Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Integrated Science and Technology


The investigation delves into the application of the resilience concept to the ecological and anthropogenic systems of Ramla Valley, Gozo. The Resilience Assessment, the first of its kind attempted in the Islands, takes a holistic approach to study a system by considering the various system components and related pressures. Components considered include agricultural, ecological, sediment (beaches and dunes) and landscape. Current governance impacting the system was also considered. Methods used in this study were based on guidelines provided by the Resilience Alliance and supported by data derived from previous studies, interviews with interested parties, on-site observations, and comparative studies of aerial photographs and maps of the area of study. The latter provides a spatial and temporal assessment of the area, allowing investigation of the manner in which the system changed with time. The compiled information was synthesised to establish the degree to which the system and its components are resilient. Findings indicate that agricultural land composition and vegetation components have remained relatively unchanged over the past 70 years. However, instances of land abandonment were noted. This, in turn allowed for the transformation of land to other states, characterised by natural maquis vegetation, Arundo donax stands, and Eucalyptus groves used for bird-hunting activities. Soil and water resources are amongst the most vulnerable aspects of the system due to overexploitation and improper management. The dune and beach system, although dynamic, are relatively stable features of the system. Constant monitoring of the various components is required to support management decisions thereby ensuring environmentally and socially sound measures maintaining the system’s benefits.