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Planting of a variety of trees and shrubs at the Marsascala Family Park and the Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park

: The Sant'Antnin Family Park is intended as a leisure area for both local and foreign visitors. In addition to the recreational park, works have also included the restoration of St. Anthony’s Chapel and the construction of a visitor centre, which serves as an education centre on waste management. Visitors can observe, interact and take pictures of our animals at their leisure. In addition, depending on the season, one might also have a glimpse of newborns huddled against their mothers. Our pens include: pygmy goats, sheep, goats, a llama, chickens and a horse. (Ambjent Malta, (s.a.).
: Malta
: Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk
: Marsaskala (540 ha) Marsaxlokk (474 ha)
: 13726 - how did you calculate this?
: 2015 and 2019
: 3 years
: Complete
: Yes
: Ambjent Malta
: 35.8434
: 14.5676
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, natural regulation of floods and storms via natural retention and absorption capabilities of vegetation and soils.
Improved air quality
Yes, tree and woodland cover was associated with air quality improvement ecosystem services (Balzan et al., 2018).
Reduced drought risk, cooling effect, urban heat island mitigation
Yes, parks with vegetation, especially trees, can reduce the urban heat island in the park as well as the area surrounding the park, sometimes for a distance as great as the diameter of the park (Nowak, Heisler, 2010).
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
This action has increased tree cover and species diversity within the park.
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, through the conversion of a closed landfill into the thriving green space for the whole community to enjoy, and by increasing tree cover in a park that is at the periphery of an urban area.
Improved aesthetic value
Increased access to green infrastructure
Yes, through the conversion of a closed landfill into the thriving green space for the whole community to enjoy, and by increasing tree cover in a park that is at the periphery of an urban area.
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, The Visitor Centre (Family Park) includes: a theatre for informative presentations; walk-through from the Visitor Centre around the Sant’ Antnin Waste Treatment Plant; information on waste management; information & explanation related to the previous history of the park as a dumpsite. (WasteServ, (s.a.).
Low air quality
National data indicates exceedances of the EU limit values have been observed for both ozone and particulate matter (PM10). PM10 exceedences are attributed to the combined effect of human caused (traffic congestion and to a minor extent power generation) and environmental factors (e.g. dust from the Sahara). Ozone is a transboundary pollutant arriving in Malta from Europe. The concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) higher in traffic congested areas and may pose a significant problem in dense urban areas (ERA, 2018b).
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Low availability of green infrastructure
Yes, because of the lack of green areas and open spaces due to urban expansion and the growing number of people living in urban areas (ERA, 2018d). Densely populated urban areas were characterised by a lower availability of green infrastructure (Balzan et al., 2018).
Low aesthetic value
Yes, the closed landfill was turned into the recreational park. (Ambjent Malta, (s.a.).
Limited knowledge about biodiversity
The Malta National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) reports that the results of the Eurobarometer Surveys on Attitudes of Europeans towards Biodiversity in 2007 and 2010 indicate that 14.4% and 18% respectively of Maltese respondents had heard of the term “biodiversity” and knew what it meant. A survey commissioned by MEPA in 2011 indicates that out of the 500 persons interviewed, 24.6% of Maltese respondents heard of the term “biodiversity” and knew what it meant. In general there is a need to continue enhancing biodiversity awareness and gain more knowledge on the meaning of ‘biodiversity’ (ERA, 2018d).
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Yes, tree cover and woodland habitats contribute significantly to ecosystem services capacity in urban areas, including air quality improvement and recreation (Balzan et al., 2018).
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
Yes, this action has increased tree and shrub cover at the park. A total of 150 trees and shrubs from 6 species were planted.
: Ambjent Malta. (s.a.). Marsaskala Family Park. Information obtained: 2019-11-11. Available at:

Balzan, M. V., Caruana, J., Zammit, A. 2018. Assessing the capacity and flow of ecosystem services in multifunctional landscapes : Evidence of a rural-urban gradient in a Mediterranean small island state. Land Use Policy, 75, 711–725. Retrieved from: doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.08.025.

Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0299-2.

ERA. 2018b. State of the Environment Report 2018: Chapter 2: Ambient Air. Reporting status from 2009 to 2015. Information obtained: 2019-11-08. Available at:

ERA. 2018d. State of the Environment Report 2018: Chapter 8: Biodiversity. Reporting status from 2009 to 2015. Information obtained: 2019-11-08. Available at:

Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493.

Nowak, D.J., Heisler, G.M. 2010. Air Quality Effects of Urban Trees and Parks. Information obtained: 2019-11-11. Available at:

Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5781-3_2.

WasteServ, (s.a.). Family Park. Information obtained: 2019-11-11. Available at: