Din l-Art Helwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign has conducted a survey of the Maltese population’s views on the Countryside in collaboration with MISCO International.
The key results of Part I are the following:
Hunting and Access to the Countryside:
- 55% of the population aged 16 and over believes that hunting restricts access to the Countryside for families. This was a particular concern for people aged between 35 and 44 years old – probably reflecting the fact that this age group is more likely to have children who wish to access the countryside. In fact, 63% of this age group voiced this concern.
Hunting in Spring:
- Only 30% of the population are against a ban on Spring hunting. 19% did not give an opinion.
- 51% of respondents stated that hunting should be banned in Spring.
- Women are more likely to support a Spring ban than men. And students are more likely to support a ban on Spring hunting than are the rest of the population. In fact, 53% of women believe that hunting should be banned in Spring, as do 61% of students.
Hunting in Autumn:
- The results were very different for Autumn hunting, with people making a clear distinction between the two seasons. A relative majority (albeit a very small relative majority) of the population are against a ban on hunting in Autumn. 40% of respondents were, in fact, against an Autumn hunting ban while 39% were in favour of such a ban. Women were more likely to support an Autumn hunting ban, as were young people.
Protection of the Countryside:
- 97% of the population believe that more protection of the countryside is needed, showing that the government seems out of touch with the expectations and concerns of Malta’s citizens.
Enforcement in the countryside on hunting and trapping
- Without making any distinction between Spring or Autumn, 65% of the population believe that there should be more enforcement on hunting and trapping, with citizens over 65 years old showing the most concern over this issue, followed by people aged 45-54 years old. Marginally more men at 66% than women at 64% believe there should be more enforcement. Only 21% of the population think that enforcement is adequate, again showing that the government seems out of touch with the expectations and concerns of Malta’s citizens. 14% of respondents gave a ‘Don’t Know’ answer.
Importance of the Countryside for Maltese families in Spring:
- The importance of the Countryside for Maltese families in Spring comes out of the survey in dramatic terms. 50% of the Maltese population walk or take a drive in the Countryside each week in Spring. A further 20% of the population do so 2 or 3 times a month, and a further 10% once a month. Only 20% of the population walk a take a drive in the Countryside less often than once a month in Spring.
Animals and plants under threat, loss of biodiversity
- 73% of the population are ‘Somewhat concerned’ or ‘Very concerned’ about the potential loss of biodiversity in Malta.
Interviewing was carried out using the computer assisted telephone interviewing mode. Stratified random sampling was used to select the 500 participants. Telephone numbers were randomly selected using a random digit dialling system. Respondents were stratified by age and gender. Interviews were carried out during February 2015. The data analysis was produced by MISCO International.
Assistance was provided by MCAST students of Environmental Sustainability.
Din l-Art Helwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign aims to show the relevance of the Maltese countryside and biodiversity to our daily lives. The campaign aims to build awareness of the importance of conserving the countryside and avoiding its loss, especially due to over-development. Din l-Art Helwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign is part-funded by the EEA Grants NGO Malta Programme.
SEE PART TWO OF THE SURVEY HERE: