SINGLE COUNTRY PROFILE
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
The process of drafting the first Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands started in December 2002. A National Commission for Sustainable Development was set up and was entrusted with the role of advocating on national sustainable development across all sectors; reviewing progress in the achievement of sustainable development; and achieving further progress. Following public consultations, in 2006 the National Commission proposed a Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Islands, which was published in December 2007. Its mandate terminated at the end of 2016.
Given that the first Sustainable Development Strategy had a timeline that extended till the year 2016 the Maltese Government embarked on a process to develop a new Sustainable Development Strategy. To this end a Vision Document was published in 2018.
Following the publication of Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050, the Government has on 9 December 2022 launched for public consultation Malta’s Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050. Malta’s Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050 is an ambitious plan that affirms the Maltese Government’s commitment to advance sustainable development in every sector at all levels.
More information on the Sustainable Development Act, Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050, and Malta’s Sustainable Development Strategy can be found below:
The Sustainable Development Act: https://sustainabledevelopment.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/ACT521-%E2%80%93-Document.pdf
The Sustainable Development Strategy consultation document: https://sustainabledevelopment.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Maltas-Sustainable-Development-Strategy-for-2050.pdf
Malta’s Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050 focuses on five strategic goals, divided into a number of strategic objectives, which are considered the most significant for, and pertinent to, Malta based on the previous published Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 as well as various sectoral consultations with key stakeholders. Each goal is also linked to the fourteen normative governance principles defined in Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 as well as the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The five Strategic Goals are the following:
- Transitioning towards a Climate-Neutral Green and Blue Economy
- Towards the Preservation of Sustainable Urban Development and Cultural Heritage
- Ensuring heathly lives and well-being for all
- Accelerating Digital Transformation, Smart Mobility and Connectivity
- Achieving Social Fairness and Prosperity for All
The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise
[The Strategic Document is currently being revised following the public consultation. The link below shows the page dedicated to the SD Strategy on our website]
The Maltese Government recognises that sustainable development is not only confined to the workings of Government but calls for consensus from diverse sectors of the Maltese society, including civil society and the private sector. In drafting of key sustainable development documents, the Maltese Government ensures that the process is open and inclusive as possible, and that the vision of the future of Malta reflects the vision of its citizens. This was safeguarded through public and sectoral consultations as well as through existing national stakeholder engagement mechanisms.
The Strategy will be monitored through a defined set of targets that will be translated into concrete actions in the next phase of the Strategy, which will be Malta’s Sustainable Development Action Plan for 2030.
In implementing the Agenda 2030, Malta shall follow the following approach:
- National Sustainable Development Strategy and Action Plan
Malta’s Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050 sets out Malta’s goals and objectives for achieving sustainable development. These goals reflect the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability, and are closely aligned with the SDGs. The goals and objectives will be translated into concrete actions in the next phase of the Strategy, which will be Malta’s Sustainable Development Action Plan for 2030.
- Mainstreaming the SDGs
The mainstreaming of sustainable development principles as outlined in the Sustainable Development Act (2012) within Government’s policies, plans, programmes and projects is paramount in ensuring coherence. By adopting a sustainable development mind-set in the workings of Government, we can ensure that all Entities and Departments are working in unison and towards a single goal.
In this regard, Malta is adopting a ‘whole-of-government’ approach, which means that every Ministry will have a role in implementing the Goals. Government will also be mainstreaming the SDGs across all policy areas. This means that new policies will reflect Malta’s commitments with regard to the SDGs, and that when policies are reviewed the SDGs will be taken into consideration.
- Integrating the SDGs into the National Budget Process Budgeting
The commitment of Malta to align its budget measures with SDGs was announced by the Prime Minister in September 2019, whereby the Maltese Government expressed its commitment to ensure that, as of Budget 2020, the measures therein will be aligned to SDGs.
The SD Proofing of the national budget process improves overall policy coherence, which reinforces the very nature of the SDGs as being overarching and intertwined. A coherent budget avoids conflicts between different resource allocations, and sees that budgets are in line with other EU and international commitments.
The aims behind the SDG alignment which is conducted annually are to:
- Strengthen and consolidate the planning process by Ministries through the integration of the SDGs in the planning phases of a policy, programme, project or initiative;
- Establish milestones in Action Plans, through which Ministries will be expected to contribute towards mainstreaming sustainable development practices whilst also addressing SDGs Indicators.
Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise
Sustainable Development Directorate
All other Ministries
Tel: +356 20953138
Malta presented its first Voluntary National Review in 2018
Sustainable development is a call for action by all, and it is only by establishing strong collaborations among all actors and stakeholders, including international cooperation, that we can shape our future to one that is truly sustainable and meet the current and needs.
The Maltese Government will therefore continue working with a multitude of partners in setting up the right conditions required to transform challenges into opportunities and inspire behavioural and cultural change that places the values of sustainable development at its very core. Bodies, such as the Guardian of Future Generations and the Sustainable Development Network, established by the Sustainable Development Act, Cap. 521, will further fostering exchange of views and national dialogue as well as oversee the implementation of sustainable development in Malta.
Malta’s Sustainable Development Policy Framework takes into account EU sectoral priorities and agreed commitments.
The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise has overall responsibility for promoting sustainable development, and for overseeing its coherent implementation across Government. However, ownership by the various Ministries is essential.
In this sense, the Sustainable Development Act, Cap. 521 establishes a mechanism for horizontal coordination and provides for a system of coordination across the Public Administration. It designates the highest officials in each Ministry (i.e. the Permanent Secretaries) as Sustainable Development Coordinators and also provides for a Sustainable Development Focal Point in every Ministry. The Focal Points shall be the Director responsible for Policy Development and Programme Implementation of each Ministry.
By virtue of Article 14 of the Sustainable Development Act, Cap. 521, the Competent Authority is also responsible for compiling a yearly report delineating the policies and measures implemented by the Maltese Government to mainstream sustainable development across all areas.
This report is then presented to Parliament by the responsible Minister with the aim to continue raising awareness on sustainable development. The yearly report is an important source as it gives accountability on the progress achieved in the field of sustainable development while serving as a guideline on the areas which would need to be improved.
The link to the Annual Reports can be found here: https://sustainabledevelopment.gov.mt/annual-reports/
A National Expert Group (NEG) on SDIs was established through a Cabinet Decision on 6 July 2021. Chaired by the National Statistic Office and composed of technical officers from within the relevant Ministries and Entities, the NEG shall facilitate the coordination of activities relating to the SDIs. It shall ensure that the Competent Authorities strengthen commitment on data collection and the production of statistics in relation to the SDIs. The NEG is also tasked to assist in the identification of country specific indicators to monitor the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy for 2050.
To implement and achieve a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fairer future for the Maltese citizens, Malta’s sustainable development framework is underpinned by the Sustainable Development Act, Cap. 521 delineating clear assignments of responsibilities and Inter-Ministerial Coordination across Government.
Bodies such as the Guardian of Future Generations and the Sustainable Development Network established by the Sustainable Development Act, Cap. 521 aim at fostering exchange of views and national dialogue as well as overseeing the implementation of sustainable development in Malta.
The Maltese Government is also committed to provide opportunities for meaningful participation in partnership with key stakeholders on sector-specific issues, including the private sector, civil society, as well as the general public. This is achieved through public and sectoral consultations as well as public events held annually as part of the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) and on an ad hoc basis.
The link to the ESDW events can be found here: https://sustainabledevelopment.gov.mt/events/
The Maltese Government has always recognised the important role of NGOs in pushing forward the sustainable development agenda. NGOs, through their activities, are contributing in the planning of economic, social and environmental policies. Such input is essential to move forward and change challenges into opportunities for further social cohesion while ensuring a higher and more dignified standard of living for all members of Maltese society.
In this regard, the Maltese Government in 2017 has set up the Sustainable Development Fund. The Fund has been set up for voluntary and non-governmental organisations which are actively involved in different economic, social and environmental areas and which through their work these organisations contribute to the aim of reaching the SDGs. The first call for project proposals was issued on 13 November 2017. A second call for project proposals was then issued on 26 September 2022. This fund helps to ensure responsibility so that everyone’s decisions and actions lead to Sustainable Development including the civil society.
During 2021, the Government also embarked on a new project through which every newborn will receive a starter-kit that will help guardians to shift towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly upbringing of their child from a young age. The sustainable baby box includes eco-friendly and safe baby products. The starter-kit aims to truly ingrain the concept of sustainability from a very young age as well as increase awareness on reusable baby products as alternatives to single-use and disposable items. Moreover, in order to foster a culture of reading from an early age, a set of books are being distributed with the sustainable baby box.
Local Councils in Malta also have a crucial role to play in translating national polices into tangible practical actions that can help to concretise the sustainable development objectives into our individual and communities’ behaviours. Through the Sustainable Localities Scheme, the Government provides grants to local councils to engage in infrastructural projects aimed at safeguarding the environment, social well-being and economic growth, with the aim of recognising and supporting local community’s efforts and to incentivise further sustainable initiatives. The first call of this scheme was issued in August 2022.
In addition, on 22 September 2022, the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise and the Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ signed a Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the SDG Champions Initiative with the aim of creating more awareness among young people about sustainable development and the SDGs. Through this initiative, Government gave an opportunity to five young people, known as SDG Champions, who have sustainability at heart and who wish to inspire positive change, by representing and advocating for one of the five pillars of the SDGs, these being people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
Links to these projects, schemes and initiatives can be found here: