In a pioneering study published in the journal Ecosystems & People, we utilised machine learning and image recognition on extensive social media data from platforms like Flickr and iNaturalist to uncover visitor preferences for nature-based recreation and tourism in Malta. This innovative approach offers valuable insights into seasonal variations in nature-based activities across the Maltese landscape. 

Ecostack Innovations is offering a wide range of environmental monitoring services to empower businesses to navigate and improve their environmental impact across various crucial domains.

Ecostack Innovations has hosted the Horizon Europe MAMBO project annual meeting in Malta, where the project partners met to discuss the progress being made with each of the Work Packages and preliminary results.  On the last day of the workshop, a field trip was held in a shared effort to explore new technological approaches to biodiversity monitoring in Europe.

The presentation was centred around exploring the impact of local and landscape habitat factors on the abundance of honeybees and various wild bee functional groups, while also delving into the repercussions of intense honeybee visitation on the abundance and richness of these wild bee functional groups. Initial findings unveiled that honeybees exhibited a strong preference for agricultural habitats and demonstrated a diverse utilisation of floral resources, showcasing overlaps with those favoured by wild bees.

Spatial analysis can help policymakers understand how nature-based solutions must first respond to a community’s needs for the benefits of nature, rather than just wave an ‘aesthetic’ wand at urban centres of high population density. 

Bridging the Climate Gap: European Cities Put to the Test in Groundbreaking Urban Study

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have conducted a comprehensive analysis of urban climate adaptation plans in 327 European cities to assess the progress made in these cities in terms of climate adaptation strategies. Employing six crucial indicators, the study evaluated the quality of each city's plan, including its fact base, goals, measures, implementation, monitoring, evaluation of measures, and societal participation. Despite recent progress, the quality of existing plans is low in many of the cities included in the study and the average quality score of the adaptation plans in European cities is around a third of what it could potentially be. Climate adaptation plans in European cities are improving, but there is still a long way to go.

On the 24th June 2023, the Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) hosted an engaging Education Conference titled "Connecting with Nature: Placemaking and the Urban Garden." The event brought together local and international speakers from diverse creative disciplines, academia, and other fields to delve into the challenges posed by dense urbanization and the pivotal role of urban gardens in connecting people to natural habitats and biodiversity within cities

On the 21st June 2023, the Sustainable Islands 2023 report, a joint publication by the CNR IIA Sustainable Islands Observatory and Legambiente, was officially launched, shedding light on the sustainability trajectory of small Italian islands. The launch included the presentation of our SMILES COST Action which aims to enhance the resilience of small and medium-sized islands by securing the sustainability of ecosystem services.

Our work in the ReCreate project has been captured in this video which showcases a recent activity carried out with the Senglea (Malta) community. The event involved decorating the square with hand-made ornaments, creating colourful mosaics around the raised flowerbeds and planting native Maltese plants, as well as tending to the existing kitchen garden and its food crops. 

Ongoing work as part of the MCST Space Fund project BEEPOLL being carried out by the Ecostack Innovations team is focused on developing an improved understanding of the ecology of wild and managed bees in Malta.

As an innovative SME working in the geosciences and the environmental sector, at Ecostack Innovations we are continuously engaged with the scientific community. We have recently presented our work on nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation at this year’s General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU23), which was held at the Austrian Centre Vienna, between 23 – 28 April.

Ecostack Innovations has just released a new publication with recommendations for Nature-Based Placemaking in High-Density Cities. Here, we are sharing some of the learning experiences from the implementation of nature-based placemaking in high-density cities based on our work in the EIT New European Bauhaus project ReCreate.

The ReCreate project, coordinated by Ecostack Innovations, has led to the establishment of a pop-up park along the Senglea waterfront using upcycled pallet wood.  The pop-up park was visited by Malta’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise, Hon. Miriam Dalli. 

Ecostack Innovations was present at the EU LIFE Programme Integrated Project “Implementation of River Basin Management Plans of Latvia towards good surface water status”, which was held in Riga, Latvia between the 26 and 27 October, 2022. 

More than 100 people participate in placemaking activities in Senglea, including Malta's first pop-up park and bioblitz for urban pollinators and gardening workshop.

Ecostack Innovations delivered a presentation at the 29th Annual Engineering Conference, Sustainable Development Goals: An Engineering Conference, which was held at the Radisson hotel in Malta on the 14th October 2022.

At Ecostack Innovations, we are co-developing innovative technologies and solutions to biodiversity monitoring while working with practitioners within the business and policy sectors. 

Mainstreaming nature in urban green space planning and management. Dr Mario Balzan delivered a keynote presentation at the 117° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana (VIII International Plant Science Conference), which was held in Bologna between the 7 and 10th September 2022. 

The SELINA (Science for Evidence-based and sustainabLe decisIons about NAtural capital) kick-off meeting was held in the city of Hannover, Germany during the second week of September. 

As part of our work within the ReCreate project, we are opening two calls for Urban/Landscape design. Through these calls, we are looking to engage design services and design & installation services.

On the 27th July, and as part of the EIT Food project ReCreate, Ecostack Innovations has organised a BioBlitz with the Isla Community.  During the bioblitz, we engaged with residents to carry out a rapid urban plant assessment in Misrah Andrea Debono, while participants also learned about how to identify plants through the use of reference guide books and online help using smartphone applications. 

Ecostack Innovations is pleased to announce that our new citizen engagement and placemaking project ReCreate (NatuRE-based Co-CREATion in SenglEa - Beauty in Diversity) has been selected to receive support under the EIT Community New European Bauhaus Initiative. 

Ecostack Innovations has hosted the third Malta Nature-Based Solutions Summer School, this time funded by the Horizon 2020 project GoGreenRoutes which is coordinated by Maynooth University (Ireland). The Summer School was held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, in Valletta, between the 29th of June and 1st of July 2022, and has included keynote speeches from decision-making and policy and the GoGreenRoutes project participants.

Ecostack Innovations has been collaborating with the Horizon 2020 project NatureNature to collate case-studies and experiences from experts in the field and to analyse scientific studies and reports related to and connecting nature-based solutions on the topic of Ecosystem Restoration.  A new report summarising this work and identifying key messages has now been published by NetworkNature. 

The Ecostack Innovations team participated in the NATURA All-Hands Meeting held in Malta. The Nature-based Solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene (NATURA) is funded by the US National Science Foundation and brings together researchers and practitioners from all around the world to connect and exchange ideas on the use of nature-based solutions (NBS) in the common fight against climate change. 

Ecostack Innovations has recently prepared a report on ecosystem restoration as a nature-based solution, and has co-organised the closing event of the NetworkNature Semester on Ecosystem Restoration during The Nature of Cities (TNOC) Festival 2022.

In light of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and as part of the current semester theme, we have been working with ICLEI, an official partner of the UN Decade, to organise a NetworkNature workshop to share international experiences on ecosystem restoration as a  nature-based solution. The workshop aimed to bring together diverse stakeholders to reflect on the opportunities for ecosystem restoration at global, regional (EU) and local scales. 

How can you mitigate the environmental challenges caused by tourist activities? Ecostack Innovations has been acting as a consultant for the development and evaluation of proposed regional and local action plans, within the tourism sector, focusing on water and waste management, efficient energy use and sustainable mobility, as part of the INCIRCLE project.

Ecostack Innovations is acting as expert for the Horizon 2020 project NetworkNature as part of the semester theme ‘Nature-based Solutions for Ecosystem Restoration', which aims to create opportunities on nature-based solutions and to explore how ecosystem restoration can contribute to biodiversity conservation whilst fostering sustainable development.

Ecostack Innovations is acting as a consultant for the ConsumeLess project, which is co-financed by the Government of Malta and the European Union through the INTERREG-MED Programme. This project focuses on achieving sustainable tourism in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean, and current work is focusing on the promotion of a ConsumeLess Label and its adoption in four Mediterranean regions in France, Croatia, Montenegro and Cyprus.

How can nature-based solutions enter everyday vocabulary? How can nature-based solutions become mainstream to restore habitats, bring back biodiversity and lead to the improved well-being of our communities? Which are the knowledge and implementation gaps that are limiting the use of nature-based solutions by decision-makers and businesses? These are some of the questions tackled during the NetworkNature Annual Event, which was held online on the 21st October. This article outlines some of the key messages arising from keynote presentations, panel discussions and parallel sessions held during the NetworkNature Annual event.

Through this NetworkNature Editorial we describe opportunities to share experiences of ecological restoration from around the world, develop collaborations and co-create knowledge to replicate and scale-up ecosystem restoration.

What exactly is a Nature-Based Solution (NbS)?  How can nature-based solutions lead to a green recovery? Who pays for nature-based solutions? These are some of the questions we ask in this set of three articles discussing nature-based solutions, their use by governments and businesses to tackle key societal challenges. Our team at Ecostack Innovations sees this as a opportunity to engage further with the wider audience by sharing experiences of nature-based solutions implementation. 

The recently finalised ecosystem service assessment for Malta’s water catchments, carried out as part of the LIFE 16 IPE MT 008 Project, has been placed online in a dedicated geoportal by Parks Malta.

Ecostack Innovations has developed a methodology and tools that may be used by the authorities for the assessment and quantification of ecosystem services for water catchments in the Maltese Islands. This work is part of the 'LIFE 16 IPE MT 008: Optimising the Implementation of the 2nd River Basin Management Plan in the Malta River Basin District' project which is co-financed by the European Union.

Green infrastructure targets for post-COVID19 cities need to be ambitious, evidence-based, considered as an investment in health and quality of life and should lead to a greener and less resource-intensive economy.

New report published by the European Commission MAES initiative. This report includes information about the mapping of green infrastructure and ecosystem services in Malta's Grand Harbour area. 

Today, the Mediterranean warms 20% faster than the rest of the globe, leading to several environmental and socio-economic challenges. A preliminary assessment of these risks has been published. 

An article that appeared in a local newspaper about the ecological intensification of agriculture.

We are proud to launch our new website.