NGOs are helping in defining the way of properly integrating the socio-economic
MedWetCoast Albania has organized training activities in the frame of Management Planning Process.
16 April 2004
par Web Team
MWC office has reassumed the MP process by mobilizing all the other resources available in the country and bridging efforts with other active actors concerned with the environmental protection issues.
Such links were established with GTZ whose activities are focused on the contribution toward improvement of the urban planning and socio-economic factors associated with it. That provided qualified expertise in complementing the MP team and its work on performing the stakeholders’ analyses, and complementing the socio-economic aspect of these plans. Based on the achievements of the SD in this area, and making use of them there will be further update and thorough review of the socio-economic issues, problems associated and socio-economic development alternatives for solution.
CoPlan, a national recognized NGO, experienced in assistance and know-how related to socio-economic and urban planning issues, affiliated to GTZ programe (German Programe for Technical Assistance), is helping in defining the way of properly integrating the socio-economic elements of the MP in the whole process. GTZ perceives and estimates with high interest its involvement and contribute in Albania through certain projects focused on urban planning, socio-economic conflicts resolution, etc. In this aspect, MedWetCoast is successfully cooperating with GTZ, particularly with the CoPlan, which will assist, and support the management planning process by developing alternative scenarios for socio-economic and territory development.
On 19th November the MWC organized a round table with the coordinators of the management plans with the participation of the project experts and GIS expert with focus on the definition of the work plan specifics, the anticipation of the difficulties ahead and the best vision to face the activities involved in the MP process.
Through accurate investigation of the candidates, the local experts and the local facilitators are identified from different areas such as local institutions concerned with the biodiversity issues, and also the local thematic working groups in the areas are established.
These groups are asked and instructed in ongoing bases to conduct and explore all the existing bottlenecks and problems related to environmental situations in the concerned ecosystems, to build communication links according to the thematic areas and local users particularly to farmers, shepherds, fisherman, hunters, Salinas, representative businesses, and tourist operators. They are undertaking information campaign with the local communities on the MP objectives and expected activities including priority management actions.
Last months, MWC Albania put efforts in organizing three local training sessions with local stakeholders (Vlora, Novosele dhe Orikum) on issues related to management planning process, objectives, obstacles, community and local institutions involvement, etc. These meetings were attended by representatives of the local institutions as key actors who must support the elaboration and implementation of this plan. The structure of the management plan was described with case studies and concrete examples and the clear descriptions were made to interdisciplinary, multi sectoral and participatory character of this plan. Particular attention was drawn on the mechanism and instruments, such as Management Boards and Management Authorities, which will enable the progress and implementation of this process. The main phases were carefully explained to the participants pointing out the needs assessment, setting up of the management structures, evidence of the site problems and elaboration of the management objectives and management actions, conduction of the specific training according to the needs for implementation of the MP.
The Action Plan, as e very important part of the management plan was made particular reference in order to achieve protection and conservation of the habitats, natural, historical and cultural values. Regarding the legal aspect of the management planning process, the training conveyed the message that a Guide Book for the Site Management will be one of the very important products of this management plan. This will be considered also as a legal element of the management activity.
Through a SWOT- analysis clear evidence was made to the existing resources in the area, reach history, tradition and capacities of the community, and also to the high expectations among the local people. On the other side better local government structures and support by them is definitely needed.
Several issues were addressed during these training and were noted as very crucial problems to be resolved for the proper management of the sites: soil sanitization (particularly two small wetlands -Kallenga and Limpua - close to Narta lagoon), very limited cultivation practices, need for improvement of the irrigation system, shift of the planting structure to vegetables and agriculture crops, monitoring of the sea-lagoon water exchange, sewage discharge in Narta Lagoon, illegal hunting, illegal fishing and other illegal activities.
Special assistance and recommendations were provided by TdV expertise, whose experts visited the project site during January 15-19, 2004. They met with national experts, representatives of thematic groups, different stakeholders, COPLAN experts, etc. They assisted also in the 5th LSC (organized on 16 January 2004 in Vlora) - where the MP team and TdV expertise was introduced to the LSC members. During this mission, the MP team conducted the January international waterfowl census. This mission drew special attention to the evaluation of the natural heritage, with reference to national and international lists of threatened or protected species and habitats. All international convention that have been ratified by Albania must also been taken into account (Bonn, Bern, Ramsar, etc.).
As for the GIS component of the process, based on the cadastre data and other baseline information from territory adjustment plans and site diagnosis, the land use map is prepared. The zonation of the area will be carefully discussed with the local communities and users in order to have a full support during the implementation of these plans. Actually, the land-cover /land-use (agriculture, pasture land) map which is prepared will undergo the ground-truth before final production. The other maps going to be produced are habitat map (including general -delimitation of sites, protected areas), threatened species (including probably natural and cultural heritage, nature monument, etc). There are discussions among GIS expert and MP coordinators on the opportunities and arrangements needed for the mapping of water management, land ownership, wetlands uses (hunting, fishing,), access rights, activity regulation, urban planning, demography, evolution in the settlement, spatial planning (e.g. new roads).
It is a common believe and understanding that the development of tourism in the area must be seen as a possible option, but the wise use of nature resources and the improvement of population livelihood has to be improved first (water supply, sewage plant, management of fish stocks). In the course of last three months, the draft stakeholders’ analysis is completed, providing a significant development for the process of the MP. The comments are being retrieved from all affiliated experts and interested partners
Also during march 2004, there were two missions organized in each of the project sites (Narta and Orikumi) under the supervision of the MP coordinators. The round tables were organized with fisherman groups in Orikumi. Fishing practices were discussed and alternatives for its improvement (including the support which might help those fisherman in different forms e.g. access to the market, improved integration of these groups into the management plan of this site). There were ideas and knowledge shared on problems like hydraulic structure of the communication channels and its maintenance alternatives, restorations of the Orikumi lagoon banks, product certification by the respective institutions, twining with other NGOs/fisherman groups, set-up of the gate to control the tiding system, restoration works for the Valltos Forest (a very nice and interesting forest which used to exist previously close to the lagoon), introduction of the assurances mechanism for their product etc. Part of this mission was also a lecture on ecology and local ecotourism with a class of pupils form the Orikumi High School.
A training meeting was further organized with the farmer group who identified the needs on increase of the agricultural product far from the urban area, improvement of the agricultural infrastructure (e.g. water bearing holes in the mountain for the pasture and livestock), and introduction of the native cultures of livestock and pastry products (horticulture, wine production, etc.).
P.S. Violeta Zuna, Project Manager, MedWetCoast Albania
P.S. Violeta Zuna, Project Manager, MedWetCoast Albania