Knowledge, Values and Attitudes Towards Marine Protected Areas in Gozo (Malta)

  • Mark MifsudEmail author
  • Silvana SultanaEmail author
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) serve to protect the marine and coastal biodiversity. Education for sustainable development is of utmost importance for a management plan to be effective. Research on MPAs in Gozo is limited. This study aims to shed light on the knowledge, values and attitudes Gozitan people have towards MPAs and the extent to which education can be a vehicle for these aims. Two Gozitan areas with a MPA in their locality (Xagħra and San Lawrenz) and a locality without a MPA (Victoria) were utilised in this study. A mixed method approach was adopted and entailed the collection of data from qualitative and quantitative aspects. This paper focuses on the qualitative part of the research that consisted of fifteen interviews with stakeholders—five interviewees from each locality. The qualitative part included the analysis of the verbatim that was performed through a thematic approach analysis. The study shows that there is lack of knowledge with regards to MPAs and that the value associated with them is mainly ecological. Moreover, results show that there is a general demand for more education and awareness on MPAs. In response to these findings, a number of recommendations and a list of possible activities are drawn up according to the different stakeholders who could contribute towards incorporating ESD principles in marine education and in fostering social responsibility.


Marine protected areas Qualitative research Gozo Social responsibility Education for sustainable development 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEER, University of MaltaMsidaMalta

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