There is something about islands that is distinctive, a quality that makes them intrinsically different from their mainland counterparts. Islands are perhaps best seen as ‘concoctions’ – of unique biota, landscapes, social aspects, economic dynamics, political systems, and a myriad of other elements that together shape an island’s sense of identity. The many islands of the Mediterranean Basin are excellent examples of this multi-faceted character. Rich in heritage, both cultural and natural, these environments are an ideal context within which to discuss the challenges inherent in crafting a sustainable future that balances ecosystem dynamics and social needs, and that also rises to the demands of modern life while preserving that which has been shaped over millennia.
This collection of essays presents insights on various aspects of Mediterranean islands, on their defining characteristics and on the difficulties that these islands face within a region that is rapidly changing. Through a combination of thematic discussions and case studies, this publication shows that while the road to sustainability may well be a long and arduous one, Mediterranean islanders are well equipped to bring their innovation and enterprising spirit to the fore to meet the challenges that come their way.
''Pragmatic yet elegantly written! As coastal areas of the Mediterranean are confronted by ill-conceived developments, negatively influencing both the physical and cultural environment, it is important that decision makers, as well as the scientific community, read this stimulating and highly topical book. It clearly indicates that good science, when linked to the participation of affected communities, can help formulate rational policies to achieve a more sustainable future. Although the main focus is the island of Gozo, the methodology has much wider scope for conservation and could be effectively applied to other fragile islands and mainland locations around the Mediterranean Basin and beyond." Brian D. Clark, Professor of Environmental Management and Planning, Aberdeen University
"The Mediterranean landscape is a much admired heritage, and a magnificent birthright for the people who live in this region. But Louis Cassar has documented most ably the many threats that it is now under. His admirable and authoritative book is based on work done in the Maltese island of Gozo, whose landscapes are being eroded fast. But the author is not interested in a tale of woe about a landscape in retreat. Instead he presents an alternative future for the island, based upon the landscape approach, in which the needs of both people and nature are considered together. He shows how natural and cultural values can be restored, and a green network created on Gozo. It is hard to be optimistic about the human environment these days but there are places where we can quite easily demonstrate how people and nature can rediscover a healthy balance. A small island like Gozo is a good place to start. Louis Cassar’s book is valuable because it shows what is possible." Professor Adrian Phillips, Chair IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (1994-2000)
"Louis F. Cassar’s book delivers the long professed and highly acclaimed goal of integrating ecological with social sciences towards conservation and land-use management, in the most amenable and appropriate context for that purpose: the landscape. The author achieves his goal theoretically, methodologically and empirically, thus taking the discourse on landscape multifunctionality and sustainability a very substantial step forward, to the illustration and methodological negotiation of the necessarily holistic and integrative nature of (landscape) management and conservation." Theano Terkenli, Professor of Geography, University of the Aegean.
This publication contributes towards an enhanced understanding and appreciation of landscapes as an element of our identity and heritage. Landscapes bring together elements of nature and culture, from both past and present, as they continue to evolve. It is precisely this dynamic quality that renders them a challenge for management efforts, which must seek to safeguard character while allowing for inevitable change. The change is particularly pertinent to the Maltese Islands, where a high population density and limited land area make threats to landscapes even more urgent. This publication brings together contributions from various authors, combining specific perspectives concerning the Maltese Islands with general concepts and tools for landscape protection, planning and management.
A Guide to Selected Beaches in Malta and Ragusa, Sicily
Also available as:
Gwida għal Ramliet Magħżula f’Malta u f’Ragusa, Sqallija
Guida – Spiagge Selezionate della Provincia di Ragusa, Sicilia e Malta
Anton Micallef, Michelle Cassar and GaL CoPAI
64 pages. 2008.
ISBN: 978-99957-24-00-9 (English language version)
This compact guide presents the results of applying the innovative BARE (Bathing Area Registration and Evaluation) technique to a total of 25 beaches in Ragusa (South-East Sicily) and the Maltese Islands. The guide was published in English, Maltese and Italian as part of Project MaSpi, an 18-month EU-funded pilot project funded by the INTERREG IIIA Italia-Malta Programme.
The project team surveyed a broad selection of beach types, from resorts to remote beaches, resulting in a guidebook that caters to the whole spectrum of different beach users - from families with young children who might be looking for an easily accessible beach with a wide choice of facilities to nature lovers who are prepared to hike considerable distances to reach an isolated beach with few or no facilities but enjoying serene and unspoilt surroundings. The descriptions of each beach and its surrounding area include details of the safety features, water quality, and the recreational, sanitary and catering facilities present. A summary of the BARE quality ratings, based on the five basic parameters of safety, water quality, facilities, scenery and cleanliness, is also provided for all the beaches featured.
The coast is one of the most active and varied of the Earth’s geomorphological features, providing a dynamic canvas for a multitude of human activities. The link between land and sea has been critical in shaping the unique identity of Mediterranean Basin, yet this region is increasingly characterized by unsustainability, threatening natural environments and the future of Mediterranean societies. Targeting those involved in managing coastal resources, this book provides a concise and holistic overview of coastal management issues and techniques in the Mediterranean Basin, combining conceptual approaches and theoretical background with techniques for day-to-day management of coastal environments in this unique region.
The multi-faceted nature of the coastal environment poses varied challenges to those involved in its management. This didactic publication provides broad introductory overviews of key concepts and techniques relevant to coastal management, including conservation strategies, ecosystem management, stakeholder involvement and participation, landscape ecology, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), environmental economic instruments, and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Fragile ecosystems often make for enchanting science. This collection of essays unearths many of the mysteries that underlie the transformation of sand dune ecosystems by human agency and through natural causes. The book provides an overview of the unique dynamics of coastal sand dune environments, where coastal and inland changes taking place a distance away affect the dunes themselves, often in surprising ways. Through an approach that combines the natural and social sciences, this publication reviews the status, threats and management constraints of the rare sand dune habitat in the Maltese Islands, with a view to providing guidance for ensuring the future effective conservation of this aspect of our natural heritage.