Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Buna Delta Protection

The Buna Delta Protection Project is supported by the MAVA Foundation with the goal to ensure the long-term conservation of species and habitats in the Buna River Velipoja Protected Landscape (BRVPL) with particular emphasis on halting or significantly reducing unsustainable development and water abstraction. The first phase is planned for 2017-2020, with a possible second phase for 2020-2022. In order to address these threats by 2022, a multifaceted action plan including knowledge and awareness, capacity development and site-based measures, as well as improved governance for the site, will be implemented.
Buna river

Project activities will look to significantly reduce or eliminate development threats currently affecting the BRVPL. Project intervention will work towards halting developments in high value wetlands in order to stop further degradation of habitats. Furthermore, the project anticipates that damaged wetlands and coastal habitats will be restored. In order to address socio-economic issues and human well-being, sustainable tourism and land use practices will be introduced and promoted. The objective is to link local economic activities with preserved coastal and wetland habitats, which will be supported by a project grant scheme. 

The Buna Delta Protection Project is part of the overarching initiative (OI3) supported by the MAVA Foundation, with aim to raise awareness on the value of Coastal Wetlands. A communication campaign has been developed aiming at improving knowledge about the functions, values and services of these important Mediterranean wetland types. The benefits of an integrated land/sea interface management will be backed up by the work delivered across the demonstration pilot sites, namely in UIcinj Salina (Montenegro), Ghar El Melh (Tunisia), Buna/Bojana Delta in Albania, Oristano (Italy) and the Mediterranean Island Wetlands “MedIsWet” project. The campaign will work on scaling up visibility of projects’ results, backed up by scientifically grounded arguments, to convince decision-makers and stakeholders around the demonstration sites of the need to protect and manage these habitats in a sustainable way.

The Buna Delta Protection Project will be implemented through the following three strategies:

  1. Increase the knowledge base and awareness on ecosystem services and values, integrated coastal wetland management, and sustainable land use practices
  2. Improve management of the pilot site by applying innovative conservation programmes and creating business models and incentives for the local communities
  3. Enable a multi-stakeholder governance and transboundary mechanism to address the key threats and support knowledge transfer and joint planning

Project outcomes and results   

The tailor designed strategies for BRVPL shall enable achieving the following results as identified in the Result Chain:

  1. Communities aware of and apply environmentally friendly land use practices
  2. Environmentally responsible tourism practices in place
  3. Development of tourism infrastructure regulated and critically important habitats restored

Project Partners

The project will be implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (IUCN ECARO) in partnership with – Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), Global Water Partnership (GWP), Tour du Valat and Institute for Nature Conservation of Albania (INCA), and in collaboration with primary stakeholders from Albania: the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration, Municipality of Shkoder, the National Agency for Protected Areas and Shkodra Regional Administration for Protected Areas





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