Despite its relatively small size, Albania is well known for its high diversity of ecosystems and habitats. Albania is well known for its rich and complex hydrographic network of rivers, lakes, wetland and groundwater. Around 3200 taxa of higher plants, 800 fungi, 1200 diatoms, as well as 313 taxa of fish, 323 birds, 36 reptiles, 70 mammals, and 520 mollusks are identified so far. A total of 27 plant species, with 150 sub-species, are endemic to the country. There are a number of threatened species in Albania (73 vertebrate and 18 invertebrate). The issue of protection of Traditional Knowledge, innovations, and practices has not been resolved on the whole or systematically. However, in the last few years, efforts have been made to reduce pressure on the natural populations of medicinal and aromatic herbs by specifying limits to their harvesting.
Legal and Institutional Context
- Albania is a Party to the Nagoya Protocol since its entry into force on October 12, 2014.
- The Biodiversity Protection Act of 2006 has some provisions related to access to genetic resources in Albania, but those provisions should be further developed in a bylaw to be fully effective.
- Albania is in the final stages of approving its reviewed NBSAP 2012-2020, which reflect the relevance of ABS for the country with explit references to the Nagoya Protocol under Target 8 (“Foster and Contribute to an Equitable Access and Sharing of Benefits arising from the Use of Genetic Resources”).
- The country has developed several national reports related to genetic resources used for food and agriculture.
The main objective of the ABS Global Project, is to assist countries as Albania, in the development and strengthening of their national ABS framework, human resources, and administrative capabilities to implement the Nagoya Protocol. The project aims to remove the barriers that prevent this from happening through in-country and regional and global level activities.
The project will support the government of Albania through the Ministry of Tourism and Environment to:
1. Strengthening the legal, policy and institutional capacity to develop national ABS frameworks.
2. Building trust between users and providers of genetic resources to facilitate the identification of biodiscovery effort.
3. Strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local communities to contribute to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.
What have we accomplished so far?
- Regulatory Proposals on Legal, Policy and Institutional Capacity to Develop and Implement National ABS Framework, developed. A national workshop was held to present the gaps identified and the proposed policy for national implementation of the protocol.
- National CHM web portal updated as per national reports and related information. – ABS procedures and information, uploaded into the existing CHM.
- Mapping of existing genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge and database for PGR developed and published in the National CHM.