions are presented to guide such feedback:
 
  1. Do you agree with the proposed intent and objectives of this strategy and action plan?
  2. Can the objectives be further refined, keeping in mind the intent of this strategy and action plan?
  3. What actions would you consider as priorities to safeguard Malta’s pollinators by 2035?
  4. How would you assist in the implementation of such strategy and action plan?
  5. Do you have any further feedback or comments on the intent or objectives of this strategy and action plan?


3. Submission of feedback

Comments are being invited through the below feedback form by 17th March 2023.


4. Further notes:

Please be informed that comments submitted, together with the identity of the contributor, may be published online at the end of the public consultation, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.

All comments submitted shall be duly considered.

The draft National Strategy and Action Plan for Pollinators to 2035 will be available for public consultation in due course.

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