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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects | Albania

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ALBANIA

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Responsible for this issue are the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, its institutions, Local Government, and, for especially focused issues, other Ministries such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Construction.

 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The major aim of policy in the agriculture sector is to create an environment conducive to private investments to take place. For such an environment to be established, appropriate policy incentives, regulatory and legal framework, working infrastructure, an efficient land market and financial system are required. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Following a sharp decline in agricultural production after the collapse of the centralized system, Albania become dependant on food aid imports. Nevertheless, especially in the last two years, the country has achieved enormous progress towards reforming the agricultural sector. Already, practically all of the land previously controlled by state-run co-operatives and state farms has been fully privatized and major reforms in price and trade liberalization have been achieved. As a result, for the last year agriculture has been growing at an annual rate of more than fourteen percent. Prior to the privatization of arable land, state farms held twenty-five percent of the agricultural land, usually of higher quality, and the remainder was held by co-operatives. It is estimated that the privatization of state farm and co-operatives has resulted in about 500,000 farms of an average size of 1,4 ha. About fifty percent of the labour force is employed in agriculture and forestry (705,000 people in primary production and an additional 100,000 in related sectors), and two thirds of the population live in rural areas.

 

The Government has initiated a rapid campaign of privatization of the agricultural marketing and processing sector as well. The entire system was in a very distressing situation, and factories were working at five to twenty percent of their 1989 capacity. During 1996 some very positive signs of recovery within that system were registered. Presently, the rural credit system cannot service the needs of the emerging private sector. The Rural Commercial bank, created to take over the deposits, capital, and performing assets of the former Bank for agricultural development, has been set up as a joint stock company and has been placed under banking law.

 

Irrigation is crucial for the development of agriculture. Since 1991, maintenance of irrigation infrastructure and drainage systems has been reduced considerably, and construction work on new or improvement schemes stopped. Under central planning the irrigation network was supervised and maintained by district-based Water enterprises and by specialised state-owned construction companies controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Water enterprises must now make deliveries to about 500,000 individual farmers and collect charges from them as well as maintain the network of channels.

 

Agricultural activities could have a serious impact on environment through soil erosion and degradation through deforestation. The steady increase in livestock over the past two years could lead to overgrazing that, in turn, could exacerbate soil erosion. Hillside terracing has been widely practiced over the past 30 years and has lead to soil erosion. Past excessive use of state subsidized pesticides and fertilizers, has lead in some areas to excessive concentration of chemicals in the soil. It amounted to an average of 468 kg fertilizer/ha and of 9 kg of pesticide and herbicide/ha in 1990. Nevertheless, the fertilizer and pesticide consumption has decreased considerably recently. 

Challenges  

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

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The programme for improving agricultural vocational education, which is the joint responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture, is included in the programme for vocational education under the education sector. Further training support will be required to support the programme to develop institutional capacities at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

Finance is provided by the Albanian Government, the World Bank, FAO, IFAD, EU/PHARE, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Governments of Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France.

 

* * *

 

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.

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The responsible organizations for this issue in Albania are the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection and the Committee of Environmental Protection. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Albania ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994. It has not signed the Montreal Protocol or its Amendments. 

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   

No information is available.

Challenges  

During the period of transition to a market economy, major industrial activities have been shut down because they could not operate on a cost-efficient basis. Consequently, their contribution to air pollution has notably decreased. At the same time, the contribution of the transport sector to air pollution has rapidly increased, mainly in the big cities, due to the high number of old vehicles imported from Western Europe. Since these vehicles are old and have been much used, they do not include any emission control devices.

Moreover, leaded gasoline is the fuel of choice because of its relatively low price.

Albania is the only country in Europe without an air pollution monitoring system in place. Financial support from the PHARE project, Environment Albania 1997, is expected for the carrying out of the study which will anticipate an eventual future strategy for air pollution monitoring all over the country.

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.

Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies     

Decision-making in this area is the responsibility of the Committee on Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1994. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has not been signed. 

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   

Considering the small size of the country, Albania is rich in biodiversity. It still houses species which are endangered at the European level. The loggerhead turtle has been found along Ionian coasts where the narrow virgin beaches are suitable sites for laying eggs. The Dalmatian Pelican is a threatened species which has its only nesting site in the Karavasta Lagoon. The population is actually estimated at 200 couples. The monk seal, which is practically extinct in the Mediterranean, except for the isolated parts of the Aegean and Adriatic, is found in Albania. Sixty-three mammals, two hundred fifteen birds, thirty-one reptiles and thirteen amphibian species are reported. Many of them are endangered or threatened species. Dynamite fishing and the use of drift nets are still used in the territorial waters of Albania.  

The mountain alpine forest ecosystems are also rich in biodiversity. The higher areas are dominated by beech and pine forests and preserve a large number of endemic and sub-endemic plant species.

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  

See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

* * *

 

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.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Decision-making in this area is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Committee of Environmental Protection. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa has not been ratified. 

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   

In Albania, there are no areas affected by desertification and drought.

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.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The new energy policies, including the introduction or increased use of alternative energies (gas, kerosene, electricity) for heating and cooking are expected to reduce the need for fuel wood, and thus contribute to a reduction of deforestation. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Much of Albania's economic activity is dependent on the utilization of water resources. Over 90% of energy production is from hydropower plants.

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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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the General Directorate of Forests and Pastures and other institutions are responsible for decision-making with respect to forests.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations  

In order to improve the situation, enforcement of the Law on forests and forest service police and improved methods of exploitation are indispensable. It is also necessary that work foreseen in the relevant programmes for sanitary cutting, regeneration and reforestation be done. Among other measures, study of the grazing areas and the legal definition of the areas where grazing is and is not allowed, as well as better implementation of the regulations for grazing of animals in the forests are expected to be efficient measures for combating deforestation. These could be complemented by the application of economic instruments (e.g., a tax system) to encourage the raising of animals which do not destroy the forest. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The new energy policies, including the introduction or increased use of alternative energies (gas, kerosene, electricity) for heating and cooking are expected to reduce the need for fuel wood, and the use of synthetic materials has already decreased the demand for wood for furniture. In fact, in 1994, the official exploitation of forest resources decreased, while illegal cutting for firewood and construction continued. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Research Institutions and NGOs for forestry conservation and management also participate in decision-making.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Albania is a country where forests cover 10,447 million ha (about 36% of the total land resources of the country). Approximately 80% of the forests are located in the eastern mountainous area on land with slopes of 20-50%, and thus, highly susceptible to erosion. In this regard, forests play a very important role in the protection of soil throughout the country. About 95% of the forests are State-owned. 

 

Deforestation is a major environmental problem in Albania. It is a serious problem in peri-urban and rural areas of the country and one of the most visible pieces of evidence of poor resource management. It is especially pronounced in the more accessible forest areas and less in the less accessible mountainous areas. Though measures have been taken in the last 50 years to protect the forest areas, the reforested area is estimated at only 150,000 ha. It has consisted mainly in species with rapid growth such as pine, robinia, poplar, willows and chestnut. Over the last 20 years, the country is estimated to have lost 20% of its forests, and, in 31% of what remains, the density is only 0.5-0.6 (tree crown).

Challenges  

The main problems related to forests, which were evidenced during the former political and economic regime and/or in the last years can be listed as follows:

 

(1) forest cut for opening of new agricultural lands;

(2) forest cut for terracing;

(3) forest cut for heating and cooking. Fuel wood used to provide 90-100% of the demand for heating and cooking in all rural and urban areas;

(4) forest cut for construction, mining, and wood processing;

(5) illegal harvesting.. 5000 ha were cut down from 1991 to 1992;

(6) overgrazing by goats.

 

During the last decade 300,000 ha of forest were transformed into cultivated and pasture lands. This problem is more evident in the Southern part of the country, where the goat population is more densely distributed per each ha of forest. The most endangered plants are especially the re-pruned oak forests and those reproduced on seeds and the ones which have undergone the first phase of exploitation; and fire.

 Despite the measures taken, about 560 fires were caused during 1993. Fires have covered an area of about 4,000,000 ha and have burned 250 ha. Five hundred nine fire cases were reported in 1994, and these burned an area of about 400 ha. 

See also under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

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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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies      

Responsibility for developing water policies and strategies is vested with the autonomous National Water Committee. The administration and implementation of water strategies is undertaken by the Ministry of Public Works, and Territory Adjustment, in conjunction with the Ministry of Mineral and Energy Resources. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The government's role in the management of water resources has been to develop and implement policies and strategies which promote conservation and the efficient use of water. For that purpose, the government has begun the preparation of a National Water Strategy with funding by the EU to set out polices concerning the efficient management and protection of water resources and to specify an appropriate legal framework for the management of water resources.

 

The government is committed to commercializing both water supply and sewerage services. This would require the introduction of an appropriate regulation framework to regulate the operations of privatized water companies. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Albania has abundant water resources, composed of rivers, lakes, underground waters and springs and coastal waters. The basin of the Albanian hydrographical network is settled in the South Western part of the Balkan peninsula. The rivers of Albania are short in length with small hydrographical basins because of the meridional position of the country.

 

Lakes are important components of the Albanian hydrographical network. In Albania there are 247 natural lakes of various types and dimensions. The general water area of the Albanian lakes is 461 km2.  

Challenges  

Much of Albania's economic activity is dependent on the utilization of water resources. Over 90% of energy production is from hydropower plants, while agriculture is critically dependent on irrigation. However, inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure in each of the water-using sectors and an absence of institutional co-ordination has resulted in the lack of water supplies becoming a key constraint to many economic activities and to satisfying basic social needs. Additional resources will be required to rehabilitate water supply systems in areas other than Tirana and Durres, and to improve sewerage systems throughout the country.

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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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and its other institutions ( e.g, the Land Institution) are responsible for decision-making in this area. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Several pieces of legislation were passed in 1995 to facilitate the establishment of a functioning land market, including the law for registration of immovable property, land lease and sale and establishment of full property rights to former state farms. There has been significant technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to help it formulate land legislation and policies. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A unit for formulating and analyzing policies for European integration is set up under the Agricultural Projects Office (APO) with EU/PHARE assistance. Studies have been carried out on various land policy issues (including policies to promote optimal land use).

 

National priorities for land management include the following: to establish an efficient market in the sale, purchase and leasing of agriculture land; to create an appropriate institutional framework to promote the efficient use of agricultural land; and to elaborate sustainable land and natural resource managing policies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

A programme to consolidate land ownership, promote effective land management, and develop an efficient land market is underway with the assistance of EU/PHARE, USAID and World Bank.

Status   

Seventy-five percent of the country's land resources are devoted to agriculture and forestry activities. Agriculture and associated rural economic activities presently account for over 50% of GDP and employment in Albania. Privatization and liberalization of markets and prices have been particularly rapid in this sector of the economy, which has been a main contributor to the resumption of GDP growth in 1993, 1994 and 1995. However, agricultural production remains mainly subsistence oriented.  

Implementation of the component for registration and cadastral services began in 1994. As of December 1995 land surveying and mapping was completed on 286,000 ha (40% of total land area). The work is underway for setting up a GIS.

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  

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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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Decision-making is undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Committee of Environmental Protection. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Not much has been planned for the sustainable mountain development in the National Environmental Action Plan and the Environment Strategy Study. This issue has, however, been indirectly dealt with in discussion and plans for Forest development, since most of the forests occur in the areas high above sea level. (Please refer to the section on Forests for more information.)

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

A Pilot Project on Dajti mountain national park, is being financed under PHARE 1993 Program. 

Status   

Most of the country is mountainous and hilly. Nevertheless, "mountain areas" are not a specific focus for sustainable development. Part of these regions, especially in the northeastern districts, are targeted as remote areas, and for poverty alleviation and rural development. 

Challenges  

Terracing for opening new agricultural land has been detrimental to the environment. The problem is regarded to be not only the fault of improper terracing, but also inadequate resources available to farmers for maintenance of hill side terraces. Besides, in areas where hill side terraces are near the grazing lands, there is further pressure on the land that results in erosion. Typical erosion problems are reported to have occurred in the districts of Diber, Elbasan, Pogradec, Korce, Tirane, Shkoder, Berat, Tropoje, and Fier where extensive orchards are grown on terraced steep land.

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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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Committee of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and tourism are Responsible for this area. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has not been ratified.

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   

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.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Decision-making for toxic chemicals is the responsibility of the Committee of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

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   

During the former regime, agriculture in particular made considerable use of toxic chemicals mainly as fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. While fertilizers were mainly produced in the country, herbicides and insecticides were generally imported. Since there was the tendency of referring to the cheapest offers for importing such goods, the pesticides which dominated the agricultural activities were organochlorine pesticides, known for their low biodegradability and long persistence as residues in the environment.

 

There were seventy different kinds of pesticides, many of which were highly toxic. There was no law that could impose restrictions on the type of the chemical allowed to enter and get used in the country. However, in 1993, a law on Plant Protection Service was passed, which dealt with pest management. Since that time a decrease in the use of pesticides has been reported.

 

Apart from agricultural activities which played the major role in the release of toxic chemicals in the environment, industrial activities making use of obsolete technologies contributed with their discharges of toxic chemicals into the environment as by-products. These included, for example, the Caustic Soda Enterprise in Vlora, the Metallurgic Combine Complex in Elbasan, The Battery and Accumulators Enterprise in Berati, and the Cooper Smelter Enterprise in Rubik.

 

The onset of a free-market oriented economy in the country brought about a considerable decrease of fertilizer use in Agriculture and led to the reduction of their accumulation in soil and plants. Hence soil contamination and its contribution to the contamination of water resources (surface and ground waters) was reduced as well.

 

Another factor that has contributed to the lessening of pollution from agricultural activities is the rather low level of pesticide use in the last years, mainly due to the little concern shown by the farmers and the generally restricted possibilities for elimination of agricultural crop damages. Thus a reduction of soil contamination levels from pesticide tracks has been observed. However a critical environmental issue is the presence of inherited pesticides which are located and deposited all over the country.

 

By the end of 1993, there were about 2700 tonnes of used pesticides either derived from the fund of the ex-agricultural cooperatives and enterprises or not used before their expiration date. Out of this amount, a stock of 465 tonnes of pesticides, which were about to expire, were sent during 1991-1992 under the disguise of aid from the former German Democratic Republic and were deposited mainly in Bajza station (Shkoder) and Milot. At the continuos insistence of the Committee of Environmental Protection and at the support of the NGO Green Peace, the Ministry of Environment in the Federal Republic of Germany took the responsibility to allocate funds for repackaging the pesticides and returning them to Germany, in cooperation with the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Thus by the end of October 1994, these pesticides were taken away from Albania, avoiding a danger to the whole country.  

Still, at the end of 1994, about 1500 tonnes of pesticides were in the country, not including another 600 tonnes from the Chemical Enterprise in Durres (wastes from lindan production). Taking all of this into consideration, it is important that privatization of the pesticide warehouses not be allowed, in order to ensure that the pesticides not be misused or diverted.

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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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

SOLID WASTE AND SANITATION

 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies      

Decision-making in this area is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and Tourism and the Committee of Environmental Protection. Urban solid waste management in Albania is the duty of the municipalities. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

With assistance from PHARE Environment 1993, a National Waste Management Plan and a National Water Strategy have been developed. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

Urban waste management has become a critical issue and an environmental priority in Albania. The situation with urban waste is worsening as time goes. It is of a crucial importance to start acting immediately in order to avoid further complications. Not a single waste water treatment plant exists in the country.

 

Urban waste has always and is still being collected in unprotected containers all over Albania. After the change of the political and economic regime, the load of domestic waste has been increased drastically due to the increased and changed consumption patterns. The average of waste generated per capita per day is reported to be 0,4 kg. No waste treatment technologies are applied in the country. Dump sites are often located by the sea or the rivers, constituting a continuous threat to the quality of the water. Problems rise with the transportation of waste and withdrawal from the containers which are placed close to the apartment blocks. They not only damage the aesthetic values of the urban areas but also open the door to a number of infectious diseases and epidemics.

 

The important changes which have taken place in the country as a consequence of the political changes of the last years have made indispensable the change of the whole management system adopted by the past regime. 

Challenges  

A new problem which has recently arisen is construction waste, which is left in place after the completion of buildings. No regulation requires that the construction companies withdraw the wastes that they generate.

No separate disposal is foreseen for industrial waste. Both urban and industrial waste are discharged untreated in any manner. The closing down of almost all of the industrial activities in the last years makes impossible the quantification of the waste generated by them. From a qualitative point of view, it is possible to state that the use of backward technologies in the past has resulted in an uncontrolled stock of industrial waste. For the time being and as long as the industries will be closed, the more urgent problem is to clean-up sites that have already been contaminated. At the same time, with the anticipation that the economy will grow and industrial activities will flourish, it is essential that rules and standards be adopted in the short term to limit the production of industrial waste.

 

Sewage waters are discharged directly to the sea or rivers, posing a threat to the environmental quality of waters and tourism development. Old sewage pipes are often placed over the drinking water pipes. Their leakages (which often occur due to the old and bad quality of the pipes) pollute the drinking water. Water related epidemics such as cholera and poliomyelitis have occurred. Untreated sewage water is used for irrigation leading not only to health problems but also adversely affecting the soil quality, vegetation and aquatic resources. See also under Status.

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

Cooperation exists primarily through the EU PHARE programme, including assistance to the development of a National Waste Management Plan and a National Water Strategy, and the design and construction of a Waste water Treatment Plant for the cities of Vlora and Pogradec as well as waste water treatment plants and drinking water supply for Saranda.

 

* * *

 

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE

 

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   

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

Albania has signed but not yet ratified the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

* * *

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.

 

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:


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