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Restoration and upgrading of Salini area

I refer to the letter Fingers Crossed For Salina Phase Two (March 15) by Joe Agius.

Salina phase two will consist in the restoration and rehabilitation of the scheduled saltpans and huts, the creation of an interpretation centre within the scheduled Ximenes Redoubt which will also be restored, the supervised cleaning and rehabilitation of the natural habitats and the provision of controlled access to ecologically sensitive areas to allow the public to enjoy the area while preventing further degradation.

The project aims at conserving and upgrading the rural Salini area in a holistic manner to fully realise the site's considerable potential in terms of its natural and cultural assets. Salini is one of the last remaining salt marshes in the Maltese islands and is protected by various legal mechanisms reflecting its ecological, ornithological and cultural importance.

The final phase of the project will reverse the current trend of general degradation and provide a distinctive rural attraction. The site is designated as a Candidate Special Area of Conservation of International Importance via Government Notice 112 of 2007. The Ministry had filed an application at Mepa for the above mentioned interventions in April 2009. Restoration method statements for the restoration of the saltpans, redoubt and huts have also been submitted as part of the application, which is now in its final stages of evaluation. An application has also been made for partial funding of the project through the European Rural Development Fund. The project is estimated to cost €7 million.

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