The Overall Objective of the EU4Nature Action is to contribute to the protection and conservation of at least 25 per cent of the Albanian territory (at land and at sea) by 2030 through the establishment and the effective management of a system of Protected Areas, including NATURA 2000 sites and other effective area-based conservation measures.
The EU4Nature Action will build on previous efforts to advance the EU approximation process by enabling EU Nature Protection legislation implementation, enhanced capacities of relevant authorities, CSO, academia, and private sector, and providing necessary resources for new and existing PAs effective management.

The EU4Nature Action has been conceived cooperatively by the partners and all relevant authorities for nature protection in Albania to ensure that: 

  • builds on the successes achieved so far (the advancement in EU Nature Protection acquis transpo-sition, the provision of institutions and budgets necessary to carry out the laws and regulations, in-creased knowledge of the Albanian biological values and their distributions, among others), 
  • addresses the major areas of improvements identified by previous efforts, and 
  • swiftly advances the country towards the protection of at least 25 per cent of the Albanian territo-ry (on land and at sea) through a system of effectively managed PAs.

Project Background

Despite its relatively small size, Albania features a high diversity of ecosystems, habitats, and species. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the most significant factor responsible for endangering species in Albania is land conversion, resulting in habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. As an economy in transition Albania is indeed following a fast development trajectory. Land has been, and continues to be, converted for commercial, tourism, recreational and residential purposes. Wetlands have been drained and residential or commercial areas and infrastructure investments are encroaching upon native habitats, posing a serious threat to its biodiversity. These impacts are aggravated by climate change, especially in the country’s river basins and coastal area, as major climatic events have led to excessive flooding of large areas and erosion along the coastline. 

The National Biodiversity Strategy and the Action Plan (2012-2020) has defined the main directions for preserving biodiversity and habitats through the identification and proclamation as Protected Areas in Albania. 

Over the last decades, Albania has made considerable progress in its policy on environmental protection, including nature conservation.

The extent of the PAs network is estimated to cover 6,228.2 km2 (also including the Municipal Nature Park) of marine and terrestrial habitats (appr. 21 % of national territory, from less than 6 % in 2005). In this regard, the country reached the 17 % objective of the 2020 Biodiversity Aichi Target, while also making progress regarding the establishment of Ramsar sites (4 sites comprise more than 98,000 ha), one Biosphere Reserve of Prespa and Ohrid area as UNESCO Nature Heritage site and Important Bird Areas, as well as participated in the Green Belt Initiative.

Albania joined in February 2022 the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, pledging to protect at least 30 % of land and seas and promote nature-based solutions within the UN framework convention on climate change.

Results achieved

Inception Phase completed.

Project pilot area: Vjosa River – National Park; Bredhi i Hotovës-Dangëlli – National Park; Lurë - Deja Mountain – National Park; Shebenik – National Park; Zagori –Nature Park; Lugina e Shalës – Nature Park; Bredhi i Sotires – Nature Park; Ujrat Termale te Sarandoporit - Natural Monu-ment; Dajti Mountain – National Park; Porto – Palermo Nature Park.

Project outcome & outputs

The EU4Nature Outcome is to enhance the management effectiveness of the Albanian PAs and ensure the effective protection and conservation of at least 25 per cent of the Albanian territory. The following 7 Outputs have been identified to address the main areas of improvement recognized also by previous projects. 

  • Output 1.1 - Strengthened capacities of the relevant institutions to effectively manage Protected Are-as (PAs) according to the EU acquis and best practices
  • Output 1.2 - Revised and new protected areas management plans through assessment of biodiversity values and threats following Natura 2000 requirements
  • Output 1.3 - Performance monitoring system in place
  • Output 1.4 – Conservation and restoration measures foreseen in the management plans are imple-mented
  • Output 1.5 - New management plans for the use of forest and non-timber forest products developed
  • Output 1.6 Support to civil society for environmental protection and restoration of protected areas
  • Output 1.7 Nature-based solutions (focusing but not limited to nature protection/conservation and fighting of environmental crime) implemented



December 2022


December 2027















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