Network of protected areas in Albania (2020)[1]

Despite being a relatively small country, Albania is exceedingly rich in biodiversity. Its ecosystems and habitats support over 5,550 species of vascular and non-vascular plants and more than 15,600 species of coniferous and non-coniferous evergreens, most of which are threatened at global and European levels. The country has made recent efforts to expand its network of protected areas which now include: 11 national parks, 1 marine park, 718 nature monuments, 23 managed nature reserves, 11 protected landscapes, 4 World Heritage Sites,[2] 4 Ramsar sites[3] and other protected areas of various categories, that when combined, account for 21.36% of the territory.[4] Furthermore, a biosphere reserve, 45 important plant areas and 16 important bird areas are found in the country.[5][6]

Meanwhile, the central government has proclaimed the Coastline and the Tirana Greenbelt as areas of national importance.[7]

At present, protected areas are constantly under threat by illegal logging, forest fires and the construction of hydroelectric power plants which have prompted ongoing protests from environmentalists and civil society.[8]

The national policy for governing and the management of protected areas is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism through the National Agency of Protected Areas (AKZM).[9]

Strict nature reserves

(Cat. Ia) Strict nature reserves are limited areas of ecological significance, preserved and protected for scientific purposes, to safeguard the living world and all its cultural and natural values. Two such areas in the country have this designation: Gashi Valley and Rrajcë Strict Nature Reserve.

  World Heritage Site
Name Image Designated IUCN cat. Area Map
Gashi Valley 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) Ia 3,000 hectares (30 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Rrajcë Strict Nature Reserve 7 July 2017 (2017-07-07) Ia 4,700 hectares (47 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania

National parks

(Cat. II) National parks are vast areas of land or water, typically not less than 1000 hectares in size, that possess exceptional scientific, ecological, and educational values and are kept away from strenuous human activities. These parks are protected and monitored to maintain the ecological balance of their ecosystems, to promote scientific research, and to provide visitors with spiritual and educational experiences, in compliance with environmental and cultural regulations. A total of 12 national parks, encompassing a surface area of 313,950.77 hectares (3,140 km2), occupy 10.92% of the country's territory.[10][11]

  World Heritage Site
  Ramsar wetland or a marine protected area
Logo Name Image Designated IUCN cat. Area[12] Map
Butrint National Park 2 March 2000 (2000-03-02)[13] II 8,622.2 hectares (86.222 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Prespa National Park 18 February 1999 (1999-02-18)[14] II 27,613.05 hectares (276.1305 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Divjakë-Karavasta National Park 19 October 2007 (2007-10-19)[15] II 22,389.08 hectares (223.8908 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Llogara National Park 21 November 1966 (1966-11-21)[16] II 1,769.20 hectares (17.6920 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Shebenik National Park 21 May 2008 (2008-05-21)[17] II 34,507.90 hectares (345.0790 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Alps of Albania National Park 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26)[18] II 82,844.65 hectares (828.4465 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Tomorr Mountain National Park 18 July 2012 (2012-07-18)[19] II 27,185.5 hectares (271.855 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Lurë-Dejë Mountain National Park 21 November 1966 (1966-11-21)[20] II 19,288.88 hectares (192.8888 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Dajti Mountain National Park 21 June 2006 (2006-06-21)[21] II 28,561.85 hectares (285.6185 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Fir of Hotovë-Dangëlli National Park 17 December 2008 (2008-12-17)[22] II 36,003.76 hectares (360.0376 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Vjosa Wild River National Park 15 March 2023 (2023-03-15)[23] II 12,727 hectares (127.27 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park 28 April 2010 (2010-04-28)[24] II 12,437.7 hectares (124.377 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania

Natural monuments

(Cat. III) Natural monuments typically consist of natural entities and habitats that cover a limited area of land, usually no more than 50 hectares. These areas are recognized for their significant scientific, ecological, cultural, historical, aesthetic, and religious values. They may include both living organisms, such as rare or endemic species of trees and plants, as well as non-living environmental features like unique geological formations created by wind, ice, or water erosion, such as: karst springs and lakes, glacial lakes, wetlands, and sources of mining or thermal activity. A total of 718 nature monuments have been designated (government decision no. 303, dated 10.05.2019).[25]

Name Image Designated IUCN cat. Area Map
Tulipa Albanica Habitat 13 March 2023 (2023-03-13) III 35.5 hectares (0.355 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania

Managed nature reserves

(Cat. IV) Managed nature reserves are protected areas of land or water that are of local and regional importance. These areas are maintained through proper management to preserve the species, habitats, and other unique natural phenomena, with the aim of enhancing their quality and utilizing them for recreational and entertainment purposes, as well as for studies, educational, and cultural activities. A total of 23 managed nature reserves, encompassing a surface area of 216,024.68 hectares (2,160 km2), occupy 7.5% of the territory.[26]

Name Image Designated IUCN cat. Area Map
Fir of Kardhiq Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 4,303.6 hectares (43.036 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Fir of Sotirë Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 4,927.67 hectares (49.2767 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Fir of Zhulat Nature Park 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26) IV 936.2 hectares (9.362 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Cangonj Nature Park 27 July 1977 (1977-07-27) IV 250.3 hectares (2.503 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Dardhë-Xhyrë Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 400.3 hectares (4.003 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Gërmenj Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 1,410 hectares (14.1 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Karaburun Nature Reserve 27 July 1977 (1977-07-27) IV 17,490.7 hectares (174.907 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Korab-Koritnik Nature Park 21 December 2011 (2011-12-21) IV 53,850 hectares (538.5 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Kunë-Vain-Talë-Patok-Fushëkuqe-Ishëm Nature Park 28 April 2010 (2010-04-28) IV 8,092.3 hectares (80.923 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Gjergjevica Lagoon Nature Reserve 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26) IV 2,966.3 hectares (29.663 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Shala Lagoon Nature Park 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26) IV 10,619.35 hectares (106.1935 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Munellë Nature Park 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26) IV 20,760.05 hectares (207.6005 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Nature Park 31 January 2007 (2007-01-31) IV 26,043.34 hectares (260.4334 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Lake Ulza Nature Park 3 April 2013 (2013-04-03) IV 4,205.15 hectares (42.0515 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Polis Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 45.1 hectares (0.451 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Porto Palermo Nature Park 29 July 2022 (2022-07-29) IV 1,694.98 hectares (16.9498 km2)[27]
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Shtamë Pass Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 6,864.36 hectares (68.6436 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Lake Shkodër Nature Reserve 2 November 2005 (2005-11-02) IV 24,049.75 hectares (240.4975 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Stravaj and Sopot Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 1,548.9 hectares (15.489 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Blue Eye Nature Park 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) IV 293.3 hectares (2.933 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Zagori Nature Park 26 January 2022 (2022-01-26) IV 24,607.63 hectares (246.0763 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Balloll Nature Park 27 July 1977 (1977-07-27) IV 323.3 hectares (3.233 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Bogovë Nature Park 27 July 1977 (1977-07-27) IV 342.1 hectares (3.421 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania

Protected landscapes

(Cat. V) Protected landscapes and seascapes are primarily managed for the preservation of landscape values and to provide recreational opportunities for relaxation and entertainment. This category includes areas with residential centers that allow activities like agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fishing, etc., both on land and in sea. The goal is to preserve the quality of landscapes and the harmonious interaction of human activity in them, and maintain the biological diversity they host. A total of 11 protected landscapes, encompassing a surface area of 84,746.69 hectares (847.5 km2), occupy 2.94% of the territory.

  Part of the Emerald network
Name Image Designated IUCN cat. Area Map
Bjeshka e Oroshit Protected Landscape 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) V 4,646.7 hectares (46.467 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Fir of Drenovë-Sinicë Protected Landscape 21 November 1966 (1966-11-21) V 2,065.8 hectares (20.658 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Guri i Nikës-Lenie-Valamarë Protected Landscape 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) V 5,172.7 hectares (51.727 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Qafë Bush-Kuturman Protected Landscape 27 July 1977 (1977-07-27) V 4,159.7 hectares (41.597 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Rrushkull Protected Landscape 16 December 1995 (1995-12-16) V 579.5 hectares (5.795 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Bisht Kamëz Protected Landscape 28 December 2020 (2020-12-28) V 491.5 hectares (4.915 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Nikolicë Protected Landscape 15 January 1996 (1996-01-15) V 510 hectares (5.1 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Krastë-Verjon Protected Landscape 26 July 2018 (2018-07-26) V 1,469.24 hectares (14.6924 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Lake Ohri Protected Landscape 18 February 1999 (1999-02-18) V 28,000 hectares (280 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Pishë Poro-Nartë Protected Landscape 22 October 2004 (2004-10-22) V 15,972.7 hectares (159.727 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania
Buna River-Velipojë Protected Landscape 2 November 2005 (2005-11-02) V 21,678.85 hectares (216.7885 km2)
Protected areas of Albania is located in Albania
Protected areas of Albania

See also

References

  1. ^ "Map" (PDF). gazetasi.al. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  2. ^ UNESCO. "Albania". whc.unesco.org.
  3. ^ Ramsar Convention. "ALBANIA" (PDF). ramsar.org.
  4. ^ "WDPA - Designation Display". Archived from the original on 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  5. ^ "Important Plant Areas of the south and east Mediterranean region" (PDF). portals.iucn.org. p. 76.
  6. ^ BirdLife International. "Albania". datazone.birdlife.org.
  7. ^ "Baza Ligjore | APR Tirana". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  8. ^ "FLETORJA ZYRTARE" (PHP). planifikimi.gov.al. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  9. ^ "Zonat e Mbrojtura në Shqipëri". akzm.gov.al. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Për miratimin e ndryshimit të statusit dhe të sipërfaqes së ekosistemeve natyrore park kombëtar (kategoria ii) të zonave të mbrojtura mjedisore". Qendra e Botimeve Zyrtare. 26 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Initial assessment of protected areas in Albania" (PDF). iucn.org. pp. 1–12.
  12. ^ "Vendime të miratuara në mbledhjen e Këshillit të Ministrave, datë 26 Janar 2022" (in Albanian). Kryeministria. 26 January 2022. Archived from the original on 24 March 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  13. ^ "Parku Kombëtar i Butrintit – Plani i Menaxhimit të Integruar (2020-2030)" (PDF). kultura.gov.al. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Parku Kombëtar i Prespës pajiset me sinjalistikën vertikale". ata.gov.al. Agjencia Telegrafike Shqiptare. 5 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Parku i Karavastasë: Një destinacion ndryshe". monitor.al. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Final Report on the Study on Landscape of the National Park Llogara" (PDF). United Nations Development Program. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  17. ^ Brazhda, Fatmir. "Parku Kombëtar Shebenik-Jabllanicë". albNatyra. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  18. ^ "Vendime të miratuara në mbledhjen e Këshillit të Ministrave". kryeministria.al. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  19. ^ "PVKM për miratimin e ndryshimit në sipërfaqe të ekosistemit natyror "Mali i Tomorrit" i shpallur Park Kombëtar". konsultimipublik.gov.al. Ministria e Turizmit dhe Mjedisit. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  20. ^ Parmentier, Laurian (15 November 2022). "Integrative analysis reveals cryptic speciation linked to habitat differentiation within Albanian populations of the anomalous blues (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae, Polyommatus Latreille, 1804)". Comparative Cytogenetics.
  21. ^ "Decision no.715 dated 23.06.2009 amending Decision No.402 dated 21.6.2006 proclaiming National Park the Dajti Mountain natural ecosystem". FAOLEX. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  22. ^ "Regulation No. 1631 proclaiming the natural ecosystem of Bredhi I Hotoves-Dangelli as national park". UNEP. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  23. ^ Katanich, Doloresz (15 March 2023). "'Conserved forever': Albania's Vjosa officially declared Europe's first wild river national park". Euronews.
  24. ^ "10 years Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park". UNDP. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  25. ^ "40-vjetori i Monumenteve të Natyrës". inca-al.org. Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  26. ^ "Rrjeti i Zonave të Mbrojtura në Shqipëri" (PDF). cbd.int. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  27. ^ "UNEP/MAP welcomes the announcement of a protected area in Porto-Palermo Bay in Albania". United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 2 September 2022. Archived from the original on 5 September 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2023.