To celebrate the European Day of Parks in Albania, on the 24th of May, and to mark 50+ years of Protected Areas in Albania, the NaturAL project organised an official ceremony at the Dajti Mountain National Park near Tirana.
Children from “Ymer Lala” 9-grade school welcomed the guests by releasing their kites, built together with officers from Tirana Regional Agency for Protected Areas (RAPA) and participated in games prepared by the park rangers. During the official part of the event, Mr. Zamir Dedej, Director of the Protected Areas welcomed the audience, followed by keynote speakers including Mr. Lefter Koka Minister of Environment and H.E. Alberto Cutillo, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy.
During the ceremony, representatives of the RAPAs from across Albania officially received tools, technical equipment, and means of transport sponsored by the NaturAL project. The event featured visits to the newly refurbished Ranger’s Hut and the Dajti Visitor Centre. By supplying the equipment and means of transport to RAPAs, the NaturAL project aims to increase their functional capacity to manage the Protected Areas and contribute concretely to the protection of biodiversity in Albania. The project has so far procured 4 off-road vehicles, 16 motorbikes, 20 binocular, 5 spotting scopes, 10 GPS, 20 camera traps, 20 computers and printers, in the amount of 250,000 EUR. In addition, the project is also undertaking infrastructural intervention to the parks’ offices and huts in order to provide the rangers with optimal condition to work in the field.
The project is celebrating the European Day of Parks as an entry point underlining Natura 2000 overall concept and by so tackling the sustainable use of the natural resources, the reciprocal benefit of the community and the parks, putting in evidence, the ecosystem services of the parks, among which is the recreational service.
Recreational services that parks provide are also an important contributor to the local economy, because they create the need for visitor services such as restaurants, hotels and refreshments. There are over 20 protected areas across Albania that offer exclusive beauties, high diversity of habitats, species as well as culture, that are of interest to local and international tourists and are invaluable resources for the whole country. Without any doubt, Protected Areas contribute to the economy of the whole country as does the nature within them.
Dajti, being the closest park of the busy capital of Albania, is characterized by a stunning mountainous environment. The citizens of Tirana can easily reach Dajti in several ways: hiking to the top in 3 hours, cycling, driving, or even by using a cable car which goes to the Visitor Centre in 15 minutes, from where the visitors can enjoy a fabulous view over the busy city.
To view photos of the event go to Gallery.
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