A5 – Identification of proposed Sites of Community Importance (ERA)

This action involves the identification of marine Sites of Community Importance, and will require 3 distinct processes:

1. Meetings and working groups to identify overlaps in data collection and common areas for designation between the LIFE BaĦAR Project and the LIFE+ Malta Seabird and LIFE+ Migrate projects.
2. Elaboration of a list of proposed of Community Interest in accordance with Annex III of the Habitats Directive and delivery to Government for designation.
3. Filling of Standard Data Forms.

The relative importance of sites for each natural habitat type in Annex I of the Habitats Directive is first assessed at national level by considering a number of criteria, such as the area of the site covered by the natural habitat type in relation to the total area covered by that natural habitat type within national territory, the degree of representativity on the site and the degree of conservation. The sites are then classified and proposed on the national list as sites eligible for identification as sites of Community importance according to their relative value for the conservation of each natural habitat type in Annex I or each species in Annex II of the Habitats Directive.

Following the assessment at national level, the sites included in the national list will be assessed in terms of Community importance and once the sites have been identified, a Standard Data Form will be developed for each site.

Following identification of the proposed sites, these will be presented to ERA Board for its approval, and subsequently presented to the Ministry responsible for the Environment for endorsement.