National Celebrations
To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, the Malta Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA) organised the following activities:

21 May 2014 - Media Conference
A media conference whereby the MEPA highlighted the key achievements, challenges and the ongoing work that is being carried out to safeguard, conserve and increase awareness about Malta's biodiversity.

22 May 2014 - Green Ambassadors Biodiversity Tour
An educational biodiversity tour was organised for a number of personalities from the entertainment industry. The area visited is known as ‘id-Dahar’ in Mellieha, located along the south-western region of the Marfa Peninsula, above the cliffs known as as Rdum il-Qawwi and Rdum il-Qammieh, forming part of the largest terrestrial Natura 2000 sites in Malta.

Id-Dahar is also a good observation spot, from which one can view a large part of this Natura 2000 site, as well as other sites including the Marine Protected Area between Rdum Majjiesa and Ras ir-Raheb. The personalities were made aware of the biodiversity richness of our Islands and also about uses of certain species found in the area for everyday life purposes to accentuate our dependence on biodiversity whilst appreciating local, cultural heritage. These personalities were then prompted to post on social media their views about biodiversity after they would have taken the tour and how important it is to protect it.

23-25 May 2014 - Biodiversity Awareness Stand
Informative stands were set up in prominent public spaces to promote more MEPA’s initiatives and projects that are happening across our island to protect our biodiversity. Awareness printed material will be made available for free and officials will be also available to answer any questions regarding local biodiversity. To attract families with kids, a face painting stand was also set up whereby kids could choose which species they wished to have painted. The itinerary for this activity was as follows:

  • Friday, 23 May 2014, 04:00pm-06:00pm, The Dukes Shopping Mall, Victoria Gozo
  • Saturday, 24 May 2014, 09:30am-12:30pm, The point Shopping Mal, Tigne
  • Sunday, 25 May 2014, 10:00am-01:00pm, The Malta National Aquarium Qawra

  Conferences at the University of Malta, 22-23 May 2014, Msida
The Department of Biology, University of Malta, is organizing two conferences on 22 and 23 May 2014, focusing on Marine biodiversity and Jellyfish blooms. These issues are of particular importance to Islands, such as the Maltese Islands in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. The conferences are funded by the ENPI MED-JELLYRISK Project and will target various stakeholders linked to marine activities and industries in an effort to improve regional understanding of our seas and the biodiversity that dwells and changes in them. Topics covered vary from coastal biodiversity research including jellyfish diversity to fisheries, aquaculture, maritime activities and human impacts and treatments for diverse jellyfish stings.

The MED-JELLYRISK project is coordinated by Prof. Stefano Piraino, Consima & University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) and is partnered by scientists in Malta, Spain and Tunisia.