What is the challenge?
The designation of a protected area in 2005 served as a strong acknowledgement of its natural values. However, the next important steps for effective management, such as the creation of a strong governance structure and management planning, were not enabled. The management body faced a series of issues - funding, knowledge of management strategies and ecological restoration techniques and community support.
What is the solution?
To help address this challenge, the Living Buna project partners worked with the national, regional and local authorities to increase the capacities and mechanisms for more effective management of the protected landscape. Key activities:
- Creation of a Protected Area Management Committee
To give the governance structure broader formal input, especially for a decision-making mechanism, a Management Committee was formed, composed of the management authority, a water authority, local government, community representatives and regional government.
- Management effectiveness assessment and capacity analysis, and a tailored training programme
The mid-term review examined the success of the management plan, reviewing the implementation progress of the action plan and the effectiveness of the outcomes. The Living Buna partners carried out a detailed analysis of capacity for implementation and protected area management, extensively engaging with authorities and land managers. The results informed a training programme to assist in filling knowledge and capacity gaps.
Why is this important?
The formation of the management committee ensures that the perspective and requirements of local authorities and key stakeholders are included in steering the management. It also serves as a contact for outside organisations to approach with concerns or opportunities. Through the training, the capacity and capability of the Regional Administration for Protected Areas (RAPA) based in Shkodra staff is improved, and they have received additional equipment to perform their work to a higher standard. Their knowledge allows them to have greater satisfaction from work and efficiency. The staff involved in the public visitation of the protected landscape are trained to provide a better experience to visitors, which will result in increased interest and positive tourism in the area.
The PANORAMA Solutions were submitted as part of the project Community and youth engagement for wetlands conservation, as replicable and effective actions that had a demonstrated positive impact on nature conservation and the sustainable development in the Buna River Delta. They stem from the long-term Living Buna project, implemented by the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Institute for Nature Conservation of Albania - INCA and PAP/RAC with the support of the MAVA Foundation, and contribute to Enhancing the conservation of coastal wetlands in the Mediterranean Basin while promoting Wetland-based Solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises.