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, 4 Ramsar sites and other protected areas of various categories, that when combined, account for 21.36% of the territory. Furthermore, a biosphere reserve, 45 important plant areas and 16 important bird areas are found in the country.
Meanwhile, the central government has proclaimed the Coastline and the Tirana Greenbelt as areas of national importance.
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.
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).
(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.
|Gashi Valley||15 January 1996||Ia||3,000 hectares (30 km2)|
|Rrajcë Strict Nature Reserve||7 July 2017||Ia||4,700 hectares (47 km2)|
(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.
|Butrint National Park||2 March 2000||II||8,622.2 hectares (86.222 km2)|
|Prespa National Park||18 February 1999||II||27,613.05 hectares (276.1305 km2)|
|Divjakë-Karavasta National Park||19 October 2007||II||22,389.08 hectares (223.8908 km2)|
|Llogara National Park||21 November 1966||II||1,769.20 hectares (17.6920 km2)|
|Shebenik National Park||21 May 2008||II||34,507.90 hectares (345.0790 km2)|
|Alps of Albania National Park||26 January 2022||II||82,844.65 hectares (828.4465 km2)|
|Tomorr Mountain National Park||18 July 2012||II||27,185.5 hectares (271.855 km2)|
|Lurë-Dejë Mountain National Park||21 November 1966||II||19,288.88 hectares (192.8888 km2)|
|Dajti Mountain National Park||21 June 2006||II||28,561.85 hectares (285.6185 km2)|
|Fir of Hotovë-Dangëlli National Park||17 December 2008||II||36,003.76 hectares (360.0376 km2)|
|Vjosa Wild River National Park||15 March 2023||II||12,727 hectares (127.27 km2)|
|Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park||28 April 2010||II||12,437.7 hectares (124.377 km2)|
(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).
|Tulipa Albanica Habitat||13 March 2023||III||35.5 hectares (0.355 km2)|
(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.
|Fir of Kardhiq Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||4,303.6 hectares (43.036 km2)|
|Fir of Sotirë Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||4,927.67 hectares (49.2767 km2)|
|Fir of Zhulat Nature Park||26 January 2022||IV||936.2 hectares (9.362 km2)|
|Cangonj Nature Park||27 July 1977||IV||250.3 hectares (2.503 km2)|
|Dardhë-Xhyrë Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||400.3 hectares (4.003 km2)|
|Gërmenj Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||1,410 hectares (14.1 km2)|
|Karaburun Nature Reserve||27 July 1977||IV||17,490.7 hectares (174.907 km2)|
|Korab-Koritnik Nature Park||21 December 2011||IV||53,850 hectares (538.5 km2)|
|Kunë-Vain-Talë-Patok-Fushëkuqe-Ishëm Nature Park||28 April 2010||IV||8,092.3 hectares (80.923 km2)|
|Gjergjevica Lagoon Nature Reserve||26 January 2022||IV||2,966.3 hectares (29.663 km2)|
|Shala Lagoon Nature Park||26 January 2022||IV||10,619.35 hectares (106.1935 km2)|
|Munellë Nature Park||26 January 2022||IV||20,760.05 hectares (207.6005 km2)|
|Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Nature Park||31 January 2007||IV||26,043.34 hectares (260.4334 km2)|
|Lake Ulza Nature Park||3 April 2013||IV||4,205.15 hectares (42.0515 km2)|
|Polis Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||45.1 hectares (0.451 km2)|
|Porto Palermo Nature Park||29 July 2022||IV||1,694.98 hectares (16.9498 km2)|
|Shtamë Pass Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||6,864.36 hectares (68.6436 km2)|
|Lake Shkodër Nature Reserve||2 November 2005||IV||24,049.75 hectares (240.4975 km2)|
|Stravaj and Sopot Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||1,548.9 hectares (15.489 km2)|
|Blue Eye Nature Park||15 January 1996||IV||293.3 hectares (2.933 km2)|
|Zagori Nature Park||26 January 2022||IV||24,607.63 hectares (246.0763 km2)|
|Balloll Nature Park||27 July 1977||IV||323.3 hectares (3.233 km2)|
|Bogovë Nature Park||27 July 1977||IV||342.1 hectares (3.421 km2)|
(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.
|Bjeshka e Oroshit Protected Landscape||15 January 1996||V||4,646.7 hectares (46.467 km2)|
|Fir of Drenovë-Sinicë Protected Landscape||21 November 1966||V||2,065.8 hectares (20.658 km2)|
|Guri i Nikës-Lenie-Valamarë Protected Landscape||15 January 1996||V||5,172.7 hectares (51.727 km2)|
|Qafë Bush-Kuturman Protected Landscape||27 July 1977||V||4,159.7 hectares (41.597 km2)|
|Rrushkull Protected Landscape||16 December 1995||V||579.5 hectares (5.795 km2)|
|Bisht Kamëz Protected Landscape||28 December 2020||V||491.5 hectares (4.915 km2)|
|Nikolicë Protected Landscape||15 January 1996||V||510 hectares (5.1 km2)|
|Krastë-Verjon Protected Landscape||26 July 2018||V||1,469.24 hectares (14.6924 km2)|
|Lake Ohri Protected Landscape||18 February 1999||V||28,000 hectares (280 km2)|
|Pishë Poro-Nartë Protected Landscape||22 October 2004||V||15,972.7 hectares (159.727 km2)|
|Buna River-Velipojë Protected Landscape||2 November 2005||V||21,678.85 hectares (216.7885 km2)|