Expert Mission on pilot participatory management plan for the National Park Alps

Date: 02-04.09.2015
Place: Tirana, Albania
Organizer: ECRAN Secretariat with EC TAIEX Unit

The National Park Alps is a remote area in the north of Albania bordering Montenegro and Kosovo with difficult access. The area consists, first of all, of three existing protected areas (National Park ‘Lugina e Valbones’ – the Valley of Valbona, National Park ‘Thethi’ and the Strict Nature Reserve ‘Lumi i Gashit’. For the new National Park Alps these three protected areas will be combined and an extensive new area in the Shkodra Region will be added.

According to Albanian law, all large-scale protected areas have to have management plans and within the ECRAN project the elaboration of a ‘Participatory Management Plan’ started already in June 2014. The ECRAN expert developed a participatory methodology for the process, which was approved by the Beneficiary, and consists of seven phases. Preparatory activities including ‘Stakeholder Analyses’ (June and July 2014), an ‘Inception Event’ and a ‘Situation Analysis Workshop’ (October 2014) were already held.

There are hundreds of inhabitants living at the territory of National Park Alps and the delineation and regime of particular zones are of utmost importance for the survival of local people but also for the success of the management plan implementation.

The Ministry of Environment contracted GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) to develop a draft concept for zoning and according to the ECRAN contract, stakeholder meetings have to be organized within this zoning process. The first consultation meeting took place on 29 July 2015 in the Information Center of the Valbona Valley covering the Tropoja and Kukes Municipalities. The second consultation meeting will be held in Vermosh, the northernmost village of Albania, located in the former Kelmend Municipality on the Montenegrin border. Stakeholders of this part of the proposed new National Park can discuss the draft zoning concept and provide their comments and inputs.

Objectives of the Workshop

To contribute to the process of the elaboration of a ‘Participatory Management Plan’ for the National Park Alps by providing local communities and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the draft zoning concept, to discuss possible shortcomings and to agree on a final zoning plan.

Expected Results of the meeting

The expected results is making agreement of local communities/municipalities and other stakeholders of the Shkodra region on the zoning proposal of the new National Park Alps.