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CAMP-MCA
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THE CAMP-MCA PROJECT – A PILOT STUDY FOR THE EVALUATION, DESIGNATION AND MANAGEMENT OF A MARINE CONSERVATION AREA: RDUM MAJJIESA TO RAS IR-RAHEB (NW COAST OF MALTA).

 

Following the establishment of the Mediterranean Action Plan by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which was primarily aimed at combating pollution threats, additional protocols to the Barcelona Convention call on the Mediterranean governments to protect biodiversity and marine habitats through strict control and surveillance. UNEP’s Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) situated in Tunis provides guidelines and criteria which may be applied when selecting or evaluating potential sites as Marine Protected Areas, however, each Mediterranean country is expected to produce its own set of biological, economic, social and regional criteria according to local requirements.

In 2005, Malta declared the sea area from Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb on the northwestern coast of Malta (8.5km2) a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) making this the first specifically designated Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Maltese Islands. This designation was in large part based on baseline data generated by the Marine Ecology Research Group (MERG) within the Department of Biology of the University of Malta. MERG had been awarded a research grant as part of the Coastal Area Management Programme for Malta financed by UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan, to undertake ecological surveys of the sea area from Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb prior to its establishment as MPA. The major marine biotopes in the study area were characterised and mapped and on the basis of these data, the potential of the site as a marine protected area was evaluated. A management plan based on a zoning scheme for the Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb area was proposed to regulate anthropogenic activities on pristine habitats in this locality. The management plan is still in its proposal state and has yet to be approved.

The Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb MPA has also been selected as a European Marine Biodiversity Research Sites by the BIOMARE project, funded under the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme of the European Union (see here

 

 

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Last Updated: 15 October 2010

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