The Government of the Republic of Albania has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on January 5, 1994 and therefore is obliged and committed to implementing the requirements of the Convention and the Decisions of the CBD Conference of Parties. Albania as a part of this convention has taken measures in the implementation of the Convention. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) approved by the Council of Minister in 2000 was the first document on biodiversity for the 2000-2015 period. The Strategy defined the main directions for preserving biodiversity and habitats, through their identification and proclamation as protected areas, and through the protection of species inside and outside protected areas. The main objectives of NBSAP’s include: Protection and improvement of biological and landscape diversity Incorporation of principles and policies required for sustainable biodiversity use and management Promotion of sustainable development for present and future generation. Since the time of the Strategy and Action Plan on Biodiversity the country has made progress in terms of biodiversity protection through the formulation of the institutional and legal framework, and their enforcement in practice and also through the formulation of environmental legislation and nature protection and raising public awareness.
Biodiversity and ecosystem services Albania possesses a wide range of ecological systems including coastal zones, estuaries and lagoons, lakes and wetlands, grasslands, middle-low altitude coppice forests, high altitude forests, alpine vegetation and glacial areas. This variety of ecosystems allows the country to host a high diversity of habitats and species. Forests cover 36% of the country’s territory, agricultural land about 26% and pastures about 15% (Ministry of Environment of Albania, 2014). Albania’s high mountains and deep valleys ensure rich and diverse vegetation with about 3,200 species of vascular plants and 2,350 species of non-vascular plants. Medicinal plants (botanicals) and nontimber forest products have a long history of importance in the culture and traditional knowledge of Albania. The country also hosts 15,600 species of invertebrates and vertebrates, and is an important migration route for birds (Ministry of Environment of Albania, 2014).....
Funding biodiversity activities in Albania
Project related to biodiversity
Following project and activities related to biodiversity are undertaken in Albania last years:
- Albania signed the UNCCD in 2000 and during 2014-2016 Albanian MoE was assisted in reporting to UNCCD through a GEF project entitled Elaboration of the action plan harmonized with the Strategic Plan of the UNCCD and the preparation of the National Report for the Convention”. Another project related to land degradation is being implemented in Albania GEF-UNEP, for the period 2018-2021.
- During the period 2014-2016 and ongoing there are several other initiatives aiming establishment of information systems related to biodiversity and environmental data. Biodiversity National Network of Albania (BIONNA) database has been finalized in 2018 within the Natura 2000 project. The project’s full title is: Strengthening national capacity in nature protection - preparation for Natura 2000 network. The goal of the project is to implement management plans in at least five protected areas, and prepare a preliminary list of Natura 2000 sites in Albania.
- The UNDP’s “Establishing Albania’s Environmental Information Management and Monitoring System Aligned with the Global Reporting” (EIMMS) project (20152019) will cover indicators from three groups: 1. Climate Change, 2. Land Degradation and 3. Biodiversity with a special focus on climate change and land degradation. This project is evaluating previous environmental information systems in Albania aiming creation of new integrated Environmental Information Management and Monitoring System. Within this project the aim is also to develop and plan the application of standard indicators encompassing UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD conventions. The project also aims at focusing on capacities needed for data collection and processing, data interpretation and reporting towards international obligations of the country. This project does not plan to create its own biodiversity information system but will integrate or relate with the BIONNA database. ........