The Cliffs Interpretation Centre is located in the middle of the largest Special Areas of Conservation (Natura 2000 network) in the Maltese Islands. As a significant stakeholder within this protected areas of several endemic species and habitats, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has always had an educational role in protecting the environment.
As a stakeholder within the area, The Cliffs Centre has aimed to create environment awareness and guarantee the education of the surrounding natural and cultural heritage since its inception. The Centre provides regular information on the surrounding environment and the nature laws which protect the SAC. It also provides frequent updates on seasonal flowering plants, and other environmental information monitored on the area. Continuous environmental monitoring is also important to enhance real-time understanding of the nature surrounding us E.g. The Cliffs identified the Museum of Natural History about a recorded bat species, later discovered to be roosting at Dingli Cliffs, The Centre notified an environmental officer at MEPA on two migrating sperm whales seen from Dingli Cliffs, etc.. The upgraded ecotourism tour packages, offered by the Interpretation Centre offer an educational and recreational excursion of learning about Dingli Cliffs’ environment, history, archaeology, landmarks and culinary potential of seasonal wild local produce.
The Centre is grateful for the invitation by EU’s REFIT programme for an input as a private stakeholder and Interpretation Centre (http://www.thecliffs.com.mt/13-may-2015-invitation-to-attend-a-stakeholder-meeting-with-ecs-refit/). As part of the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), the European Commission has organised meetings in 10 Member states with the competent authority and private sector (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm) to evaluate and review the Birds and Nature Directives that protect habitats and species.
The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has also managed to bring together various local landusers such as landowners, farmers, hunters, trappers, together with environmentalists and sports-related entities. It has been involved in providing lectures and walks to school students, foreign environmental planners, professional photographers and the general public. The Centre also hosted the first public seminar on bird photography to enhance hunters’ education on birds by taking photos, together with several Natura 2000 workshops to bring together all related stakeholders to discuss issues related to the protected areas. The Cliffs Interpretation Centre represents all types of stakeholders in the area of Dingli Cliffs and thus, it has been and will be willing to continue acting as a stakeholder intermediary.
Hence, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre strives to enable visitor access, combined with beneficial outdoor activities of walking to promote ecological conservation. This is also done with various local and foreign related bodies such as ERA and the REFIT programme, in harmony with the Habitats Directive that sets protected areas.
All this in line with the Project Description Statement which was kept as a bible and also improved when it comes to ecological issues.