The protection of biodiversity entails the protection of natural habitats, and the protection of species, especially those that are threatened, from harmful activities, in an attempt to safeguard their long-term existence.
Such endeavour ensures the continual benefits derived from the role such species and habitats play in providing ecosystem services [role of species in ecosystem functioning] for the well-being of present and future human generations.
The degree of protection afforded to species varies depending on their abundance and threat status. Strict protection is afforded to those species that should in no way be exploited, since such activity would result in the species' eventual loss. On the other hand, certain species may be exploited on condition that this is done in a sustainable manner, that is, ensuring that the population can survive through reproduction.
Biodiversity protection is essentially the remit of the Ecosystems Management Unit, within the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, and involves, amongst others: