European Day of Parks in Albania and the NaturAL project

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Take a break, enjoy your Protected Area!

was the title of the celebration of the European Day of Parks in Albania.

To celebrate 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 EnvironmentAmbassador of the Republic of Italy.

“On these important date, European Day of Parks, for Albania Part are an importat asset not only for the environment and nature, but also for our country’s economy development. Albania counts 15 national parks established more than 50 years ago, like Dajti Park”,

– said Minister Koka.

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.

RAPAs staff from across Albania officially received tools, technical equipment, and means of transport sponsored by the NaturAL project. The event will feature. 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.

NaturAl project and Albanian Agency of Protected Areas, NAPA 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.

The NaturAL project is funded by the European Union, supported and implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.