Workshop on the process of elaborating a ‘Participatory Management Plan’ for the National Park Alps

Date: 10-14.11.2015
Place: Tirana, Bajram Curri, Albania
Organizer: ECRAN Secretariat with EC TAIEX Unit

One of the ECRAN tasks is the preparation of a Participatory Management Plan (PMP) for a large- scale protected area likely to become a future NATURA 2000 site. Out of three proposals submitted by ECRAN Beneficiary countries, the National Park (NP) Alps was found the most suitable area for the purpose of the ECRAN project. The Albania Government confirmed its willingness to host this activity which is to be carried out in the following manner:

  • The national competent authority – the Albanian Ministry of Environment – will prepare and fund the ‘ordinary part’ of the management plan for the NP Alps.
  • ECRAN will add the ‘participatory component’ which has to be ‘built in’ into the former process so that at the end (2016), there is one comprehensive management plan containing all components needed for effective nature protection management, specifically in the light of implementing the EU Nature Directives, but at the same time agreed with and supported by all stakeholders.
  • Two TAIEX missions (Ref. 56675 and 56982) have already been carried out and preliminary activities have started in close cooperation with the Ministry and other relevant public administrations, e.g. stakeholder analyses. Based on discussions with the competent authority, a participatory methodology for the management planning process to ensure full involvement of relevant stakeholders was drafted and has been approved by the Beneficiary (see annex).
  • According to the agreed participatory methodology, the current events – the Inception Event and the Situation Analysis – are the first ones in a series of workshops and consultation meetings, which have to be organized for a successful implementation of Task 2.7.4. of the ECRAN Project. It is necessary to implement all planned meetings as omission of any of them would interrupt the logic behind the participatory approach itself.
  • Contrary to many other projects, all consultation meetings and workshops have to be organized on local level – in the communes – as relevant stakeholders will not travel, neither to Tirana or nearby cities, even it were paid (this was a clear outcome of the two stakeholder workshops held in July 2014 – the peasant communities inhabiting the area are highly conservative and do not trust official authorities; their lifestyle does not include travelling and the success of the project depends on their expression of their views, wishes and expectations).

Objectives of the Workshop

According to the agreed methodology, two events are combined, the Inception Event and the Situation Analysis Workshop. The first one is a ‘half-day’ event and will be the official ‘Kick-off’ of the PMP elaboration. The attendance of a representative of the EU Delegation (to be requested) and ‘high-level’ representative(s) of the Ministry of Environment and their welcome speeches will underline the importance of the project/process and the EU contributions.

Expected Results of the meeting

The expected results of the Inception Event are:

  • Official start of the process (covered by press) and the visibility of EU assistance;
  • Local stakeholders are informed and engaged.

The expected results of the Situation Analysis Workshop are:

  • Agreement between competent authority and relevant stakeholders on changes that need to be made to the draft text of the MP;
  • Assessment of values of and threats to the NP Alps and future NATURA 2000 site and bullet- pointed analysis of the present condition of the PA with reference to the key features;
  • Agreed vision statement for the NP Alps;
  • Draft of long-term objectives;
  • First recommendations for consultation meetings as regards zonation;
  • Basic information provides as regards the Habitats and Birds Directives and their requirements.