ERA Celebrates European Natura 2000 Day this Sunday

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ERA Celebrates European Natura 2000 Day this SundayThe European Natura 2000 Day is being celebrated this Sunday by the Environment & Resources Authority (ERA), BirdLife Malta and il-Majjistral Park.

Celebrations will be held at BirdLife’s Ghadira and Simar Nature Reserves (10.00 to 16.00) and il-Majjistral Nature & History Park (10.00 to 12.30) and the public is invited to join these free events.

ERA will be having information stands at both the Ghadira Nature Reserve and il-Majjistral Park’s Visitor Centre. Il-Majjistral Park will be holding a seminar titled ‘Discover Natura 2000’ for which booking is required by sending an email to events@birdlifemalta.org

There is also an EU-wide initiative currently ongoing inviting the public to upload their picture and make a gesture for our protected areas and take it back to nature! Visit natura2000day.eu/en to learn more.

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the EU’s Habitats Directive and LIFE Programme, 21st May has been officially declared as “European Natura 2000 Day” at an event in Brussels earlier this week.

Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network of nature conservation areas, established to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened terrestrial and marine species and habitats for present and future generations.

Throughout the years Malta proposed various sites to form part of the Natura 2000 network. To date Malta has 34 terrestrial Natura 2000 sites which together cover over 13% of the total land area of the Maltese Islands and 14 marine Natura 2000 sites.

An EU co-financed project, LIFE BaHAR for N2K, is being led by the ERA, together with the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change; the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture; the Department of Biology of the University of Malta; and Fundacion Oceana with the aim of extending marine Natura 2000 sites and designate new ones.

This project focuses on three ecologically important marine habitats: reefs, sea caves, and sandbanks, which are some of the habitats providing shelter and feeding grounds for a variety of marine species. More information about this project is available on the Life BaHAR for N2K facebook page.

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