Project: Malta Ranger Unit

Safeguarding Malta's environment

Malta Ranger Unit (MRU) is an NGO with safeguarding the environment as its main priority. The Unit’s core aims are to protect the natural environment, empower the public through education, and to prevent environmental crimes through monitoring and legal action.

Malta's natural environment has long faced numerous challenges, from widespread construction and natural resource exploitation, through to littering, environmental degradation and unsustainable waste management. However, alongside a need for environmental protection and conservation sits the need to address a constant and growing issue: tackling environmental crimes. Whilst campaigning activities seek to address this at a higher level, there is also a need to tackle individual actions at the grassroots and there are very few organisations working on enforcement and legal education. Ultimately, a lack of enforcement around environmental crimes puts the vital work being taken to restore and increase Malta’s biodiversity at risk.

MRU has had many successful cases monitoring the illegal dumping of waste, illegal fishing and poaching among other areas. It works to document and share this information with the police, as well as giving evidence to lead to successful prosecutions. Working with stakeholders across the process of identifying, reporting and prosecuting those committing crimes is filling a crucial gap. To date, 100% of MRU’s cases have led to convictions.

Alongside this, MRU has identified a need for wider societal change in Malta around protecting the environment, as many people MRU has encountered are not aware of environmental laws, leading to them not being followed. As well as directly addressing enforcement, a large part of MRU’s activity focuses on education and awareness raising. The team recognise that this work is key to preventing environmental crimes from happening and empowers communities to feel safe in natural spaces. This educational work includes workshops and talks with schools and businesses, outdoor nature walks with community groups, and more intensive work with communities to build positive relationships.

The Foundation is supporting MRU with staff costs to deliver its educational work and stabilise the team. MRU receives weekly enquires from schools about holding workshops which will become a priority for the organisation’s education work, and the Foundation will work with MRU to grow its income and capacity in order to increase organisational sustainability.

Malta Ranger Unit
Malta Ranger Unit