HAPPY NATIONAL PELICAN’S DAY!

HAPPY NATIONAL PELICAN’S DAY!

  Today, 10th of May 2021, we celebrate the National Day of the Dalmatian Pelican. This day was designated 5 years ago, on the 10th of May 2017, to respect the efforts, to contribute further to the protection of this flagship species of Albania and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park and to raise the public awareness and particularly the local one on the importance of the conservation of this symbolic species. Today, we celebrate the results of the long-term efforts for the protection of the species that started since 2000 with the work of our colleague Taulant Bino, together with members of the local community of Divjaka and Rremas. In year 2000, the Dalmatian Pelican colony was in the brink of extinction with only 19 breeding pairs. The then efforts, despite the very troubled times in terms of poor socio-economic conditions and total lack of public order, halted the further reduction of the colony, testified the first increase in numbers towards a positive trend and marked the...

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4 REASONS TO CELEBRATE IN A DAY/WEEKEND!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD7MY0G4AoY Here comes the most beautiful time of the year! We have entered the most fantastic period of great celebrations! AOS along with its teams, young people and wildlife enthusiasts, who have come together and are getting the most out of this fun and eventful weekend.   World Migratory Bird Day 2021 (WMBD2021) in Tirana and Gjirokastra; Global Birding Day 2021 in Narta, Divjaka, Presa, and Shkodra; Flight For Survival in Tirana and Gjirokastra; Dalmatian Pelican’s Day 2021 in Tirana and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.   World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is being celebrated worldwide today, an event that takes place twice a year, in spring and autumn. Thousands of nature and wildlife enthusiasts around the world are currently celebrating the most beautiful natural phenomenon and spectacle, where millions of birds conquer the sky. AOS has brought the highlights from the annual trip /migration closer to the public on the biggest...

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Check out the newly launched website of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

Check out the newly launched website of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

The BalkanDetox LIFE project is a collaborative effort aiming to strengthen national capacities and raise awareness to fight illegal wildlife poisoning across seven Balkan countries. The use of poison baits is an unselective and damaging practice of killing animals, severely threatening many endangered species. It is urgent to address this issue. The new BalkanDetox LIFE website outlines the scale and scope of this problem and what measures the project team will undertake to tackle poisoning.   BalkanDetox LIFE website The new website allows visitors to learn about the extent of illegal wildlife poisoning in the Balkans by detailing the problem, hotspots, motives, legislation, and solutions, and at the same time, providing preventive measures and safe alternatives to poison baits that help resolve wildlife-human conflict. The website also demonstrates the various and targeted anti-poison actions the project team will implement to tackle this pressing conservation issue,...

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Protected Areas in Albania are threatened in order to pave the way for infrastructure projects

Protected Areas in Albania are threatened in order to pave the way for infrastructure projects

 NTC’s decision for the Network of Protected Areas in Albania deletes from the map areas of international and national importance  The group comprised of environmental organizations and the academic community of Albania, supported by foreign partner organizations, strongly opposes the process and results of the Review of the National Network of Protected Areas in Albania. The reason for the resumption of the debate was the publication of NTC’s draft decision No. 10, dated 28 December 2020, which has decided on the delimitation and internal zoning of the National Network of Protected Areas. The decision was taken following the initiative previously announced in August 2019 by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment. The draft decision excludes from the protected areas of Divjaka-Karavasta, Butrint, Vjosa-Narta, Buna-Velipoja, etc. entire traditional agricultural landscapes, as well as urban areas. Furthermore, this draft decision deletes from the map about 15,000 ha of Protected Areas...

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Kërcënohen Zonat e Mbrojtura në Shqipëri për t’i hapur rrugë projekteve infrastrukturore

Kërcënohen Zonat e Mbrojtura në Shqipëri për t’i hapur rrugë projekteve infrastrukturore

Vendimi i KKT i marrë në bllok për Rrjetin e Zonave të Mbrojtura në Shqipëri fshin nga harta zonat me rëndësi ndërkombëtare dhe kombëtare  Tiranë 20 Mars 2021- Grupimi i organizatave mjedisore dhe botës akademike në Shqipëri, të mbështetur nga organizata të huaja patnere, kundërshton me forcë procesin dhe rezultatet e Rishikimit të Rrjetit Kombëtar të Zonave të Mbrojtura Mjedisore në Shqipëri. Shkak për rinisjen e debatit është bërë publikimi i projekt-vendimit të KKT Nr. 10, datë 28 dhjetor 2020, që ka vendosur për përcaktimin e kufijve dhe zonimit të brendshëm të Rrjetit Kombëtar të Zonave të Mbrojtura. Vendimi është marrë pas nismës së shpallur më parë në gusht 2019 nga Ministria e Turizmit dhe Mjedisit. Projekt-vendimi përjashton nga Zonat e Mbrojtura në Divjakë-Karavasta, Butrint, Vjosë-Nartë, Bunë-Velipojë etj sipërfaqe të tëra të tokave bujqësore me përdorim tradicional si dhe zona urbane. Për më tepër ky project-vendim fshin nga harta rreth 15,000 ha të Zonave të Mbrojtura...

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The second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network”

The second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network”

On March 18, the second hybrid consultative meeting on “Boundaries and Internal Zoning of the Protected Areas Network” was held between civil society representatives and academics. Not far from the beginning of the second week of March, representatives of this network are acquainted with a draft decision, although expected, of the National Territory Council (NTC) regarding the network of Protected Areas; a decision that evaluated from the perspective of experts,  paves the way for investments in the internal borders of the PAs. In the most sought-after sites from the point of view of investment demand and at the same time, the most important areas in terms of biodiversity, we encounter extreme fragmentation of these areas in the case of the agricultural and urban lands in the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park as well as the centered “stain” in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape, thus laying the "red carpet" for Vlora International Airport. Subsequently, this draft decision will not...

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Lead is poison

Lead is poison

Based on your feedback and comments in our most recent post regarding the impact of lead ammunition in wetlands, we will continue to address this issue. This time by presenting a short awareness video in order to once again highlight the negative consequences that lead has in our wetland environments. As a result of lead shot, more than 𝟮𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 are deposited each year in European wetlands, which subsequently leads the poisoning of 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝘄𝗹 each year in Europe by way of ingestion. In Albania, there are still no studies that document the impact of lead on our wetlands, however the phenomenon exists. Lead deposited in wetlands affects not only waterfowl and other organisms that feed on these environments, but also other links in the food chain, such as raptors, scavengers, and even humans. The presence of lead in our body and other organisms causes serious disorders and, in some cases, death. Understandably, legal changes are needed in our...

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Call for proposals for the design services and concept-ideas, in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons)

Call for proposals for the design services and concept-ideas, in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons)

AOS - Albanian Ornithological Society seeks proposals from architecture studios or individuals practicing the profession of architect, who provide design services for concept-ideas, more specifically in relation to the design of the creation of long-term, sustainable, and ecological nesting habitats for the Little tern (Sternula albifrons). AOS - Albanian Ornithological Society in cooperation with the Regional Agency of Protected Areas - Fier Region (RAPA FIER) and representatives of the local community, has been taking concrete measures for years to rehabilitate or improve the population status of flagship species in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. Based on several successful years of experience with the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), in the creation and expansion of natural areas for the reproduction of individuals of the colony as the only breeding ground on a national level for the species. Similarly, we seek to follow the same strategy by expanding and creating new...

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Impacts of lead shot ammunition in wetlands

Impacts of lead shot ammunition in wetlands

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘂𝗺 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗮𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀. For a long time lead has been one of the most used metals in ammunition because of its convenient characteristics like mass and flexibility. However, the consequences that lead concentrations can have on the body are severe and sometimes fatal. Based on this fact, the EU has decided on January 25, 2021 to ban the use of lead shot for hunting in wetlands, giving member countries time to permanently ban the use of this ammunition until February 15, 2023. In some countries, such as Denmark and The Netherlands, this legal measure has been in force for many years, replacing bullets with steel or tungsten-based ammunition. Other non-EU countries are trying to implement this initiative. What about Albania? In our country, there is still very little, if any, talk about this phenomenon. People are skeptical of the facts presented about the negative effects of lead on the...

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Students Of Conservation Youth Club-CYC From Gjirokastra, Albania, Take Care Of Nature And The Egyptian Vulture

Students Of Conservation Youth Club-CYC From Gjirokastra, Albania, Take Care Of Nature And The Egyptian Vulture

The first weekend of February marked a journey full of sunshine, joy, and a lot of love for nature and conservation of endangered species, of a new 1-year cooperation between the members of CYC-Gjirokastra, their teacher and leader of the network, Mr. Gentjan Hyka, and AOS. For the third consecutive year, the project "Egyptian Vulture New Life" is represented by the young ambassadors, a network that is becoming more and more consolidated, united by passion and their only goal: Leading the fight for Albanian wildlife conservation with their common denominator, rescuing the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). The youngsters themselves insisted for these activities to be carried out as soon as possible with the desire and good will to get more information about the activities and plans that await us for this year. As a symbol of this very fruitful, friendly, well-intentioned, and hopeful cooperation for this country, some pine seedlings were planted that weekend in Viroi Park, a...

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BirdID Albania: Interesting observation from Kune-Vain-Tale Nature Park

BirdID Albania: Interesting observation from Kune-Vain-Tale Nature Park

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗞𝘂𝗻𝗲-𝗩𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗼 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝘄𝗲𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗹𝗯𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗮? For many visitors, this might be a non-relevant question! This is not the case for the ornithologists and the the students of BirdID Albania. Kune-Vaini is a coastal wetland with high quantities of fresh water due to the impact of artesian wells that provide continuous fresh water to this lagoon system. Due this fresh water discharge, the wetland system is covered by large reedbeds, creating thus one of the most wetland sites of Albania. The fresh waters and reedbeds are the main reason for the presence of high numbers of ducks, songbirds of reedbeds as well as many other species specialized in fresh and brackish waters. This very interesting ecosystem, was the site visited by students of BirdID Albania during the weekend of January 30-31, 2021. The observed bird species were very interesting. It was worth noting the presence of Eurasian bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Redwing (Turdus iliacus), Common...

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Taulant Bino, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Taulant Bino, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Meet 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝗱𝘀 and their critical habitats, but not only. The most recent environmental causes, mainly those related to Protected Areas and more specifically against unsustainable developments in Important Bird Areas (IBAs), Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), causes against developments that challenge international conventions and domestic legislation dealing with fauna and specifically birds, habitats, and biodiversity as a whole, share a common figure – 𝗧𝗮𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝗻𝗼. Dr. Bino is the president of the 𝗔𝗹𝗯𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗢𝗿𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘁𝘆 (𝗔𝗢𝗦) and lecturer in Ecology at Polis University. He is a Biologist by profession and Doctor of Science in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (Montpellier, France) since 1998. His research activity extends to taxonomy, geographical distribution, ecology and bird conservation, monitoring and conservation of biodiversity, drafting action plans for the conservation of species and protected areas in Albania and the Balkan...

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THE GOLDEN EAGLE, OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL, IS SHOT WITH A FIREARM

THE GOLDEN EAGLE, OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL, IS SHOT WITH A FIREARM

A few days ago, the staff of RAPA Berat notified about the finding of a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in Skrapar. The eagle was promptly transported by them to the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. The X-ray, performed by RAPA Fier, confirmed the suspicion that the bird was injured and unable to fly. The X-ray scan revealed that the body of the Golden Eagle was covered with pellets and the right wing was broken. Most likely, the bird was shot with the intention to be caught and used for trade. Therefore, we are dealing with a victim of poaching for the purpose of illegal wildlife trading. Both actions are strictly prohibited and should be penalized. The Golden Eagle, this national symbol, the magnificent bird of our mountains, is an integral part of our national identity and pride. Therefore, the shooting or trading of this eagle is not yet another murder or trading case that should be neglected. It is murder and desecration of our national symbol and...

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Ermelinda Mahmutaj, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Ermelinda Mahmutaj, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Meet the 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗛𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘁, who has led many national campaigns for nature and the environment, as well as providing support and expertise on the Botanical Garden issue, against Tomorri Mountain quarries, the Mabetex cause, and most recently , in the case of Vlora airport. Ms. Ermelinda Mahmutaj, researcher and lecturer at the University of Tirana and Non for-profit Executive in 𝗘𝗗𝗘𝗡 centre. She holds a PhD in Conservation Biology and 13 years of experience with research and projects in national and international teams. Her research topic is in vegetation, Natura 2000 habitats, ecosystem services, adaptive conservation management. By having more than 10 years of work experience in the non-for-profit environmental sector she has developed a sound profile on 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝗻𝘃𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝘆 and EU integration. She has excellent communication skills, which are visible in her publication portfolio, diverse presentations and public debates. Since the beginning, she has invested in...

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Long Tailed Duck, from the Arctic to Kune-Vain!

Long Tailed Duck, from the Arctic to Kune-Vain!

AOS team, the students of BirdID 2021 Albania and ADZM Lezhe have the pleasure to introduce you to the most charming pair who arrived in the Ceka lagoon in the Kune-Vain Nature Managed Reserve. It is the 𝗟𝗼𝗻𝗴-𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗗𝘂𝗰𝗸 (𝘾𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙪𝙡𝙖 𝙝𝙮𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨), a species that has not been observed in the Albanian coast since several years. The observation of the two individuals (apparently a pair) was both exciting and impressive. Two white ducks that were initially cleaning their feathers, later began to dive and disappear underwater in search of food consisting of animal organisms, such as crustaceans, insect larvae, mollusks, even fish but also algae or plant seeds. 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴?As shown on the map, the Long-tailed Duck spreads only in Northern Hemisphere where it breeds mainly in the Arctic circle. During winter, it occurs mainly in the northern parts of Asia and Northern America as well as north of the European Continent including the Baltic Sea and the coasts of Great...

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First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS Tag as part of an innovative project to track illegal wildlife poisoning across seven Balkan countries

First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS Tag as part of an innovative project to track illegal wildlife poisoning across seven Balkan countries

The first Griffon Vulture was equipped with a GPS tag in Bulgaria within the BalkanDetox LIFE project for a very special reason — to help track and tackle illegal wildlife poisoning incidents in the Balkans. GPS technology will enable the project team to find and rescue poisoned vultures quickly while also assisting them in prosecuting criminals to minimize the scale and scope of this harmful practice across seven Balkan countries! First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS tag within BalkanDetox LIFE On Tuesday 2 January 2021, a BalkanDetox LIFE team equipped a Griffon Vulture with a GPS tag in the Kresna Gorge, the first within the new LIFE-funded project. The team from the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF) who tagged the Griffon Vulture named the individual "EXTREME", not only because of the wing tag EX but also because it was perhaps the most feisty bird they came across so far. It is normal for Griffon Vultures to behave aggressively when captured, but this individual was an...

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Dorian Matlija, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Dorian Matlija, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Meet our 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀, who has been very active through his expertise in all the prominent causes such as the protection of the National Theater, the protection of Vjosa River, Mabetex and Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, Anti-Defamation Law for Media, the Latest Protests, the Boundary Review of the Protected Areas, and most recently, Vlora Airport. 𝗗𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗹𝗶𝗷𝗮 Dorian Matlija studied law at the University of Tirana, Albania and has been a practising attorney for more than fifteen years. He is currently the Executive Director and main legal counsel of 𝗥𝗲𝘀 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮, an Albanian human rights NGO active in the field of legal protection of rights through litigation and advocacy. He is working on access to justice, protection of environment, right to life, freedom of expression and information cases. Prior to joining Res Publica, Dorian Matlija held the post of legal director of the Albanian public...

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Odyssey of the Egyptian Vulture

Odyssey of the Egyptian Vulture

Games and recreational activities are a super strategy of conveying information not through books, not through PowerPoint presentations, not through lectures or blackboards, but through a perfect combination of their basic elements, which strongly influences the education and intelligence of a child but not only, as the game knows no age. The uniqueness of this board game "Odyssey of the Egyptian Vulture" lies precisely in the interesting facts about the bird, its flyway, the threats it encounters during migration. The approach and design make this game quite interactive and challenging. Although the game is for children, our staff did not hesitate to try the pleasure of being the first in this adventure as well. The game can be found in 8 different languages and can be downloaded from the relevant links listed below: Albanian language https://bit.ly/3a8KX2cAmharic language https://bit.ly/3tWsw99Arabic language https://bit.ly/2Z8ROCIBulgarian language https://bit.ly/3pbFZ9kGreek...

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Ferdinand Bego, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

Ferdinand Bego, trainer on the Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Nature Advocacy Youth Camp

𝗠𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗿 𝗙𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗴𝗼 – lecturer in "Vertebrate Zoology", "Biodiversity and its Conservation" and "Study of Fauna" at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Professor Ferdinand Bego will share with us during the camp his experience in relation to not only the identification of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians but also the approach and defense strategies for these groups. 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗳. 𝗙𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗴𝗼 Graduated with a degree in Biology in 1988. Doctor of Science in 1997. Associate Professor in 2004 and Professor in 2013. Lecturer in Vertebrate Zoology in the Bachelor’s program, Biology, and in the courses "Biodiversity and its conservation" and "Study of Fauna" in the Master’s program, Environmental Biology. Referee in over 50 national and international conferences, author and co-author of more than 50 scientific articles in foreign and domestic journals. Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences for scientific projects from 2016 onwards and a member of the Board of Administration of...

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Press Release of the Grouping of Environmental Organizations Regarding the Decision Making for the Construction of Vlora International Airport in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Area (February 9, 2021)

Press Release of the Grouping of Environmental Organizations Regarding the Decision Making for the Construction of Vlora International Airport in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Area (February 9, 2021)

The group of local Environmental Organizations, following the open letter addressed to Prime Minister Rama, on February 1, 2021 (link of the letter) from the below national and international organizations wants to react today to the statement of Minister Klosi, on February 4, 2021, regarding the debate between civil society and the Albanian government concerning the decision-making for the construction of Vlora International Airport. In this interview, Minister Klosi describes the debate on Vlora International Airport as untrue, emphasizes that the trace of the proposed airport is located on an area that has historically been an airport, further adds that the Vjosa-Narta area is not a Protected Area but a Protected Landscape, and finally refers to the meeting of the Council of Territorial Management (CTM) for a decision that ensures the continuity of Vlora airport within the Vjosa-Narta Protected Area. Furthermore, as we have emphasized in the letter dated February 1, 2021, addressed...

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