Management of Protected Areas in Albania Toward European Standards

Authors: Stela Meçaj, Jonida Mehmetaj Published date: 01-03-2022 Status: Published

Albania has established a representative system of protected areas, covering almost 16% of the Albanian territory. Over the past 20 years, protected areas in Albania have not been integrated into national and local development policies. Most of the natural resources in Albania are under the threat of constant pressures such as illegal logging, hunting, fishing. The National Agency for Protected Areas is actively working to improve the management of protected areas according to the requirements, international standards, and experience of other European countries. In the field of nature conservation and biodiversity, Albania has an obligation to identify and protect natural heritage areas of high conservation interest for the European Union. Using qualitative research methodology, this paper aims to address the issues related to protected areas by also identifying the measures that may improve their management. The findings from the analysis highlight problems and delays in meeting Albania’s obligations under the integration process in the field of nature conservation and biodiversity.

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