An agreement for conservation NGO Nature Trust to take over management of Ramla Bay has yet to materialise, two years after it was initially promised, its head, Vincent Attard said.
“We were contacted in 2020 [by the Environment Ministry] to take management of Ramla but, since then, nothing further has happened,” he said.
“I really don’t understand why it has taken so long to finalise this agreement.”
These are the best-preserved examples of sand dunes on the Maltese islands and we are concerned with their ongoing conservation- Vincent Attard, Nature Trust
It comes after the Gozo Ministry submitted a planning application outlining a master plan for the beach, which includes an overhaul of access to the bay and a reorganisation of restaurant seating and beach service providers.
Nature Trust currently carries out work in Ramla Bay by conserving its protected sand dunes, monitoring the presence of protected ghost crabs and overseeing turtle nesting sites on the beach.
Attard said Nature Trust was particularly concerned about the sand dunes as people often ignore the rope barriers in place and trample over them.
“These are the best-preserved examples of sand dunes on the Maltese islands and we are concerned with their ongoing conservation. We want to make sure that the adequate controls are in place and people cannot cross over the dunes haphazardly,” he said.
Asked if he had any concerns about the Ramla master plan and its potential to impact conservation efforts, Attard said that while the environmental organisation is studying the master plan, it does not envisage any negative impact.
“Ramla Bay is a certified blue flag beach and our primary concern is that whatever is planned for it continues to meet those standards,” he said.
“We are also studying plans to see if they could potentially impact watercourses in the valley.
“After heavy raining, it’s usually prone to hold a lot of water so we want to determine how these may impact the runoff and the surrounding landscape and biodiversity.”
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that is awarded to beaches that meet its required standards for quality and safety as well as the provision of services and general environmental management.
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