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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ALBANIA


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Albania, environmental management is as new as many other areas of government activity. No institutional structures yet exist for sustainable development and multi-sectoral decisions-making on development priorities. However, in the current sectoral ministries, a division does exist which addresses issues related to environment protection and environmental management. This structure could well be utilised in creating a network of decisions-makers from across the traditional line ministries, including, in particular, the following: the Department for Economic Development and Foreign Co-ordination (DEDAC); the Committee of Environment Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food; the State Secretary of Local Government; the Ministry of Public Affairs, Territory Regulation and Tourism; the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Education and Sports; and the Ministry of Health and Environment. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The first Law on Environmental Protection (nr.7664) was approved in 21.01.1993. In the meantime a draft by-law which deals with the Environmental Impact Assessment is under consideration. Its application into practice is expected to give an impetus to the integration of development and environmental issues in the decision-making in the future. Other draft laws and by-laws are being prepared integrating both environment and development issues. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Environmental Strategy formulated in 1993 constituted the basis for the simultaneous preparation of the first Report on the Environmental Situation in Albania and the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP). These documents made the first efforts in bringing together development and environment in Albania. The impact of all economic activities on the natural environment was considered, and the most seriously affected zones were defined according to the economic activity origin of the environmental damage. The NEAP provided the basis for future actions of the different institutions and organisations which are obliged to take environmental considerations into account in their development plans. The NEAP of 1993 is actually being updated in order to better fit to the new situation and circumstances. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

The first environmental NGOs was set up in 1991. NGOs often have taken the lead to point to trade and consumption patterns which are not sustainable in the longer-term and suggested short-term policy and behavioural changes.

 

Other entities such as institutes and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also play a role in environmental management in Albania. At least ten to fifteen NGOs are active in areas related to Agenda 21 (i.e., trade, economic development and environment), and their activity is based on a 1956 Law on Associations and a 1993 Law on Foundations.

 

Among the research institutions involved in environmental management are the Institute of Hydro-meteorology of the Academy of Sciences, which deals with the monitoring of air and water pollution. It has a national network of stations for taking water samples, especially in the main rivers to measure the level of pollution. There exist no fixed stations in lakes, and samples are taken only on the spot. The Committee of Sciences and Technology, through its network of research institutes, also carries out studies related to environment in the field of agriculture, mines, geology and construction. 

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

There has been some recent experience with respect to environmental management in Albania. In 1991, a Committee of Environment Protection (CEP) was established. The Committee is attached to the Ministry of Health and is housed by that Ministry, although it operates independently of it. During 1993, the Government of Albania extended the structure of the CEP to include three directories and a legal office. The number of staff employed are twenty-five.

 

In 1993, the Committee of Environment Protection produced the Environmental Strategy Study in co-operation with the World Bank. One of the main recommendations of this study regards the institutional position of CEP and its relationship with the Government. More concretely, it was suggested that CEP become an independent committee depending on and relating directly to the Prime Minister, or in the best cases, a Ministry of Environment. Four years later, this objective has still not been met.

 

Until 1994, no institutional infrastructure existed to address environmental management at the local level. Recognising the need for monitoring and policy development capability at the local level, the Government established Regional Environmental Agencies (REAs) in each of 12 prefectures in Albania. These structures at the local level are being developed by CEP. In addition, the Secretariat for Local Government under a State Secretary provides an additional network which can pose a significant potential for reaching municipalities. (Refer also to section on Major Groups: Local Authorities.) 

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

The Faculty of Natural Sciences in the University of Tirana performs studies in the field of threats to biodiversity, chemical analytical aspects of pollution and physical, chemical and technological aspects of waste water treatment. The studies for degradation of land and soil erosion are performed by the Geography Department in the Faculty of History and Philology. The Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology supervises and manages the studies about the level of toxic substances in the air and water in urban areas, controlling of drinking water supplies and the system of urban waste discharges.

The Research Institute of Chemical Technology carries out studies about the inventory of liquid industrial and urban discharges. See also under Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

 

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

NNo information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was ratified on 11 May 1994. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

The involvement of Albanian women in decision-making in both politics and management is generally low, although 1995 saw a slight improvement in some indicators, including the fact that three women began to hold high ministerial positions. Although there is no adverse attitude towards women serving in high governmental and political positions, little has been done concretely at national level to promote women into decision-making positions. Out of the 580 directors of directorates in ministries and state institutions, only 80 are women (1996). No women serve as mayors or heads of local government. 

A parliamentary women's group was created in 1995 to focus on women rights. This group played an important role in preparing the participation of Albanian women at the Fourth Global Conference on Women in Beijing. Out of the twenty women's NGOs and groups currently existing in the country, five are affiliated with political parties, two have a religious basis and four are business-oriented. 

Challenges  

Not all of the women's NGOs are well organized or capable of carrying out sophisticated projects. Shortcomings within these organisations do exist, including the concentration of most activities in the capital, Tirana, an emphasis on urban women, weak participation of young women, and the lack of sufficient publicity about their activities.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

 

 

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

A number of youth organizations are based on political party affiliation. There is a tendency among youth to come together in various cultural, sports, ecological, and other youth clubs, i.e. from the Boy Scouts to Youth Idealists, from the Student Association for Propagation of Sex Education to the Youth Ecologists "Pearl."

 

Unemployment among youth, under the age of 20, has declined from 44,820 in 1993 to 20,701 in 1995; among the age group, 21 to 34, the figures for the same time period have also declined, from 147,190 to 78,069. 

 

Regarding participation in society and political life, Albanian youth has swung from enthusiastic initial participation to withdrawal and apathy, and then back again to active participation in public political life. In a country with a high percentage of youth, 20% of the current population is 15-24 years old. Participation of youth in public life is an important indicator of public participation in general. According to some surveys, 15-24 year-olds appear to be half as interested in politics as the 25-35 year-old groups and four times less interested than those 35-39 years old. The number of young people in important posts and in the administration is still small.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

No information is available.

* * *

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

The flourishing of a large number of NGOs and civil institutions is indicative of an active environment and of involvement in socio-political and economic issues. However, not all of them are currently active. The Government and Civil Society have devoted more attention to the participation of women in politics. Political parties have attempted to increase the number of women candidates, and NGOs are offering training to women both as candidates and as voters. These activities include job creation for women, access to opportunities for obtaining financial support, and the collection and analysis of data specific to women. Public awareness campaigns are also being promoted.  

NGOs often have taken the lead to point to trade and consumptions patterns which are not sustainable in the longer-term and suggested short-term policy and behavioral changes. In Albania, approximately 300 NGOs are registered, but only 50 or so are active. In the area related to concerns of Agenda 21 i.e. trade, economic development and environment, at least 10-15 NGOs are active.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

See under Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Until 1994, no institutional infrastructure existed to address environmental management at the local level. Recognising the need for monitoring and policy development capability at the local level, the Government established Regional Environmental Agencies (REAs) in each of twelve prefectures in Albania. Most REAs are staffed by one to two professionals. It is expected that operationalization of REAs in all prefectures will take additional time as some prefectures have not responded to the legal requirements posed by the central government.  

In addition to these structures at the local level which are being developed by the Committee of Environment Protection, the Secretariat for Local Government under a State Secretary provides an additional network which can pose a significant potential for reaching municipalities. The secretariat is responsible for preparing legislation for structures and functioning of the local government, for determining relations with national government and for advocating the interest of municipalities at the national level.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

No information is available.

* * *

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

No information is available.

* * *

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY.

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies       

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Among the research institutions involved in environmental management are the Institute of Hydro-meteorology of the Academy of Sciences which deals with the monitoring of air and water pollution. It has a national network of stations for taking water samples, especially in the main rivers to measure the level of pollution. There exist no fixed stations in lakes, and samples are taken only on the spot. The Committee of Sciences and Technology, through its network of research institutes, also carries out studies related to environment in the field of agriculture, mines, geology and construction.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences in the University of Tirana performs studies in the field of threats of biodiversity, chemical analytical aspects of pollution, as well as physical, chemical and technological aspects of waste water treatment. The studies for degradation of land and soil erosion are performed by the Geography Department in the Faculty of History and Philology. The Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology supervises and manages the studies about the level of toxic substances in the air and water in urban areas, controlling of drinking water supplies and the system of urban waste discharges.

The Research Institute of Chemical Technology carries out studies about the inventory of liquid industrial and urban discharges.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

 This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

FARMERS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

One of the government's main priorities in the agriculture sector is to promote better management and sustainable use of natural resources. To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has initiated a programme to promote private sector agricultural activity through the development of farm and agribusiness management advisory services. The programme is being supported by Germany, USAID, FAO, Italy and the Netherlands, and involves the establishment of business advisory services and farm services.

In addition, the Government has prepared a new programme designed specifically to assist with the restructuring of the agro-processing sector. It would provide business advice and credit lines to entrepreneurs in agro-processing and would strengthen the capacity of local institutions to provide technical services to entrepreneurs. The programme for facilitating farmers' and agro-processing entrepreneurs' access to credit started in 1993 with a series of measures intended to develop the institutional capacity of the Rural Commercial Bank. Several credit lines have been made available for agriculture, agro-industry, mechanization and agro-services, for supporting the development of farmers' associations to overcome constraints caused by land fragmentation. These have been co-financed by the World Bank, EU/PHARE, Italy and Germany.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

See under Programmes and Projects.

Cooperation  

See under Programmes and Projects.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

See under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Albanian Government, through the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, has initiated the process of integration of Education and Research and the enhancement of scientific understanding. The final aim of this process will be the strengthening of the leading role of the Universities as centres of education and research, through the inclusion of research Institutes as functional parts of the Universities. Apart from strengthening of scientific understanding, this will ensure a rationale and better use of the scientific staff and of the available financial sources. 

Applied research has been and continues to be a priority in the scientific policy of Albania. In general, it follows the economic priorities of the country such as agriculture, extraction and processing ores industry, environmental protection etc. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

Currently, research needs focus on: (1) updating the scientific information; (2) installation of new equipment; and (3). development of appropriate technical and practical skills by research staff. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A Network of Educational and Research Institutions all over the country divulges scientific knowledge in almost every branch of science. Education is the main responsibility of Universities, whereas research is mainly carried out by Research Institutes. The two act as independent administrative structures.

Information   

No information available.

Financing   

Research costs are partly subsidised by the state budget and to a larger extent by international funds.

 

Cooperation  

The present organizational structure does not offer the necessary backgrounds for scientific integration and co-operation.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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INFORMATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies       

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status 

The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Agenda 21 Chapters

Very good

Good

Some good data but many gaps

Poor

Remarks

2. International cooperation and trade    

X

   
3. Combatting poverty    

X

   
4. Changing consumption patterns      

X

 
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability    

X

   
6. Human health          
7. Human settlements          
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making          
9. Protection of the atmosphere          
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources  

X

     
11. Combatting deforestation  

X

     
12. Combatting desertification and drought   -      
13. Sustainable mountain development    

X

   
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development  

X

     
15. Conservation of biological diversity          
16. Biotechnology          
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources          
18. Freshwater resources  

X

     
19. Toxic chemicals          
20. Hazardous wastes          
21. Solid wastes          
22. Radioactive wastes          
24. Women in sustainable development    

X

   
25. Children and youth    

X

   
26. Indigenous people    

X

   
27. Non-governmental organizations    

X

   
28. Local authorities    

X

   
29. Workers and trade unions      

X

 
30. Business and industry    

X

   
31. Scientific and technological community          
32. Farmers      

X

 
33. Financial resources and mechanisms    

X

   
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building    

X

   
35. Science for sustainable development          
36. Education, public awareness and training          
37. International cooperation for capacity-building  

X

     
38. International institutional arrangements  

X

     
39. International legal instruments  

X

     
40. Information for decision-making  

X

     

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Albania to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

No information is available.

* * *



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