Research: Sustainability Policy for EU Islands

EU Island-Friendly Policymaking – Malta’s case

  • Charlon Joseph Abela


For us baby island developing States, the catechism of sustainability is not an abstruse, cabalistic concern. It is rather a amount that affects the actual attributes of our existence.

H.E. Mr L.Erskine Sandiford

Prime Minister of Barbados[1]

Table of Contents


  1. Abstract

European Union action is not advised to be one which able-bodied reflects the sustainability challenges which islands continuously face. The EU action access as commendations sustainability issues has been admired as an incremental and a burst one.

This cardboard seeks to analyze the basal sustainability challenges faces by EU islands and strives for the accomplishment of their awareness. The accepted analogue of islands is additionally noted. Here, the botheration lies on the actuality that the analogue of islands is rather akin and appropriately excludes island states. Additionally, one should additionally not the actuality that both insularity as able-bodied as peripherality abatement aural any of the categories of the Union’s Appulse Appraisal guidelines.

One of the basal problems which put European islands at a disadvantage is that back they are begin in altered authoritative strata of the EU, a abridgement of harmonisation vis-à-vis statistical abstracts and alternative elements exists. This hinders the able anatomy of acceptable development. Malta’s role in affirmation these problems as suffered by European islands will be advised in the ablaze of the European Union’s policy-making.

Keywords: European Union, Sustainability Challenges, Definition, Appulse Appraisal guidelines, Harmonisation, Policy-Making.

  1. Research Question

Starting off from the theories of the basal proponents on the accountable of Acceptable Development the columnist of this cardboard seeks to ascertain how European Union (EU) action authoritative is acclamation sustainability challenges in island states and how this is apparent from the angle of the anxious stakeholders. In this context, a case abstraction would be the best accepted adjustment to beam the appulse of these policies. Malta’s Mistra case will be analysed.

  1. Literature Review

One may ask why the affair of acceptable development is begin in political science and not aural ecosystem access or animal ecology. The acumen for this is that best bookish agitation is led and bedeviled by bread-and-butter theories which reflect the alternative for bread-and-butter basal and budgetary valuation. Cost-benefit assay and normative action access additionally abatement aural these theories. (e.g. Vatn and Bromley, 1994; Victor, 1991; Gutés, 1996; Munda, 1996; Gowdy, 2003).

The 1992, action plan of the United Nations about acceptable development, added abundantly accepted as Agenda 21, alleged for the countries’ development of Civic Acceptable Development Strategies (NSDSs). This plan accustomed the charge that key decisions had to be taken at a civic akin calm with stakeholders. Afore delving acutely into the challenges of Acceptable Development one has to attending at assorted advisers (and organisations) who discussed this accountable and beam their definitions and believes.

The roots of acceptable development challenges appear from the concepts of economical and amusing complete developments that in sum demands a desperate change in one’s methods of production, innovation, decision-making, accurate compassionate and problem-oriented assay (Ashford, 2002; Rammel, 2003; Funtovicz and Ravetz, 1994).

According to the Malta Ambiance and Planning Authority (MEPA) acceptable development after-effects from the “concern over the amusing and ecology impacts of bread-and-butter development” and “aims to accomplish beforehand through ‘win-win-win’ solutions based on the affiliation of environment, bread-and-butter and amusing action objectives”.[2]

Discussing acceptable development one has to attending at the Accepted forms of development and at the Acceptable development model. Approaches of a accepted attributes say that in band with globalisation addition will booty place. According to David Pepper (1996) addition and beforehand of association depends on two variables that are, how abundant structurally specialised it is and how differentiated it is. This access carefully relates to an ego-centric beforehand and one’s claimed advance. However, one of the impacts of addition is the adverse aftereffect on nature. This includes wilderness transformation to accustomed parks, deforestation and river harnessing for action generation. According to Thomas C. Bell from the U.S Water News, in the ambience of hydropower dams these accept been the account of abrogating impacts on the rivers’ ecosystems.[3]

According to Walt Whitman Rostow (1960), aural the Accepted model, the association is apparent to canyon from assorted stages of bread-and-butter beforehand which he splits up into bristles categories, that are, 1)Traditional Society; 2) Preconditions for take-off; 3) Take-off; 4) Drive to maturity; and 5) Age of aerial accumulation consumption. With ‘Take-off’ there is the actualization of new industries and new ambitious classes while during the ‘maturity’ date bread-and-butter beforehand exceeds citizenry growth. At the final state, the society’s accumulation burning allows the addition of amusing abundance (Pepper 1996).[4] Such a archetypal proposes a beeline development which presents the call for Third World societies to ability development of a Western style. However, in action to this abstraction of beeline development John Barry (1999) believes that there is no such development which may be affirmed for avant-garde association and such development is not to be necessarily adapted amid countries.

A cardinal of models of ecology development accept been created in adjustment to alter the antecedent development paradigms. According to Mark Roseland (2000) these new models accede amusing change, the advance of amusing equity, the amplification of organisational capability and the architecture to animal and abstruse capabilities aiming at sustainability.

Within these new models, sustainability, asks for the aegis of the abject of accustomed assets aloft which added development lies. This ecology development archetypal is not alone directed appear the aegis of attributes but additionally at the conception of an ecological association that lives harmonized with nature. Such a society, demands that bread-and-butter action and animal beforehand by no agency necessitate the ruin of nature. According to Susan Baker (2006) “Sustainable development is allotment of new efforts, admitting acting to accommodate environmental, bread-and-butter and (more recently) amusing considerations into a new development paradigm.”[5]

  1. Aims

The afterward are the basal aims of the study:

  • What are the interpretations and means of accomplishing of the action in the civic context?
  • What are the basal sustainability issues, action design, accomplishing account and resultant changes to acreage use?
  • How acceptable are the criteria?
  • What is the appulse on the 9 Acreage Use Functions (LUF)?
  • What are the sustainability framework indicators?
  1. Methodology

The alignment acclimated in this abstraction is based on the accepted attempt of the SENSOR protocol. This acceding was accustomed to backpack out surveys in 4 SENSOR[6] acute areas, mainly:

  • Coastal regions
  • Post-industrial regions
  • Mountainous regions
  • Island regions

Because of the abridgement of administration and missing accurate examples of participatory approaches to the Appulse Assessment, a abstruse framework for the captivation of stakeholders in the Sustainability Appulse Appraisal (SIA) is analyzed in the accomplishments of the behavior developed as allotment of the SENSOR project, abnormally as commendations the use of European land. [7]

The Framework Programme for Participatory Appulse Appraisal (FoPIA) architecture enables the appraisal of action furnishings that are advised to be acute to national, bounded and bounded sustainability apropos by acquisition and abutting the ability of the national, bounded and bounded stakeholders who do comedy a basal role in the assay process.

Situations aural the SENSOR activity allude to abeyant aberration in European action as a aftereffect of perceived acceptable development challenges. Scenarios which possibly may absorb a alloy of action instruments including legislation, subsidies and taxes, are thoroughly analogously advised in a apocryphal or baseline ambience for the exhibition of situations in which the action is not implemented. These settings are afresh fabricated accountable to the Sustainability Appulse Appraisal (SIA) which involves the alternative and assay of the sustainability belief and indicators that reflect basal apropos accompanying to the sustainability of acreage use. Appulse assessments and sustainability banned are accustomed by the stakeholders’ ability of the present socio-economic and ecology cachet of the region.

Now that a basal compassionate of the FoPIA has been delivered, one can burrow into its assorted stages. These stages will be the basal alignment through which advice will be aggregate for this study.

The FoPIA is founded on 5 blocks aural the European Ambiance Agency, that are, the Driver; Pressure; State; Impact; and Response.

Driver, refers to sustainability issues that drive / accomplish absorption in a accurate policy. Pressure, refers to variations in the use of acreage as a aftereffect of changes in policy. Accompaniment and Impact, accredit to the resultant changes in the spheres of society, economics and environment. Finally, Response, refers to the action makers’ final decisions according to their ability from advice aggregate from the assessment’s abstruse output. Normally, this final class is apparent to be alfresco of the Sustainability Appulse Appraisal Tool (SIAT).

For able abstracts gathering, the FoPIA is based on a Stakeholder-approach. This adjustment is disconnected into two phases. The aboriginal appearance consults stakeholders in semi-structured interviews while in the additional appearance the stakeholders are aggregate and participate in a Sustainability Appulse Appraisal (SIA) workshop.

The FoPIA access presents ue with a abstruse adventure from botheration analogue to the stakeholders’ feedback.

Figure 1 illustrates the analytic anatomy of the FoPIA.

Figure 1

The afterward sections appearance how this adjustment can be activated in detail.

Phase 1. This appearance commences with the analytic abstraction of the policy’s civic interpretations and means of accomplishing in the ambience of the basal sustainability issues and difficulties. This is accomplished through semi-structured interviews with the anxious action makers who accomplish both at civic akin as able-bodied as those who represent the civic absorption at an EU level. Generally, these are assembly advancing from the government’s departments. However, associates of alive groups and associates of specifically-set advising panels are additionally interviewed.

Another set of interviews is done with bounded stakeholders. These interviews focus on the change of acreage use that will booty abode back the action is implemented. These stakeholders are called from government departments and those complex in accommodation making, which are accurately anxious with the action in question. Interviewed stakeholders may additionally be called from the ‘land’ assembly and absorption groups.

The adjustment acclimated for these interviews is that of Snowball Sampling and is to be done through email accord or by telephone.

Each account is based on a affair adviser allurement questions on sustainability issues, action architecture and accomplishing as able-bodied as the resultant changes in acreage use. All interviews accept to canyon through three stages:

  1. Recording
  2. Transcription
  3. Analysis

Content assay involves the highlighting of the key capacity mentioned and the after-effects are to be acclimated as the foundation for abstract of accessible scenarios. This advice is to be forwarded to the Sustainability Appulse Appraisal (SIA) workshop.

Phase 2. This appearance involves the SIA workshop, which brings calm all the stakeholders in Appearance 1. Throughout the workshop, the stakeholders assassinate assay of sustainability criteria. Additionally an appraisal of the consistent changes consistent from the action in question, aural the social, ecology and bread-and-butter indicators is done. Any new indicator ethics are assorted with the sustainability banned laid bottomward by the stakeholders. Finally, belief are reassessed in adjustment to highlight the stakeholders’ preferences.

In the alpha of the SIA branch the aggregation arch the abstraction presents a précis of the allegation apparent from the interviews in the aboriginal phase. Stakeholders, afresh altercate these credibility and if an acceding is accomplished the credibility may be adapted to reflect added absolutely any accessible contempo action development. Afterward is a analogue and appraisal of the basal sustainability belief in the ambience of the acreage use.

This date requires a chastened altercation and a scoring exercise which are followed by addition altercation in adjustment to accomplish acceding on the belief scores.

The altercation on sustainability belief is based in nine Acreage Use Functions (LUF) which are to be presented by the moderator. These 9 LUFs are categorised as follows:[8]

  1. Social functions:
    1. Cultural
    2. Health and Recreation
    3. Provision of work
  2. Economic functions:
    1. Residential and non land-based industries and services
    2. Land-based production
    3. Infrastructure and mobility
    4. Environmental functions:
      1. Provision of abiotic resources
      2. Provision of habitat
      3. Maintenance of ecosystem processes
      4. Each of these nine functions are anesthetized through a action of scoring alignment from ‘1’ to ‘10’. A account of ‘1’ shows low accent while that of ‘10’ signifies acutely aerial importance.

        After the scoring phase, the stakeholders can avert or amend their array as a aftereffect of new information/understanding from alternative participants. This enables ‘social acquirements ‘(Henkens et al. 2007). An boilerplate of the array is drawn, however, if any actor changes his/her account the boilerplate can alone be adapted by accord from all participants.

        Following, analogue and acceding on sustainability framework indicators are sought. These are afresh acclimated for an appulse appraisal of anniversary action scenario. These Acreage Use Function Belief Indicators (LUFCI) are acquired from the antecedent stage. This stage, seeks to articulation impacts and sustainability issues brought up by the stakeholders.

        Stakeholders accede on a account of LUFCIs in the antecedent stage. In this date they accede aloft LUFCIs are acclimated for the achievement of an appulse appraisal on anniversary action scenario. Again, the participants accept to accommodate a account on anniversary LUFCI alignment from -3 to 3. ‘-3’ denotes a able abrogating impact, while a ‘+3’ denotes a actual absolute impact. These predictions are to be fabricated on a time aeon of 25 years.

        As in antecedent stages, an boilerplate account is formed out. Stakeholders altercate calm the boilerplate of the LUFCIs which enables amusing acquirements on a base of the differences amid their opinions.

        During this stage, acceptability of the resultant impacts is assessed. Anniversary LUFCI is set a minimum accepted (also referred to as a ‘sustainability limit’) which afresh afterwards alone scoring is followed by discussion. Participants should appraise anniversary LUFCI and accept whether their access is acceptable or unsustainable. Afresh account alter from -3 to +3.

        Now, stakeholders should afresh analyse the LUFC in the accomplishments of the appulse appraisal in adjustment to abstract the stakeholders’ preferences for the action scenarios. This date is accent by the application of trade-offs which ability aftereffect both from absolute and abrogating impacts. Participants are afresh asked to accommodate a account which ranges from 1 to 9, whereby a account of ‘1’ denotes the atomic importance. As before, an boilerplate account is calculated, discussed and adapted alone if all agree.

        This final affair involves addition altercation of both the action as able-bodied as of the final after-effects of the SIA. This allows all participants to reflect on the achievement and to accede the accouterment of acknowledgment on the methods used, abstracts and assay inputs adopted.

        This affair is disconnected as follows:

        1. A presentation of the arbitrary of the branch results
        2. The stakeholders altercate results
        3. Participants should highlight any point with which they agreed or disagreed throughout the active of the abstraction including the abstruse aspect
          1. This includes the highlighting of genitalia which appropriate added clarifications
        4. The participants should accommodate their acknowledgment on whether they accept that this FoPIA based abstraction is able in aural the set ambience and whether they accept that there will be any analytic and political achievements.
        5. Finally, participants should point out if they enjoyed the study’s abstruse allotment and if they accept that there were any setbacks. They should additionally advance any accessible improvements.
        6. References

          Blewitt John, Compassionate Acceptable Development, TJ International, 2008

          Baker Susan, Acceptable Development, Routledge, 2006

          Sustainable Development Strategies: A Resource Book, Organisation for Bread-and-butter Co-operation and Development, Paris and United Nations Development Programme, New York, 2002

          Sustainable Development: New Research, Abate Gugsa et al. Maples D. Alexander (Editor), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2005

          Trade, Climate Change and Acceptable Development: Key Issues for Developing Countries; International Centre for Trade and Acceptable Development ( (accessed on 20th December 2013)

          Pierce Roger, Assay Methods in Politics: a applied guide, TJ International Ltd, 2008

          Morris Jake, Sustainability Appulse Assessment: Tools for Environmental, Amusing and Bread-and-butter Aftereffect of Multifunctional Acreage Use in European Regions. Affair 3: FOPIA – A new methods agreeable bounded stakeholders in Appulse Assessment. Accessed from (accessed on 22nd December 2013)

          Morris Jake Berton, Tassone Valentina, De Groot Rudolf, Camilleri Marguerite and Moncada Stefano, A Framework for Participatory Appulse Assessment: Involving Stakeholders in European Action Making, a Case Abstraction of Acreage Use Change in Malta, Anatomy and Association 16(1): 12, Published beneath the authorization by the Resilience Alliance

 (accessed on 22nd December 2013)

 (accessed on 23rd October 2013)


          [1] Opening account to the UN Global Conference on the Acceptable Development of Baby Island Developing States. Barbados, 26 April – 6 May 1994.

          [2] (accessed on 21st December 2013)

          [3] Bell Thomas C. , U.S. Water News, 1995

          [4] Baker Susan, Acceptable Development, Routledge, 2006

          [5] Baker Susan, Acceptable Development, Routledge, 2006

          [6] SENSOR project: Sustainability Appulse Assessment: Tools for Environmental, Amusing and Bread-and-butter Furnishings of Multifunctional Acreage Use in European Regions. This is an chip activity adjourned beneath the European Commission’s sixth Framework Programme, that is, a Framework Programme for Participatory Appulse Appraisal (FOPIA). The FoPIA is a set of assay methods that altogether facilitates the compassionate of the captivation of national, bounded and bounded stakeholders as commendations the assessments of action impacts on European acreage use.

          [7] Morris Jake Berton, Tassone Valentina, De Groot Rudolf, Camilleri Marguerite and Moncada Stefano, A Framework for Participatory Appulse Assessment: Involving Stakeholders in European Action Making, a Case Abstraction of Acreage Use Change in Malta, Anatomy and Association 16(1): 12, Published beneath the authorization by the Resilience Alliance

          [8] Morris Jake, Sustainability Appulse Assessment: Tools for Environmental, Amusing and Bread-and-butter Aftereffect of Multifunctional Acreage Use in European Regions. Affair 3: FOPIA – A new methods agreeable bounded stakeholders in Appulse Assessment. Accessed from (22nd December 2013)

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