Malta is a haven in the heart of the Mediterranean, blessed by sun, sea and a vast, albeit geographically limited, amount of biodiversity. Being surrounded by sea; the island plays host to a number of marine visitors and dwellers, making the most of the warmth in the Mediterranean Sea – so ensuring that all land and sea creatures as well as their habitats are taken care of, requires policies on the agenda of both Local Government and the EU.
The primary legislation in Malta that protects the environment and its inhabitants is the Environment and Development Planning Act enabled in 2010 as a means to carry out urban development, as well as other projects, according to EU regulations. This act is monitored by the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority of Malta.
The regulatory framework in Malta saw for an update in regulations dealing with waste, developmental planning as well as environmental protection; and with the global awareness of the climate crisis we are currently facing; understanding and adherence to such sustainability laws are expected to be followed religiously. Not only do the regulatory boards aim to safeguard the natural areas in Malta and Gozo but also provide unfathomable protection to the historical landmarks and heritage sites that our islands feature.
According to the Environment and Resources Authority: “Malta is very advanced in its progress to designate terrestrial sites under the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). This might be due to a number of effective practices and initiatives that came into practice in recent years, for example:
- The Don’t Waste Waste campaign that was led by the Ministry for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change. This was initiated by an online game that engages with the public to better educate them on waste management practices including upcycling techniques, recycling methods and landfill reduction.
- The introduction of the Government Free Travel Schemes is a promising initiative aimed at alleviating travel costs to youths, disables and elderly as well as to reduce congestion on the roads during rush hour and improve the country’s air quality.
When it comes to environmental licensing in Malta there are a few procedures that anyone seeking to carry out Construction activity should look into. Industrial facilities in Malta are urged to abide to the regulations imposed by Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA); namely the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Regulations as well as the Waste Management Regulations.
These regulations manage the licensing permitting activities such as:
- the handling of petrol and other combustibles;
- the handling of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and
- the handling of marine discharges.
Whether you are already in the Real Estate industry or an individual looking into property investment in Malta, obtaining proper understanding of the Environmental implications of your project is paramount to avoid incidents giving rise to criminal, or civil liability. In turn, adherence to such Environmental laws and regulations would always reflect positively on your business making it more viable and sustainable in the long run.