Project Update: Protected Areas in Albania

We teamed up with NaturAL, and we’re heading to Albania!

The official name of the project is “Strengthening national capacity in nature protection, preparation for Natura 2000 network”—but it goes by NaturAL. The project aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Albania through improved management of its protected areas.

Focus on Albania

Albania is very rich in biological diversity. It encompasses both Mediterranean and Alpine bioregions, is part of the Adriatic flyway, and is also a European Green Belt country. In fact, Albania is so diverse that this little country covering only 0.3% of Europe hosts 18% of the continent’s biodiversity and 32% of all European flora.

Albania recently increased its network of protected areas from 5.2% of the country’s territory in 2005 to 16% in 2014. This is great news, but a lot of work needs to be done to ensure that management in the new protected areas can effectively protect the species, goods and services that protected areas provide.

Protected Areas in Albania Map. Source: Elson Salihaj for the IPA 2013-Natura 2000 Project.

Map of Protected Areas in Albania. Source: Elson Salihaj for the IPA 2013-Natura 2000 Project.

The NaturAL project aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Albania through improved management of its protected areas. The project is also laying the foundation for the future implementation of the European Natura 2000 network.

Pedaling Pictures is currently producing a series of videos to showcase the rich natural and cultural heritage found throughout Albania, and to highlight the complexities for local residents whose backyards have recently become protected areas. Up first will be two videos focusing on the Skadar Lake Region—check back with us to see when they’re finished!

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