Public-private partnerships, collaboration and Malta’s Agricultural Policy – 20/04/2018
The National Agricultural Policy for the Maltese Islands embraces the needs of all types of stakeholders whilst guiding the agricultural sector to a sustainable future. “Collaboration with business community to create efficient production systems such as through public private partnerships would also help to steer the future farming community towards reaching sustainability goals” (MSDEC, 2018, p.173).
The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has been constructed, is run and managed by a local private company, with roots belonging to Dingli village and the surrounding environment. This formed the basis by which the management and employees, all coming from Dingli or having links to the village, have a particular sense of belonging to the area and love of nature.
Whilst The Centre is an individual entity organising activities on its own, it engages in several partnership with government authorities and collaborates in particular events with several entities. The press conference by the environment authority on the celebration of Biodiversity 2014 was transmitted from The Centre.
A recent role played by The Cliffs Interpretation Centre was of acting as the middle-ground between the Environment Resources Authority and landowners at Dingli Cliffs, for a commissioned study involving a research institution on a survey of a type of fauna species.
Other collaboration activities include a lecture by Italian wine experts to local producers, a meeting by the Maltese National Rural Network (MNRN) Committee on rural development, seminar on bird photography by a local ornithologist and delivered to a group of local hunters, talk on marine turtles by an ENGO, falconry club event, orchid survey talk, etc.
Apart from its regular eco-walks organised on various days of the week all year round, The Centre is regularly involved in organising activities with different entities, such as guided walks for members of an environment organisation, eco-walk for several different diplomatic missions. Just recently, a specific eco-walk was organised in collaboration with a local NGO with a focus on orchid spotting and citizen science monitoring.
It also interacts and collaborates with the Dingli Local Council, including annual involvement in Wirja Agrarja event, annual eco-walks to local groups in Dingli, and more.
On a very optimistic note, The Centre has been recognised by several authorities. One of which, the Environment and Resources Authority has recognised The Centre as one of the competent partners for the management of the cliffs area, a designated protected Natura 2000 site (ERA, 2017, p.312).