BirdLife Malta will be venturing into a new field through a partnership it has started with NABU (BirdLife Germany) and several other international partners on a project entitled “Together against Air Pollution from Ships”. This is  a local awareness campaign on air pollution generated by cruise ships in the Mediterranean with the ultimate goal of declaring the Mediterranean Sea as a Sulphur Emission Control Area.

Apart from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Naturschutzbund Deutschland, NABU) which is BirdLife’s partner in Germany, this project will be implemented together with other Mediterranean environment NGOs which include the Hellenic Ornithological Society (Ornithologiki) which is BirdLife’s partner in Greece, Cittadini per l’Aria (Italy), France Nature Environnement (France) and Ecologistas en Acción (Spain).


NABU and BirdLife Malta officials together with Axel Friedrich, the independent air quality expert who is conducting the study (Photo by BirdLife Malta, cover photos by NABU-Hapke-Prell)

During the project’s duration, the NGOs will work towards raising awareness in Malta and the Mediterranean about air pollution from cruise ships, with the aim of establishing a a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) within the Mediterranean. Such an emission control area at sea would improve air quality by demanding that all ships operating within the Mediterannean use cleaner fuels.

Through an established Clean Cruise Ship Action Network, the project partners will regularly exchange information, knowledge and expertise through periodical conferences which will discuss air pollution from ships.

Explore more about the project by reading the following information leaflet



The results of the first exercise in air pollution measurement carried out in Valletta and Birgu through this project showed concentrations of ultrafine particles in the ambient air during the time ships were transiting through the Grand Harbour which are 80 times higher than clean air levels expected of areas not exposed to any pollution sources.