Take a break, enjoy your Protected Area!

Take a break, enjoy your Protected Area!

Celebrating European Day of Parks: Changing climate – changing parks

Tirana May 2017 - On the 24th of May celebrations of the European Day of Parks will take place across Europe, carrying the message: Changing climate – changing parks. On this occasion, and to mark 50+ years of Protected Areas in Albania, the NaturAL project is organising an official ceremony at the Dajti Mountain near Tirana, from 11h – 12h.  Children from “Ymer Lala” 9-grade school will welcome the guests by releasing their kites, built together with officers from Tirana Regional Agency for Protected Areas (RAPA) and will enjoy the park with games prepared by the park rangers.  During the official part of the event, Mr. Zamir Dedej, Director of the Protected Areas will welcome the audience, followed by keynote speakers including Mr. Lefter Koka Minister of Environment. The occasion is followed by the Ceremony during which representatives of the RAPAs from across Albania will officially receive tools, technical equipment and means of transport sponsored by the NaturAL project. The event will feature visits to the newly refurbished Ranger’s Hut and the Dajti Visitor Centre.

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.

The project 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 from the community and the parks, putting in evidence, the ecosystem services of the parks, among which is the recreational service. The school children will enjoy running in the beech forests, flying kites and playing games in nature.

Dajti, being the 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. The European Day of Parks 2017 carries the message: Changing climate – changing parks. ‘’The Climate is changing, bringing changes that affect the life of every being on earth. Nature was never so threatened – nor so needed – as before.  The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we crop, they all depend on the quality of our ecosystems. From the mountain tops to the deep seas, there is a huge variety of habitats protected by National, Nature, Regional, N2000, Marine or Periurban Parks. In Europe, nature has a level of protection thanks to the work of our Parks: they preserve our natural resources and are authentic hubs of biodiversity. They are our life support system’, the EUROPARK Federation.

Recreational services that parks provide are also an important contributor to the local economy, because they create the need for visitor services such as restaurants, hotels and refreshments. There are over 20 protected areas across Albania that offer exclusive beauties, high diversity of habitats, species as well as culture, that are of interest to local and international tourists and are invaluable resources for the whole country. Without doubt, Protected Areas contribute to the economy of the whole country as does the nature within them.

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.

For more information please contact:

Deniz Xhoga, National Agency for Protected Areas, E: Deniz.Xhoga@akzm.gov.al  

Matilda Duri, NaturAL Project office, Tel: +355 4 2240 880, E: info@natural.al      

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