Discover Dingli Cliffs:Locals creating awareness on gastronomy-education links in Natura 2000 site

Rdumijiet ta Malta was declared an SAC and SPA in 2007. It supports 13 habitat types and several species within an area of 15km2.Despite its rich biodiversity, visitors came essentially for the panoramic cliff top views and showed little interest in the surrounding natural environment. The project of The Centre Interpretation Centre (The Centre) set out to address the previous lack of services related to nature protection,conservation and sustainable tourism,and to raise awareness of Natura 2000 and the importance of conservation.The entire project,from construction to daily management is overseen by La Pinta Ltd.,a private local company. Opening in 2012,The Centre found a sustainable way of combining information dissemination and local gastronomy,since part of the income from gastronomy is used to provide free educational activities.Daily operations are not focused on a project with a definite duration, but include all-year round activities.Communication actions range from website creation, leaflet production, development of a walking trail, creation of audio-visual and information displays. Another action is the development of free Discover Dingli Cliffs eco-walks,organised throughout the year which combines recreation and environmental awareness.The target audience varies from young students, residents, farmers, stakeholders, tourists and general public. Over 5200 people (of which over 1700 were students) have been made aware of the environmental importance of Dingli Cliffs in informative talks and free activities.The Centre hosted 10 seminars/workshops for target-group events. Over 220,000 people have visited The Centre. Since people also visit for shelter or to use public convenience, The Centre's reach is much wider than can be estimated.

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