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Last update:Jul 22, 2019

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Adopted
National Adaptation Plan
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
CC IVA portals and platforms
  • Planned to be developed
Monitoring, indicators, methodologies
  • Currently being undertaking

 

  • Monitoring of adaption measures is done through the screening of the Malta's National Environment Policy (NEP) under the sections related to climate change
  • Monitoring of the strategy implementation is done by contacting and discussion with the sectoral focal persons on the IMC-CC
  • Monitoring on the basis of indicators has still to be developed in conjunction with data streams. 
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy was published and adopted by the Government of Malta in 2012. It aims to build upon the National Strategy for Policy and Abatement Measures Relating to the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions of 2009 in terms of governance and policy infrastructure. The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy seeks to identify recommendations in various sectors, which are vulnerable to climate change, such as water, agriculture, infrastructure, building, human health and tourism. It also addresses the financial impacts as well as sustainability issues.

Adaptation Strategies

The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy identifies the principal strategic climate impacts likely to affect Malta and outlines 72 actions to be taken. Some of the actions delineate measures to be taken on the design of buildings that should be improved, if necessary, through enforcement and economic disincentives/incentives; and to maximise passive cooling supported by the education of households and industry on cost effective retro-fitting of energy and water efficiency improving technologies onto existing buildings, amongst other actions. The Strategy also highlights specific issues for improvements, such as that Malta cannot continue to rely exclusively on active cooling to counter the effects of poor building design.

On water, which plays an integral part in climate adaption, the Strategy highlights the fact that despite the limited resources of the Islands and the importance of water for a healthy future, the prevailing attitude amongst the population in general, and target stakeholders specifically, has not resulted in a culture that perceives water as a valuable and precious, finite resource. The Strategy encourages the commercial and industrial sectors to build reservoirs and other rainwater catchment measures to re-use captured water and to recycle grey water for non-potable purposes as well as to introduce efficient water use technologies through the introduction of incentive schemes. Furthermore, the Strategy underlines that increased dependence on reverse osmosis (RO) water to substitute natural water will result in increased energy generation with an increase in demand for fossil fuel, or gas, and therefore a potential increase of GHG emissions on the Islands. The following are plans and policies that tackle adaptation in water conservation, biodiversity, energy efficiency, transport and agriculture:

Implementation means

The Implementation of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is possible through interministerial cooperation. In this regard, implementation of climate specific actions on adaptation is undertaken by the relevant Ministries or departments depending on the different sectors in which action is being taken. Relevant Ministries and departments responsible for specific implementation include, inter alia, the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change (MESDC), Ministry for Energy and Water Management (MEW), Ministry For European Affairs and Equality (MEAE), Ministry for Finance (MIFIN), Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects (MTIP), Transport Malta (TM), the Malta Resources Authority (MRA) and Environment Resources Authority (ERA), amongst others.

Malta adopted the Climate Action Act (Chapter 543) in 2015 to streamline its commitments on climate change on both main fronts of climate action, namely mitigation and adaption, in a legally binding way. This act aims to instill ownership across the board to fine-tune effective climate action and governance. Specifically on adaptation, the Act dictates the process to conduct periodic reviews and updates of the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS). It also foresees to include information on climate change actual and projected impacts.

Malta has already initiated the process of developing a national Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) in accordance with requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), European Union legislation and the Climate Action Act, 2015 (CAP543). Given the specificities of the country and in view of being a vulnerable island in the Mediterranean, Malta's Low Carbon Development Strategy will also incorporate the NAS. The outcome to have the NAS within the LCDS was concluded in a scoping exercise, which was one of the phases in the process of adopting a LCDS for Malta.

This is regarded as an important step in enhancing the coherence of broad policy frameworks and mainstreaming adaptation across the board. A consultation document, "Malta's Low Carbon Development Strategy: Our Vision" was published in May 2017 by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change (MESDC), which sets out several proposed broad principles for the NAS and asks specific questions to stakeholders. While adaptation and climate resilience are mentioned in the document, they are not the focus of any of the consultation questions. Following the publication of the vision document and public consultation in 2017, the Strategy is currently being developed, and is anticipated to be finalised within two years.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

The Ministry (MESDC) has taken on the role of spearheading the coordination of Climate Action Policy. As the lead Ministry for Climate Action, the Ministry preserved the setup of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMC) to ensure synergies, where and when appropriate, especially to monitor progress, within the energy, transport, finance and economic investment policies sectors. This set up has been in place since 2009 (as per Malta's Mitigation Strategy). The IMC continues to be the main forum through which more overarching policies are discussed and formulated as needs and requirements develop even within a climate change adaptation context.

Monitoring of the strategy implementation is done by contacting and discussing with the sectoral focal persons on the IMC-CC and, to date, the status of some actions is as indicated hereunder. Given that the strategy has been published in 2012 and implementation has been taking place since then, some of the actions mentioned have been implemented; others are in progress, whereas some measures have been superseded by other actions that are being absorbed within other policies because of structural, administrative and legal changes.

Malta has already implemented certain measures, which, often, run counter to mitigation policy measures. Priority was directed towards adaptation policy and implementation measures that Malta must undertake to secure the sustainability of its environment irrespective of whether projected climate change behaviour does materialise. On the other hand, there are certain measures where Malta is facing difficulties of implementation due to limited finances, lack of data and human resources. Other measures are overlapping obligations due to external developments and changes to the legal framework and structure, thus these had to be revised and adjusted.

Monitoring of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (May 2012) was also conducted through the screening of the Malta's National Environment Policy (NEP)19 under the sections related to climate change. This policy document identifies climate change as a long-term sustainability issue for Malta and underlines the synergies that can be exploited between the various related sectors. The review of the National Environmental Policy has been carried through consultations with all the line Ministries with a view to pave the way to the Strategy for the Environment in accordance with the Environment Protection Act – Chapter 549. Moreover, as already outlined, the Climate Action Act (Chapter 543) foresees periodic reviews and update of the National Adaptation Strategy.

Given that water is considered as a vulnerable resource, in 2014 the Maltese Government set up The Energy and Water Agency, which is a Government Agency established via Legal Notice 340 of 2016 within the Ministry for Energy and Water Management with a view to formulate and implement Government's national policies in the energy and water sectors, aimed at ensuring security, sustainability and affordability of energy and water in Malta. On water, the main aim and objectives are that the Water Policy Unit supports the Ministry for Energy and Water Management in the development of national policies for the water sector and in addressing the requirements of the EU Water Acquis in particular under the implementation process of the Water Framework Directive. The Unit also undertakes several EU and nationally funded initiatives to support the development of national policies and action plans in the water sector.

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

As water plays an integral part in climate adaption, the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy highlights the fact that despite the limited resources of the Islands and the importance of water for a healthy future, the prevailing attitude amongst the population in general, and target stakeholders specifically, has not resulted in a culture that perceives water as a valuable and precious, finite resource. The Strategy encourages the commercial and industrial sectors to build reservoirs and other rainwater catchment measures to re-use captured water and to recycle grey water for non-potable purposes as well as to introduce efficient water use technologies through the introduction of incentive schemes. Furthermore, the Strategy underlines that increased dependence on RO water to substitute natural water will result in increased energy generation with an increase in demand for fossil fuel, or gas, and therefore a potential increase of GHG emissions on the Islands. The following are plans and policies that tackle adaptation in water conservation, biodiversity, energy efficiency, transport and agriculture:

Observations and projections

Observations and forecasts on weather and climate conditions in Malta are conducted by the Malta International Airport (MIA) Meteorological Services Office (MET office). The MET Office provides meteorological services to various stakeholders. The MET Office maintains a continuous observation and forecasting service with the function of a Meteorological Watch Office (MWO). Detailed weather information is also issued by this service provider, within the airspace covering the Maltese territory as listed in the Agreement between the Government of Malta and Malta International Airport plc. concerning the provision of Meteorological Services (2002). Observations are conducted on a mandatory basis and these are carried out through the automatic weather stations located across the islands.

The Met Office is fully equipped with modern technological systems to support meteorology in Malta and Gozo, including a Storm Weather Radar and a network of Automatic Weather Stations all over Malta and Gozo. The new software and database introduced in 2015 assists with better and faster extraction of data, advancing the statistical analysis of the climate in the Maltese Islands. On the other hand, in 2019 the forecast models will be improved to a higher resolution for more thorough projections of the weather. This will then support the warning systems and the preparedness for any certain weather events even further. The central console system is in the process of being upgraded as well, which will ease enhanced observations. Additionally, a storm register has been drafted to keep track of particular weather events.

From a statistical point of view, trend lines are not showing any change with regards to the precipitation over the last 95 years, as the anomalies remained rather comparable over these years. Nonetheless, there is an overall inclination, where the precipitation is increasing during summer and autumn, and decreasing during winter and spring. Moreover, the mean air temperatures showed a slight increase of 0.96°C over the 95 years of records. Nonetheless, one must consider the change of location and equipment throughout the mentioned period. Meanwhile, over the past 71 years the mean wind speed has gradually decreased; however it has been slowly increasing again in these last 5 years.

The Climate Research Group (CRG) within the Department of Physics in the University of Malta (UM) has a numerical weather prediction model called WRF which makes forecasts over the Maltese Islands. CRG also runs two regional climate models (RCMs) called PRECIS and RegCM4 on the super computer cluster facility (ALBERT) at the University of Malta. With these facilities the CRG has been offering research projects going from undergraduate to the postdoctoral level. The contribution to the international scientific community is being undertaken through new experiments, testing and developing components of the models.

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

As a small island state in the Mediterranean region, Malta is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (May 2012) identifies the principal strategic climate impacts likely to affect Malta. The Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh National Communications of Malta to the UNFCCC have earmarked major local sectors as requiring attention when devising adaptation measures due to their current vulnerability, which increases their susceptibility to risk from climate change. These sectors include; water resources, infrastructure and land use, natural ecosystems, agriculture and fisheries, health, civil protection, immigration and vulnerable groups and tourism. Malta's size and insularity are particularly important in defining the economy in its relation to climate change. The fact that islands contribute insignificant amounts to global emissions does not preclude them from impacts of climate change, which will mostly result from effects such as sea level rise.

In Malta's Second National Communication to the UNFCCC, vulnerability and needs to adapt that are specific to small island states were identified; the conclusions of which are still relevant today. The relevant factors identified in the said report include:

  • socio-economic activities in coastal areas;
  • extreme exposure and high sensitivity to external market shocks, such that small island states would be highly susceptible to climate change, that influence not only them but also other countries;
  • high dependence on tourism, a sector that is especially susceptible to climate change;
  • high population densities, implying more extreme socio-economic effects over limited areas;
  • poorly developed infrastructure, which reduces the scope for mitigation and adaptation;
  • relatively thin water lenses that are easily disturbed by changes in climatic conditions; and
  • the limited space and resources and relative isolation, in addition to urgent economic growth and development targets are some of the challenges faced by an island state in the context of adaptation.

In the Second Communication, a vulnerability index was developed for production activities as well as for expenditure activities. The 7th National Communication of Malta to the UNFCCC (pages 113- 160) gives further insight on the state of play about the vulnerability assessments and adaptation measures in the different sectors.

Given that water is considered as a vulnerable resource, in 2014 the Maltese Government set up The Energy and Water Agency, which is a Government Agency established via Legal Notice 340 of 2016 within the Ministry for Energy and Water Management with a view to formulate and implement Government's national policies in the energy and water sectors, aimed at ensuring security, sustainability and affordability of energy and water in Malta. On water, the main aim and objectives are that the Water Policy Unit supports the Ministry for Energy and Water Management in the development of national policies for the water sector and in addressing the requirements of the EU Water Acquis in particular under the implementation process of the Water Framework Directive. The Unit also undertakes several EU and nationally funded initiatives to support the development of national policies and action plans in the water sector.

Research

Primarily, research policy in Malta falls under the responsibility of the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), however implementation of the policy is carried out by various ministries and entities (scholarships by Ministry for Education, research grants and tax credits for SMEs by Malta nterprise, funding by Business Enhance, etc.). MCST manages the National R&I Programme. In November 2018, MCST organised a public consultation on Malta's national Smart Specialisation Strategy, which forms part of Malta's National R&I Strategy for 2030. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to express opinions, raise issues and provide feedback on Malta's current Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, as well as discuss the identification of new ideas and priority areas for a Strategy post-2020.

In 2010 the University approved the setting up of the Institute of Earth Systems (IES), which brought together the former International Environment Institute and the Institute of Agriculture. The IES conducts research on climate and related trends at both local and regional levels. Sub-themes include the understanding of regional past and current climate, impacts of climate change on biodiversity, health and infrastructure. It has built a knowledge-base to assist students and researchers to perform studies on climate change and its impacts on many sectors. Below is a salient list of research themes:

  • Improve and use climate and weather prediction models;
  • Document and assess impacts from extreme weather and climate change on sectors such as health, agriculture, tourism, aviation, biodiversity, and the coastal environment;
  • Gauge climate change literacy, beliefs and communication of climate change impacts; and
  • Reconstruct past climates from pollen records in sediments.

The Atmospheric Pollution Research Group, which is now part of the Geosciences Department, was set up in the mid-1990s and started functioning officially in October 1996. An old lighthouse (still functioning) on the North-western tip of Gozo was chosen as the measurement station since this is exposed to the prevailing North Westerly winds. The initiative for the establishment of the group came from the Nobel laureate Professor Paul Crutzen, who considers the Mediterranean a very important "cooking pot" for atmospheric chemistry in the Northern hemisphere. The Ta'Gurdan lighthouse has a history of meteorological data logging. From April 1877 to April 1981, weather observations were taken four times daily. These were recorded in logbooks and included the following meteorological parameters: direction and force of wind, air temperature, air pressure, and eye-witness observations of the state of weather and remarks (ex. visibility and general description – blue skies, rain, clouds, lightning).

The ERDF 078 project included instruments to measure trace gases and GHGs, as well as aerosols. Moreover, further instruments were added through the VAMOS SEGURO project as part of the Italia-Malta 2007-2013 Cross Border Cooperation Programme.

The University of Malta is the primary institution to develop and support research in the area of climate change, both on mitigation and adaptation. The setting up of the Climate Change Platform (CCP) of the University of Malta (active from 2012) and the establishment of the Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (in 2013) serve to better coordinate research activities within the different faculties, institutes and centres of the University.

The main objectives of the CCP are as follows:

  • to consolidate collaboration between the University of Malta (UM) entities and academics interested in climate change issues as well as with external partners;
  • to promote innovative international, as well as country-focused research, teaching and outreach initiatives both within and outside university; and
  • to foster cooperation with the private sector, industry, associations and civil society organisations, relating to climate change.

The CCP provides various facilities to encourage such collaborations and promotion of research as follows:

  • periodical research seminars on key contemporary climate change topics;
  • provision of information about climate change research and teaching activities, with a national and international focus;
  • promotion and showcasing of research conducted by the University of Malta;
  • participation in national, European and International research grants; and
  • publication of refereed journals to disseminate outcomes of research results.

All of these initiatives are disseminated through a dedicated web space and via several social media platforms.

The University of Malta has also carried out a LIFE demonstration project on Green Roofs - LIFEMEDGREENROOF (LIFE12 ENV/MT/000732). The idea is to provide a baseline study of green roof technology in a Mediterranean environment, thus reducing the carbon footprint of buildings through insulation, and understand how such roofs can mitigate the problems of flooding, thereby providing a set of recommendations for urban adaptation in the context of climate change.

In 2015, the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Malta, whereby the government offered funding for 9 scholarships to developing states (until 2020). The climate change themes selected for these scholarships include low carbon energy generation, water resource management, marine spatial planning, and institutional capacity for climate governance, amongst others. In 2017, the first 4 students were selected, and in 2018 another 2 joined the University. The rest of the scholarships will be awarded by 2020.

To bridge gaps in data knowledge, Malta is taking part in several projects, such as the Horizon 2020 project SOCLIMPACT. The SoClimPact project aims at modelling and assessing downscaled climate change impacts and low carbon transition pathways in European islands and archipelagos, complementing current available projections for Europe, and nourishing actual economic models with non-market assessment. The project will develop a thorough understanding on how climate change will impact the EU islands located in different regions (Cyprus and Malta; Baltic Islands, Balearic Islands, Sicilia, Sardinia, Corsica, Crete, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and French West Indies). The project is focused on four Blue Economy sectors: tourism, marine energy, aquaculture and marine transportation. The project is divided into 8 work packages. Two of the work packages take into account vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies. Once the project is completed, the recommendations should help islands in future policy areas related to tourism, marine energy, aquaculture and marine transportation with a view to address knowledge gaps in these sectors. The local partner for the project is AquaBioTech, with various other partners across the globe.

The "Fostering Water-Agriculture Research and Innovation in Malta" project - FOWARIM,  which was financed by EU Funds through Horizon 2020, concluded in 2018 and the outcomes of the project include the promotion of innovations and best practices in agricultural water management:

  • Scientific and management training courses,
  • Showcasing irrigation water governance and economical models,
  • Adaptation and mitigation measures for water use in agriculture in a changing climate,
  • Making use of saline water – the case for salt-water agriculture, and
  • Practical sessions provided to the local agriculture community on how to make more efficient use of water in the agriculture.

The project has helped to strengthen the research capacity of MCAST's Water Research and Training Centre in four crucial areas related to the use of water in agriculture, namely decreasing water demand:

  • Making use of alternative sources of water,
  • Renewable desalinisation,
  • On-farm desalinisation and utilisation of saline water, and
  • Decreasing negative environmental symptoms caused by nutrient-rich farm waters.

Besides MCAST, the other project partners included the Centre International de Hautes Etudes Mediterraneennes (CIHEAM) from Italy, Europe for Business Ltd from the UK, Cranfield University, UK, ID Consulting from Belgium and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya from Spain.

Governance

Sectoral policy in Malta lies within the remit of the specific Ministries, Departments, Government Authorities or Agencies responsible for the sector. This can also be said from the first level of policy setting that potentially contributes to limiting or reducing national greenhouse gas emissions, through a bottom-up sectoral approach. Individual industrial enterprises, particularly major parastatal organisations whose activities contribute substantially to national emission levels, also often contribute to such a policy-making approach. As already mentioned before, the review of the adaptation strategy will be incorporated in the Low Carbon Development Strategy, which is set to be completed in 2020.

Governance of climate action falls under the Climate Action Act (Chapter 543) and is mainstreamed across all sectors, facilitating cooperation accordingly through Inter Departmental and Inter Ministerial Committees. This, together with the strengthening of the institutional set up, can ensure an efficient administrative, policy and legal approach to adaptation and mitigation measures. Due to size and limited resources, adaption actions are implemented at a national level and are dependent on the central administration, thus sub-national execution does not apply.

To establish an oversight of policy development and implementation of climate action policy, capacity building is currently ongoing within the Ministry, through the setup of a specific Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change (DECC) within the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. This Directorate, which was set up in December 2013, seeks to advise Government on climate action, to oversee and monitor the implementation of the relevant strategies as adopted by Government and as directed by the Minister responsible for climate change policy. The Directorate ensures and facilitates the collaboration between the different agencies with direct or indirect responsibility for the protection and management of the environment and climate change.

On the other hand, the Malta Resources Authority (MRA) is primarily responsible for fulfilling technical functions relating to mitigation action pursuant to the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and EU climate-related legislation. The MRA is designated as the national inventory agency for the preparation of annual inventories of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals in accordance with the EU's Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR, which will be superseded by the EU Energy Union Governance Regulation). The MRA also prepares biennial reports on policies and measures, and projections of greenhouse gas emissions and removals under the MMR; national communications to the UNFCCC and biennial reports under the Kyoto Protocol; and reports emanating from EU legislation relating to the LULUCF sector (LULUCF Decision and LULUCF Regulation). The MRA is also designated as the competent authority for Malta for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, with respect to stationary installations and aircraft operators, and as the National Registry Administrator for Malta.

There are various engagement on projects related to climate change, one of which is the "Catch the Drop" campaign by HSBC Malta. Originally a proposal submitted by the Government with the support of HSBC Malta, it has garnered €500,000 in HSBC Group funding to develop the campaign, a strategic 3-year initiative started in October 2013. The programme was designed to be rooted in Malta's education system and inspire its 50,000 primary and secondary student population from 67 local councils across Malta and Gozo. However, this bottom-up educational approach was subsequently updated to include many other segments of the society. Most of the participating schools were allocated grants to implement water-saving measures.

The project proposals ranged from practical considerations such as installing dual-flush systems in schools and push button taps, to innovative systems for catching rainwater runoff on school premises, and educational multimedia content including a short movie about water conservation. Beyond implementation of water conservation projects, awareness has also been effected through a variety of activities such as forum theatres, drama performances, educational shows, and workshops. In addition, the programme has successfully organised and been at the fore-front on:

  • World Water Day 2014 and World Water Day Week 2015 and 2016;
  • Two international water songs, now available to download from streaming websites;
  • Involved higher education institutes;
  • Involved business councils - Malta Business Bureau;
  • Involved local councils - Malta has 67 administrative councils;
  • Carnival - Maltese love for festivals is legendary;
  • Skola Sajf - government's summer school programme; and
  • Publishing of booklets, flyers, sketchbooks and other printed material.

The results have been phenomenal, whereby the impact of the programme has reverberated at the Commonwealth meeting (CHOGM 2015); it has attracted the attention of the global green-building industry (Greening the Islands Award), the European Water Technology Platform WssTP (Global Water Challenges Prize 2018), and artwork from various initiative have ended up in homes around Europe. At its peak, Catch the Drop's coverage in the Maltese media averaged one news item a day, 365 days a year. To date, around 500 staff volunteers have been involved in one way or another during the last three scholastic years and helped to realise various water conservation/awareness activities. The programme has been successful in achieving two vital objectives: raising awareness about water conservation among students across Malta and Gozo, and involving students in water projects to encourage their development as pro-active ambassadors for water conservation and environmental sustainability.

HSBC bank in collaboration with the Corporate Social Responsibility Institute have launched a course on water sustainability entitled "Together for Sustainability" with the main aim of training around 500 people, including some internal HSBC members, staff of corporate companies and the public. The Minister for Energy and Water was present for this launch. A Facebook page with an option to upload material in connection with this training programme has been created. So far four training sessions have been held and another 14 sessions will be held by mid-June 2019.

Water Explorer Project is a hands-on international online programme that inspires thousands of students to become "water explorers" and lead related actions both in their school communities and local communities. It was launched in Malta in November 2017 and is being coordinated by Nature Trust – FEE Malta through the Eco-Schools programme. Managed by the NGO Global Action Plan, the programme is being followed in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Poland, South Africa, Ireland and the UK. Participating schools are encouraged to link up with schools from other countries to share their ideas and top water-saving tips. The online resources are aligned to the United Nation's SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and are ideal for 8-14 year olds but can freely be used by younger and older students.

Knowledge

Most of the educational initiatives related to climate change have been conducted and/or initiated within the formal education sector as it provides the advantage of having defined educational programmes, specific target audiences and dedicated structures that can be oriented to cater for emergent needs.

Climate Change themes appeared in school curricula in 2008 at the secondary level, and as far back as 2002 at post-secondary level. At the university level, there are a good number of study units and courses that address climate change, the majority promoting a scientific/technological perspective, closely followed by themes related to the economic and legal dimension of the phenomenon. Worth pointing out is the emergence of study units, albeit very limited in number, which approach climate change from a holistic perspective and adopt a learner-centred methodology.

The University of Malta is significantly involved in generating knowledge about climate change through local and international research projects. Once again, the predominant thrust of these research projects is scientific and technological in nature. Another emerging trend in university-based research is the focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) related issues (including themes related to climate change education).

The need to include Education for Sustainable Development in the National Curriculum was repeatedly suggested by most of the national documents focusing on sustainable development and climate change. This target was achieved in 2012 with the publication of the National Curriculum Framework that proposes Education for Sustainable Development as a cross curricular theme.

Ekoskola, which was established in 2002, has been set up in collaboration between the NGO "Nature Trust" and the Government so as to promote sustainable development and climate change. To date Ekoskola reaches over 85% of all the student population in Malta. Nearly two thirds of the participating schools have achieved the Green Flag Status, which is the eco label certification on Education for Sustainable Development. In fact, in 2016, UNESCO acknowledged that the FEE programmes such as Eco Schools and Blue Flag are the world's biggest networks in promoting ESD. Apart from sustainable development and climate change, Ekoskola also focuses on other issues such as waste separation, sustainable transport and air quality and biodiversity. In 2018, the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change in collaboration with Nature Trust-FEE Malta through its international Learning about Forests (LEAF) programme launched a School-Community Link Project Grant Scheme - TREE YOUR TOWN. The scheme was a tangible opportunity for students to be actively involved in biodiversity enhancement to better the quality of life in their respective localities. To this effect, 14 schools were on board, 6 local councils worked with schools, 3,264 students were reached, 541 educators were reached, and 591 trees/shrubs/plants were planted.

KOPIN (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali), which is a voluntary, autonomous, non-profit and nongovernmental organisation based in Malta working in the field of North-South cooperation and global education, is organising a training course that has been supported by the EU for farmers, named "Facing climate change in Maltese agriculture." This training course aims to link agricultural practices with both the causes and consequences of climate change to promote sustainable best practices that protect the environment and ensure food safety. Particularly, attention was given to the understanding of how farmers can adapt to a changing climate to maintain their yields while preserving precious resources. The training was completed in February 2016.

To enhance education and training through data dissemination and sharing on climate change adaptation, the Ministry (MESDC) envisages the creation of an adaptation platform. This platform aims to have lists and links to action plans and measures that are directly or indirectly related to climate change.

Office of The Permanent Secretary

Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change

Ms. Ruth Debrincat Tabone

Director

MSDEC Offices, 6, Triq Hal Qormi,

Santa Venera, Malta 

Mail ruth.debrincat-tabone@gov.mt

Mail decc.mesdc@gov.mt 

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries