The project NaturAL aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Albania through improved management of its protected areas and setting basis for the future implementation of European Natura 2000 network. Protected areas are the cornerstones of nature conservation and often the most reliable way to conserve the diversity of ecosystems. Albania has made significant progress in expanding the network of protected areas from 5.2% of the country’s territory in 2005 to 16% in 2014. Despite this remarkable process, the investments in the protected areas, in particular infrastructure, equipment and technical capacities of protected area staff, have been inadequate.

The project’s full title is: Strengthening national capacity in nature protection - preparation for Natura 2000 network, and it will:

  • implement management plans in at least five protected areas, and
  • prepare a preliminary list of Natura 2000 sites. 

In order to achieve these results on the national level, the project NaturAL relies on close cooperation with Albanian authorities and creates synergies with the actions of the Italian Development Cooperation (IDC) in Albania as well as with other organizations and institutions working on environmental issues in the country. The preliminary list of Natura 2000 sites will be prepared in view of its future submission to European Commission by the competent Albanian authorities, contributing in this way to the alignment of the country’s regulatory framework with the EU environmental acquis.

The foreseen activities centre on developing and implementing a comprehensive capacity building programme for protected areas staff, and realization of specific actions concerning infrastructure, equipment, conservation of priority habitat and species, and biodiversity monitoring. Protected area managers will also be trained and assisted in developing project proposals for future financing under the EU programmes.

The project NaturAL aims to inform, communicate and educate the young people, protected area visitors, local communities, nature resource managers and all the interested on the importance of nature conservation in Albania and the role of its protected areas. Its ultimate goal is to raise general awareness and inspire the public to get involved with nature protection. 

The focus is put on five protected areas:

  • Lake Shkodra Managed Nature Reserve;
  • Korab-Koritnik Managed Nature Reserve;
  • Divjaka-Karavasta National Park;
  • Tomorri Mountain National Park; and
  • Bredhi i Hotoves-Dangelli National Park.

In addition, limited actions will be realized in:

  • Buna River-Velipoje Protected Landscape;
  • Dajti Mountain National Park;
  • Shebenik-Jabllanica National Park;
  • Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape; and
  • Llogara National Park.

Download: Project_fact_sheet_EN.pdf

Latest news

April 17, 2019

Atlas 'Bats of Albania' published

Supported by the EU funded project NaturAL and led by Philippe Théou, rangers and experts from the Regional Administration of Protected Areas were monitoring the bat species occurrence in protected areas of Albania for several years, to understand them better and to assure more effective management of their habitats. The newly published Atlas: Bats of Albania summarizes the results of their work that confirms the importance of Albania for bat conservation in...

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April 16, 2019

Brochure: Achieving reduced biodiversity loss in Albania

Initiated in 2015, at the time of the establishment of the National Agency of Protected Areas of Albania, NaturAL provided a strong push and instrumental support to the improvement of management of protected areas of Albania. Four years later, it is time to reflect on its achievements. 2015 and 2019 assessments of protected areas indicate the increase of protected areas management effectiveness from 34 to 58%. The implementation rate of respective management plans...

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March 25, 2019

Dajti Mountain Visitor Centre - another milestone for Albania’s Protected Areas

A new Visitor Centre is welcoming tourists and visitors at the “Natural Balcony of Tirana”, one of preferred destinations for everyone that visits the capital of Albania. “Preserving natural resources and raising awareness about the rich biodiversity of Albania is fundamental for the development of a more environmental-friendly tourism model and culture. The kind of tourism that builds on nature conservation to support sustainable...

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IPA 2013 - Natura 2000 and Protected Areas
Torre Drin, 5 Floor
Tirana, Albania
Tel: +35542240880/1/2/3