The first quarter of 2012 saw the first phase of the preparation of the management plans for the Buna River and Surrounding Wetlands Protected Landscape, and the Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park in the framework of a project led by IUCN in Albania.
An open discussion between stakeholders and experts resulted in the assessment and modelling of the key ecosystem conservation and community development dynamics of the two sites. The workshops produced a thorough and clear picture of the main management issues for each protected area. Concretely, the Buna River community stressed, among others, the economic importance of fishing activities in the river and the coastal lagoons of Velipoje, the urgency of addressing the water pollution issue in the Shkoder Lake that consequently appears in the Buna River and the uncontrolled hunting of water and migratory birds in the area. Stakeholders and experts in Shebenik-Jabllanicë, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of developing tourism as an alternative and desirable income generating activity, the importance of preserving the ecosystem services provided by the Park, the problem of unregulated mining and hunting and the several new hydropower schemes planned for the main rivers of the Park that cause serious concerns to the biodiversity of the area.
The innovative methodological approach for spatial planning developed by the Italian Cooperation, and promoted by IUCN, foresees this first participative phase during which experts meet stakeholders to put together scientific know-how and local knowledge in describing the protected area in a structured way. The products are the so called “system matrixes”, which will serve as a reference to steer the action toward the definition of the Management Framework of the Integrated Spatial Planning of the areas: the system diagram and the relevant indexes/indicators.
The resulting system matrixes for the Buna River Protected Landscape and Shebenik-Jabllanicë National Park indicate several pillars that management should pay attention to: Public infrastructure and services, Institutions and policies, Biodiversity, Socio-Economic development and Water management.
Next step will be the field data collection that will support the definition of the most appropriate planning measures, providing at the same time the essential data for a sound quantitative management and monitoring of the two areas.
For further information please contact:
Aleksandra Nesic, Operations Officer, IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe; Tel: +381-11-2272-411, Mob: +381-63-357-407