A boost to cross-border conservation between Albania and Montenegro

A boost to cross-border conservation between Albania and Montenegro

Podgorica, Montenegro, 5 December 2016 - National Agency for Protected Areas of Albania and Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro signed a cooperation agreement today in Podgorica, deciding to enhance the cross-border cooperation in nature protection. Only the wise use of the biodiversity will guarantee the preservation of natural resources for the benefit of people in both countries.

“This project and today’s event are excellent examples of good cooperation established between the partnering organizations, donor and institutions. This project’s support to the development of the Management plan for NP Skadar Lake was significant – the plan that defines this area’s development directions in the next five years was just recently adopted by the Government. With experts’ support we have elaborated a quality document to guide our work within the defined frame”, saidAzra Vukovic, Director of the Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro. “By signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the National Agency for Protected Areas of Albania, we agree to share information and plan joint activities that will improve management of the protected area and reduce illegal activities resulting in a promotion of these areas’ unique natural values and enabling the economic development of local communities”, she concluded.

The General Director of the Albanian Agency of Protected Areas, Mr. Zamir Dedej, emphasizes the very positive momentum related to the cooperation between the protected areas institutions in both countries. “There had been also in the past several efforts to increase and implement the collaboration between two countries in the environmental field. We think is time to relate the agreements signed with more concrete joint working program, with the inclusion of important stakeholders in the area, aiming on increasing the results of the cooperation for the nature conservation in Shkodra/Skadar Lake and Buna/Bojana River, as well as in the mountain areas.”

Inca is continuously working on and supporting an improved transboundary management of this wonderful shared resource that is Lake Shkodra. The empowered and integrated cross border cooperation is crucial for the conservation of the nature, culture and ecotourism values of Shkodra Lake. We should work more on improving the relations between people and the nature resources of Shkodra Lake since it is a unique ecosystem that provides welfare for people in both sides of the border and for the future generations... stressed the Executive Director of INCA, Mr. Nihat Dragoti.

Experts working in nature conservation across borders easily find a common language, as they share objectives and visions. “Cooperation across borders is about dedicated people working together for the benefit of shared natural heritage, and IUCN is committed to supporting the efforts that will boost the cross-border conservation and management of Skadar Lake, and other shared protected areas. We are keen to see both authorities, communities and civil society contributing to this goal,” saidMr. Boris Erg, Director of IUCN’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Due to the high diversity of habitats and species Lake Skadar is designated as a protected area both in Albania and Montenegro as well as recognised internationally as Ramsar and Emerald site, and an Important Bird and Plant Area. IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (IUCN ECARO) partnered with the Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania (INCA), Green Home of Montenegro and protected areas and nature conservation authorities to work towards the effective management of this lake's biodiversity, through the CEPF funded project "Long term support for sustainable transboundary management of Skadar Lake," finalized today in Podgorica. Besides the signed cooperation agreement, major achievements of the project partners include drafting of the second Management plan for Skadar Lake National Park 2016-2020 following IUCN best practices and standards, a proposal for new management zoning for Lake Shkodra Managed Nature Reserve, covering the Albanian part of the region, and a Manual Concerning the Legal Aspects of Lake Skadar Protection. Capacity building for management planning, and improving transboundary cooperation was a backbone activity of the project.  All these results have contributed tolaw enforcement, increased participation of civil society organizations in monitoring and management of protected area, and youth education on nature values and importance.

Notes for editors:

About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together. Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders includinggovernments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.


About Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania (INCA)

INCA is an NGO established in July 2000, seated in Tirana and operating in the country and region through its partner organizations. INCA’s main goal is to facilitate professional capacity building through training and participatory approach, to help conservation of nature and protect Albanian flora and fauna, supporting the rural development of the country. It focuses on biodiversity assessment, protected areas and river basin management, and implements projects in Albania and in transboundary context. INCA is a member of IUCN and the Global Water Forum (GWF), and it represents WWF in Albania. It leads the national NGO network “Nature Conservation” since April 2013.


About Green Home

NGO Green Home was founded by graduated students of biology science in 2000, as a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political organization. The organization appeared from the need for participation of great number of citizens in protection and conservation of environment, as well as taking an active role in civil society development through respect for biodiversity and efforts on sustainable development. We are dedicated to environmental protection and environmental improvements that foster a sustainable future and lead to social and economical improvements in the communities at national level. In order to do this, we are committed to work with different range of stakeholders to foster partnerships and work together to provide sustainable future and have strong recognition worldwide as Ecological State of Montenegro.

About Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.


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