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Protected Areas - National

Important nature areas that have been protected through national legislation cover about 20% of the land area of the Maltese Islands, apart from marine protected areas.


Il-Ballut ta' Marsaxlokk


Il-Qattara & Id-Dwejra (Gozo)

The following table gives an overview of the various designations of protected areas in the Maltese Islands, as per national legislation, extracted from the Common Database on Designated Areas (CDDA). It is important to note that various protected areas fall under more than one designation.

DesignationParent LegislationNumber of sites Area covered (ha)
Special Area of Conservation - National

Development Planning Act / Environment Protection Act

Special Area of Conservation - International

Development Planning Act / Environment Protection Act 

28 4966.20
Special Protection Area Development Planning Act / Environment Protection Act13 1627.87 
Nature Reserve (Filfla) 

Filfla Nature Reserve Act

Nature Reserve (Islands)Environment Protection Act211.35
Nature Reserve (Trees) 

Environment Protection Act 

29 not available  
Historical Trees having an Antiquarian importanceAntiquities Protection Act15.95 
Bird Sanctuary 

Environment Protection Act 

26 1654.72 
Protected Beaches

Code of Police Laws / Environment Protection Act

Area of Ecological Importance

Development Planning Act

20 2940.85 
Site of Scientific ImportanceDevelopment Planning Act823.15 
Area of Ecological Importance & Site of Scientific Importance

Development Planning Act 



Other sections related to Important Natural Areas
Protected Areas - International
Natura 2000
Site Management 

Links for further information
State of the Environment Reports (or Indicators)
Common Database on Designated Areas (CDDA)

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