UM hosts second SENHAR Steering Committee meeting

 17 dicembre 2021

The second Steering Committee meeting of the SENHAR project was recently hosted by the University of Malta.

SENHAR, funded within the ambit of the Interreg Italia-Malta 2014-2020 Programme, sees the participation of the University of Malta as the only Maltese partner on the project, with the University of Palermo in the role of Lead Partner and the CNR as the third partner on the project. The project aims to capitalise and exploit on the research outputs of the previous HARMONY project by tapping into stakeholder perceptions (‘Local Ecological Knowledge’ – LEK) of current impacts on a number of protected marine habitats, including Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, vermetid trottoirs and maerl grounds, within a number of Maltese and Sicilian Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

SENHAR will also conduct outreach and environmental education activities on the plastics thematic as well as spearheading a water temperature monitoring citizen science campaign (ThermoBlitz) by distributing water temperature loggers with a number of key marine stakeholders. The project runs till May 2023, with the University of Malta being allocated a total project budget approaching the 275k euros mark.

The Steering Committee was opened by Prof. Alan Deidun, resident academic within the Department of Geosciences at the Faculty of Science and Principal Investigator at the University of Malta on the project, by Prof. Frank Bezzina, the University’s Pro-Rector for International Development and Quality Assurance, as well as by Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funding Dr Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and the Deputy Head of the Italian Mission in Malta Dr Andrea Varischetti.

Mr Alessio Marrone has been engaged by the University of Malta as a full-time Research Support Officer (RSO) on the project, whilst calls for a number of Borsisti (contracted external experts) will be published in the coming months so as to further assist the University of Malta on implementation aspects.