Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) in partnership with Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds (BSPB) being granted by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) are implementing the project “Land of Eagles and Castles: Pilot Sustainable Tourism Model for the Albanian Adriatic Coastline”.
“The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Development, 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”.
The aim of this project is to deliver a model for establishing community-driven, nature-based tourism in three of the eight Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) that have been identified along the Albanian coastline. These KBAs are: (i) Narta Lagoon and surrounding area; (ii) Vlora Bay- Karaburun Peninsula-Çika Mountain; and (iii) Butrinti and surrounding area. These areas stretch along the southern Albanian coastline and shelter unique biodiversity in rich variety and high abundance. The selected area represents an important “crossroads of dispersal” for the flora of the Balkan region.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
The information on biodiversity components collected during the initial stage of the project will serve as a basis for further monitoring programs of the population trends of flagship species in the project KBAs. Furthermore, the results from these monitoring programs could be communicated to the authorities and used to develop and implement adequate direct conservation measures by the management bodies of the protected areas. The aim is to achieve sustainability through intervening in the following levels: (i) by building capacity of the management bodies of the KBAs; (ii) by building capacity in local target groups – e.g. hunters, fishermen; (iii) by encouraging and promoting local stakeholder networking; (iv) by integrating a form for data collection from tourists in the online project portal, (v) by encouraging ecotourism development and other sustainable livelihood activities.
Building capacities and raising awareness of local stakeholders about the importance and profits coming from the biodiversity components, and encouraging sustainable livelihood activities through providing real examples will directly decrease disturbance will assure indirect long term conservation of the flagship species within the project KBAs and will decrease the degradation and loss of natural habitats.