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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MALTA

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

EPD & Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Decision-making is through a normal consultative process culminating at cabinet level.  Consultations are through normal information channels with e-mails etc.  Actually there is no official set-up.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legal Notices

Malta is a founding member of he World Trade Organisation and hence our trading policy is regulated  by the Agreements emanating from the WTO.  In this respect, we had to amend a number of our trading laws in order to be in line with the WTO.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Participation in Mediterranean Action Plan and M.C.S.D.

Malta participates at all major meetings on Sustainable Development and is party to many international legal instruments which promote and support Sustainable Development like UNFCCC Convention to combat Desertification etc.

Malta is also a member of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan as well as a State party to most of the environmental Conventions, such as the MARPOL  and the London Dumping Conventions, the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and recently the Convention on Biological Diversity.  Malta hosts the Regional marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), both partly financed by the International Maritime Organisation.

In the past a system of subsidies has ensured that local manufacturers were privileged vis--vis foreign businesses.  This system of protectionism obviously is being fared out as a result of globalization and free trade  which Maltese policy endorses. For example, a  restructuring for local industry is being proposed and affected to ensure the least possible negative effects.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major groups are consulted when it comes to drafting of new legislation which effects them in anyway.  Their advice and suggestions are carefully considered and the end result is often a compromise. 

It has a healthy relationship with private enterprise, sometimes the private enterprise has acted as a catalyst.  To ensure adherence to international legal instruments for example,  The Federation of industry has put pressure on government to adhere or accede to Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. 

Programmes and Projects   

Malta has GEF programmes regarding UNFCCC, UNDP funding to draft a new EPA and institution building within the Environment Department in 1997. 

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

Differences in: interests; economic, cultural, political systems; and legal systems.

The most immediate attention for bilateral or multilateral cooperation should be towards the following programmes:

The major challenge in building multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly with NGOs, the private sector, scientific community, etc. is resolving conflict of interests between the national government and the major groups.

Malta has already removed most of the trade barriers to certain extent and those remaining will be phased by 2003. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

To promote public awareness on the need for closer international cooperation for sustainable development, Malta works with major groups for instance, utilization of the media, and other means of information dissemination. 

Public Seminars are conducted in collaboration with NGO, and they include Audio Visuals, publicity campaigns and setting up of website.

It is intended that an Environment Protection Authority will be set up which will be independent and autonomous from government.  Proposals and studies have been conducted to ensure that training programme for personnel as well as financial investment in technical equipment etc. would meet with the Authority's needs to fulfill its role as the guardian of sustainable development in Malta according to the latest technical and scientific information. 

Information   

All the information related to international cooperation is available to the public on demand.  The Ministries and Departments are in the process of setting up their Web site and hence it will eventually be possible to access it via Internet.

Research and Technologies   

A lot of emphasis is placed on the dissemination of technology and technical know how in general but maybe there is not a similar impetus for its use to enhance sustainable development.  There is however an institution set up between the Environment Protection Department and the University of Malta called the Cleaner Technology Centre to fulfill such a role.

The Cleaner Technology Centre studies possible alliances that may take place. 

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Malta is a party to many multilateral and regional international legal instruments which promote environment protection and hence it participates also in fora such as the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development.  It also has worked with other small island developing States to assess sustainability indicators in small islands.  (See Annex List of Treaties in force in Malta).

Bilateral trade agreements Malta is party to are subject to WTO rules. 

Malta took the initiative to propose a CSD for the Mediterranean and a new institution is being set up to assess sustainability indicators at the University of Malta.  The Planning Authority also works on Sustainability indications to incorporate these in development planning policies. 

Joint research, professional networking, or other activities related to sustainable development between experts in your country and those outside is carried out in collaboration with foreign experts. 

Co-operation amongst small island developing States which have the same acute problems to ensure sustainability from an environmental perspective as their sustainability indicators different from those of larger countries.   


ANNEX:

 

LIST OF TREATIES IN FORCE IN MALTA  

1948    The Convention on the International Maritime Organisation, as amended.

1949    Agreement For the Establishment of a General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean.

1951  The International Plant Protection Convention.

1954    International convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil.

1958    The Convention on the Continental Shelf.

1958    The Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.

1963    Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in The Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water.

1969    International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.

1971  The Treaty on the Prohibition on the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof.

1970    International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Oil Pollution Damage.

1971  The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat.

1971    The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production And Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxic Weapons, and Their Destruction

1972  The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and   Other Matter.

1972    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

1973    The International Convention on the Safety of Life At Sea.

1976 The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution - and the 1996 Amendments to it.

1976 The Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft.

1976  The Protocol concerning Co-operation in combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Oil and Other harmful Substances.

1976  The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution.

From Land Based Sources

1979    The Convention on European Wild Life and natural Habitats.

1979    The Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

1979    The Protocol to the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Long-Term Financing of the Co-Operative Programme for Monitoring Evaluation of the long Range Transmission of air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP).

1982    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

1985    The Vienna Convention For the Protection of The Ozone Layer.

1986    The Protocol Concerning Mediterranean Specially Protected Areas.

1987    The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete The Ozone Layer.

1989  Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

1992    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

1992    Convention on Biological diversity.

1994  United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa.

1996    Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean.

1996  Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.  

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Malta to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2001.

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TRADE

No information is available.

 

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

No information is available.

 

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FINANCING

No information is available.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

No information is available.

 

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INDUSTRY

No information is available.

 

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Government ministries/ agencies 0responsible for making decisions in the management and improvement of the transport system include:

Co-ordination is on Bilateral Bases, although soon a transport authority should be set up to co-ordinate most of the functions.  Strategic transport policy is still prepared by the Planning Authority and approved by parliament, whereas less strategic Policies are set by other Agencies. 

Local councils are responsible for organizing parking allocation, and make proposals for traffic management schemes, although the latter need to be approved by the traffic control board and sometimes also by the Planning Authority.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Overall strategy is to reduce the need for travel by allocating land-uses which attract trips close to those which generate them.  There is no integrated strategy for transport infrastructure.

Road Networks: No new roads are to be constructed, but improvement of existing network is essential.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No particular non-Governmental Group exists. Public opinion for development of transport policy is gathered through "Household travel surveys" and "Public attitude surveys" conducted by the Planning Authority. 

No particular region/population group.  However, the situation in the inner harbour area is more acute due to the high volumes of traffic using it every day. 

Private sector plays a minimal role in the decision-making, planning, management and operation processes of transport related issues.

Programmes and Projects   

A project is underway to create a park-and-ride scheme for Valletta, stopping cars outside the Peninsula and shopping people in the historic city by means of electronic Buses.

Status   

For a few years, unleaded petrol was cheaper than leaded petrol.  However the last two years, the prices are the same. 

Challenges  

Bus service requires the most immediate attention in improving transport efficiency and reducing damages to the ecosystems.

Traditional system of ownership of buses, makes any improvement of public transport particularly impossible, because authorities have to deal with many owners (500) rather than with one or a few companies. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Short-term advertising campaign by the Public Transport Authority in 1995/6 - Very little effect. 

One year campaign by the Traffic Police, using billboards, TV adverts as well as local meetings for children. 

Information   

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Malta to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2001.

 

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

No information is available.

 

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