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Albania celebrates World Ranger Day

Albania celebrates World Ranger Day

                                                                                                                       

In the frame of celebrating the World Ranger Day, the National Agency of Protected Areas and the Association of National Parks, with the support of the NaturAL project funded by the European Union, coordinated by Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS) in partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Italian Association of Botanists (SBI), are coordinating a number of activities across twelve regional administrations in Albania.

The World Ranger Day July 31st commemorates and values the important work and the important role of the rangers all over the world as guardians of our natural and cultural heritage. This day was celebrated for the first time 10 years ago in 2007.

Across the 12 Regional Administrations of Protected Areas in Albania celebrations of this day will take place from the 23rd to 31st of July, under a joint motto "I want to be a Ranger". Activities will focus mainly on engaging with children, participants of summer schools and also having discussions with the local community about the benefits of living nearby and preserving these areas, underlying also the important role of the rangers in this preservation. Education is the most important investment for a sustainable future, which is why working with children and young people are one of the priority areas for the National Agency of Protected Areas. Reaching out to these groups aims to educate and bring closer the importance of nature and its preservation, as well as the joy and social benefits it brings to the local community.

In Albania, a ranger is an employee of the National Agency of Protected Areas, and is a vital pillar in the administrative and practical structure dedicated to nature protection. Through regular patrols a ranger is in direct and constant contact with flora and fauna, often exposed to harsh environmental conditions. During this time s/he monitors for any changes in biodiversity, but is also readily at risk when dealing with illegal activities such as tree cutting, illegal fishing or hunting. With sound knowledge and understanding of the PA, a ranger is also the best guide of the park and can promote and share its values.


 

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About National Agency for Protected Areas (NAPA) and Regional Administration for Protected Areas (RAPA)

Founded in 2015, National Agency of Protected Areas is responsible for management, protection, development, expansion and operation of the protected areas in Albania. NAPA and RAPA have duties and responsibilities imposed by environmental legislation and the ministry responsible for protected areas, and the most central are (a) management of protected areas and habitats under national laws and international conventions and agreements; (b) promotion and support to the collection and dissemination of information, environmental education and public awareness for protected areas and (c) development of sustainable economic activities within protected areas.

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NaturAL Project

NaturAL project full title is: ”Strengthening national capacity in nature protection – preparation for Natura 2000 network”. It is funded by the European Union and aims to prevent  biodiversity loss through improved management of protected areas in Albania. The project NaturAL is co-funded and implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Italian Botanical Society (SBI).

The project supports implementation of five existing management plans in protected areas which have been selected as pilot sites: Lake Shkodra, Korab-Koritnik, Divjaka-Karavasta, Tomorri Mountain and Bredhi i Hotoves - Dangelli. Limited actions also foreseen to be implemented in the five secondary pilot sites: Buna River-Velipoje, Dajti Mountain, Shebenik-Jabllanica, Vjosa-Narta and Llogara.

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Association of National Parks of Albania

The National Association of Albanian Parks is a non-profit organization established to raise awareness of and support the critical work that the protected areas staff do in conserving our natural and cultural heritage. The role of the NAAP is to empower protected areas staff, particularly the rangers by supporting their efforts and providing training, capacity building and exchange programs to its members in order to ensure that park rangers are well trained and properly equipped to manage the country’s most precious wildernesses.

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