And yes, I did have some trouble finding information about what is nominated exactly. Worst offender was the "Coastal Cliff" site
So – let's have a look at it!! We currently have only one location identified for it so far in our record/maps
– the UNESCO description alone shows that this must be incomplete. And the location identified doesn't seem to be directly situated on any "cliffs"!
The UNESCO page for this T List site (top right
) states in its "Coordinate" section - "Malta, Ghawdex, Kemmuna, Kemmunett islet and Filfla islet (Central Mediterranean)
So, presumably, 4 different locations - all on " Malta"??? But "Malta" as "Country" or as "Island"Ghawdex
– the local name for the Island of Gozo There are indeed a number of very famous "cliffs" on Gozo. E.g the Wied il-Mielah WindowKemmuna
– the local name for the Island of Comino. We either use the island centre of choose a specific cliff?Kemmunett Islet
– or "Cominotto" – a small island situated off Comino with the famous "Blue Lagoon" tourist attraction between themFifla Islet
– an islet 5kms south of Malta
But, with all of these being on different islands with none of them on that of Malta itself, the only conclusion I draw is that the first-named "Malta" also represents a separate "location" making 5 in all - but where in/on "Malta"??
The Description only mentions the following location on the island of Malta
"The Ghar Lapsi-Mnajdra area on the southwestern coast of mainland Malta
Our single identified location to date is indeed on the SW coast of Malta.
The UNESCO description also states that "the endemic snail Lampedusa melitensis occupies a very precarious habitat of a few tens of square metres on a small area of boulders on the south-west cliffs of Malta
". This IUCN Web site identifies the snail's small location just SW of Dingli - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/11205/86101777
Our current "location" coordinates are a bit further SE (but not directly on the "cliff"). Ghar-Lapsi is further SE along the coast and Mnajdra further still. I suspect that the intention would be to nominate the entire cliff area from somewhere NW of Dingli as far south as the Blue Grotto. But - with the direct link to the UNESCO description and its location right on the cliff face, I would suggest that the "snail location" could best "represent" Malta's SW cliffs? I can find nothing on the UNESCO site or elsewhere on the Web which suggests any other location on the Main Island of Malta which might be intended for this T List entry. Surprisingly, this area of SW cliffs doesn't figure among Malta's Natural Parks or registrations on other lists such as "Natura 2000" - see here
So. I would suggest the following 5 locations and coordinates for "Coastal Cliffs of Malta" Malta SW Cliffs (e.g nr Dingli)
35.853628, 14.374741Gozo (Ghawdex. e.g Wied il-Mielah Window)
36.079059, 14.212977Comino (Kemmuna. e.g Lantern Point)
36.004024, 14.325099Kemmunett Islet (Cominotto)
36.013679, 14.319919Fifla Islet
To what extent does that coincide with your assessment/experience Ralf??? We have visited Gozo and the SW cliff area, so "claim" the tick - but, as with so many Natural sites, it can be difficult to pick up the OUV on a quick "pass through" and couldn't really claim to have bottomed it. In this case it seems to consist of Ecosystems (particularly some endemic plants ets as examples of evolution) and Geology/geomorphology. This latter might include the more scenic aspects of caves etc known to tourists but the description doesn't seem to be majoring on them and is rather academic. All in all - a bit of a "Niche" site. Does the List need any more sites illustrating "evolutionary processes at work
" or "marine erosional features
"?!! I note that "Kemmunett also supports a lizard population that presents some colour variation from populations found on the other islands of the archipelago and may therefore be a distinct subspecies.
" - but am still not persuaded to go back and chase them down! When sites try to claim uniqueness because of a possible "subspecies" you suspect that they are scraping the barrel.