What is the project about?
The Government of Albania (GoA) has established a National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA) in 2015 through the Decision of the Council of Ministers 102, date 4.2.2015 as a public state budget entity subordinate to the Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MoTE). The establishment of this agency would, over the long-term, result in a significant improvement in the overall management effectiveness of the country’s system of protected areas, currently covering 460,060 ha of marine and terrestrial habitats.
MoTE and NAPA should: (i) secure sufficient, stable and long-term financial resources for protected areas; (ii) allocate these resources in a timely manner; and (iii) ensure that the protected areas are managed effectively and efficiently with respect to conservation and other complementary objectives. NAPA operates with funding from the state budget through MoTE, donors, and other legally determined sources.
This specific project was designed to assist the GoA in reducing existing funding gaps for the system of protected areas, improving the management of individual protected areas, improving cost-efficiencies in individual protected areas and building the financial management capacities of protected area staff in the NAPA etc. The project has two main pillars: (i) build the financial management capacities of the agency responsible for administering the system of protected areas; and (ii) demonstrating the efficacy of different financing strategies in a sub-set of individual protected areas.
Component 1 will focus on strengthening NAPA to effectively plan, secure and administer funds for the protected area system. The work will focus in the development of a national planning framework for the protected are system, through increased financial management capabilities of the NAPA and mobilization of funding at the protected area system level from different financial strategies in a sub-set of individual protected areas.
Component 2 will implement a suite of mechanisms to improve revenue streams in individual protected area with the main focus on three National Parks: (i) Dajti National Park; (ii) Divjaka-Karavasta National Park; and (iii) Llogara-Karaburun protected area Complex.
What have we accomplished so far?
- The National Planning Framework is being developed with the aim to formulate (i) An overarching medium-term Strategic Plan for the institutional development of the NAPA, and (ii) A medium-term Financial Plan for the protected Area System.
- Baseline assessment for the current knowledge of the biodiversity, natural and socio -economic values, financial analysis features and its conservation status and trends in the Dajti National Park. The baseline and financial analysis of the Dajti National Park is a crucial prerequisite for its effective management, protection and development of the business plan.
- Baseline assessment on management structure and resource mapping of the Divjaka-Karavasjta Protected Area.
- Business plan for Karaburun-Sazani MPA is finalised, while for Llogara National Park is under completion. It intends to give a clear picture of the financial needs that must be met in order to conduct management plan activities, and potential revenue sources to help meet those needs. Introduction of business planning approach results in improved knowledge of protected areas management, establishment of effectively functioning mechanisms for securing financial sustainability and in the development of a specific pilot set of actions which will create replicable and scalable outputs.
Who finances it?
The project will be implemented over a period of four years. The total cost together with partner managed co-financing is estimated at US$8,440,000, of which US$1,420,000 constitutes grant funding from GEF and US$7,020,000 comprises co-financing from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment (US$6,920,000) and UNDP Albania (US$100,000).
Ministry of Tourism and Environment, National Agency of Protected Areas, Regional Agencies of Protected Areas of Tirana, Fier and Vlora, Line ministries, Municipalities, Agency of Parks and Recreation