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Protected Areas System

The current Protected Area System (PAs) covers some 6 % of Albania’s area, including 13 national parks (56,440 ha), 204 nature monuments (4.780 ha), 26 managed nature reserves (42.958 ha), 5 protected landscapes/seascapes (29.873 ha) and 4 resource managed reserves (18.200 ha), classified according to IUCN protected area designation criteria. In addition there have been new designations of PA´s and NP´s over the last decade and today their surface has increased to 166,691 ha, 16.6 % of the total forest area. Out of these four are strictly PA´s (14.500 ha). The Strategy of Biodiversity, outlined and approved by the Government in 2000, has proposed to increase the number and size of Albania´s PA´s representative network with an increase in the total area to 435,600 ha, approximately 15 % of the country´s territory, with 180,00 ha of NP´s. This is more than double the current PAs area, reaching the European accepted norm of 15% of land area.

Legal and Policy Framework

Legislation

One of the government’s priorities is the harmonization of the legal framework so that it will include biodiversity and protected areas. This will improve the sustainable management of natural resources and development. The government also aims to raise public awareness and encourage participatory approaches in the sustainable management of natural resources.

Policies

The Government of Albania is committed to the formulation of a sound policy for the better management of biodiversity and the protected areas system. Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration (MoEFWA) in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, with the support of international organizations such as the World Bank (WB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has taken important steps towards improving the legal and policy framework for protected areas.

Institutional Structure

The main institution responsible in Albania for biodiversity and protected area conservation and management is the Ministry of Environment (Directorate of Nature Protection - DNP). The day-to-day administration has traditionally been a task of the former General Directorate of Forests and Pastures (DFPP), Ministry of Agriculture and Food, through regional and district Forest Service Directorates. The new reviewed government in 2005 transferred this administration to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration, under the Directorate of Nature Protection (DNP/MoEFWA) under districts Directorates of Forest Service (DFP/MoEFWA). However PAs management in the field has not been transferred to the DNP but remains under DFPP due to pending institutional reform.

Changes in the present institutional structure are being introduced. The overall restructuring and decentralization of the administration and management system includes the following:

  • The re-organization of a distinguished/separate PAs administration and management.
  • Development of respective policies and regulatory framework.
  • Coordination and harmonization of the legal framework.
  • Participation and active involvement of local governments in protected area management.
  • Appropriate training of the respective top-level administration staff.
  • Support with donations and technical assistance for protected area management and biodiversity conservation issues.



 

GGHSP Bathore-Kamez ALBAFOREST

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