Study aims to limit erosion of landmark rock formation

The Gozo Ministry has commissioned a geological investigation into the structural stability of the Azure Window at Dwejra and a preliminary report with recommendations is expected to be submitted "in the coming weeks".

Bureau Veritas Consulting Limited from the UK, which has wide experience on similar projects, has been appointed to carry out the study.

Dwejra is an area of considerable scientific and cultural importance, particularly rich in its ecology, geology and landscape value. It is a prime tourist and recreational site for the island of Gozo, and is also an important asset for the island in attracting the television and cinematography industries. The natural feature which constitutes the Azure Window is probably Dwejra's best known landmark, and probably the most extensively used scenery in the marketing of the island on an international level.

In recent years it has been noticed that the rock forming the Azure Window is increasingly being eroded, and this process has progressed considerably in recent years.

Although erosion is a natural process which in normal circumstances would be left to take its natural course, the loss of this landmark would result in a considerable negative impact on the island's tourism industry.

For this reason, the Ministry for Gozo has sought expert advice on whether it is possible to intervene in order to limit the damage being progressively incurred by this rock formation and slow down the damage on the Azure Window.

The appointed consultants have just conducted a site survey at the Azure Window area both from land and from the sea. An underwater video footage of the rock formations around the Azure Window was also produced.

The Ministry for Gozo said it was assisted in the project by Lone Dolphin Media of Gharb, which provided the underwater video footage free of charge.

Dwejra, including the Azure Window, is also benefiting from the European Union's Life Third Countries scheme project, involving the investment of €314,000.

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