ESA home Search Parliamentary services Research and analysis National governments Regional cooperation Development issues

National Implementation of Agenda 21

ALBANIA

COUNTRY PROFILE

IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21:
REVIEW OF PROGRESS MADE SINCE THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, 1992

Information Provided by the Government of Albania to the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
Fifth Session
7-25 April 1997
New York

United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Division for Sustainable Development
The Information contained in this Country Profile is also available on the World Wide Web, as follows:
http://www.un.org/dpcsd/earthsummit

ALBANIA

This country profile has been provided by:

Name of Ministry/Office: Department of Economic Development and Aid Coordination (DEDAC); Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)

Date: 02.04.1997

Submitted by: Teuta Seseri, Desk Officer at Aid Coordination (DEDAC); Narin Panariti, Director, Project Implementation, Environmental Economics and Information (CEP)

Mailing address: DEDAC, Ministry of Finance, Tirana, Albania; CEP, Ministry of Health and Environment Protection, Tirana, Albania

Telephone: +355 42 28362; +355 42 65229

Telefax: +355 42 283 62; +355 42 65229

E-mail: teuta@codedac.tirana.al; cep@cep.tirana.al

Note from the Secretariat: An effort has been made to present all country profiles within a common format, with an equal number of pages. However, where Governments have not provided information for the tables appended to Chapters 4 and 17, those tables have been omitted entirely in order to reduce the overall length of the profile and save paper. Consequently, there may be some minor inconsistencies among the formats of the different country profiles.

All statistics are rendered as provided by the respective Governments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACRONYMS
OVERVIEW
FACT SHEET
AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS
2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
23-32. Major groups
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms
40. Information for decision-making

ACRONYMS

APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level
CFC chlorofluorocarbon
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CILSS Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ECA Economic Commission for Africa
ECE Economic Commission for Europe
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
ELCI Environmental Liaison Centre International
EMINWA environmentally sound management of inland water
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEMS Global Environmental Monitoring System (UNEP)
GEMS/WATER Global Water Quality Monitoring Programme
GESAMP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIPME Global Investigation of Pollution in Marine Environment (UNESCO)
GIS Geographical Information System
GLOBE Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment
GOS Global Observing System (WMO/WWW)
GRID Global Resource Information Database
GSP generalized system of preferences
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBSRAM International Board of Soil Resources and Management
ICCA International Council of Chemical Associations
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPIC International Cleaner Production Information Clearing House
ICSC International Civil Service Commission
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IEEA Integrated environmental and economic accounting
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IGADD Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (ICSU)
IGBP/START International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IMO International Maritime Organization
INFOTERRA International Environment Information system (UNEP)
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety
IPM integrated pest management
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
ITC International Tin Council
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PGRFA plant genetic resources for agriculture
PIC prior informed consent procedure
SADCC South African Development Co-ordination Conference
SARD sustainable agriculture and rural development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDRO Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNU United Nations University
WCP World Climate Programme (WMO/UNEP/ICSU/UNESCO)
WFC World Food Council
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (also called World Wildlife Fund)
WWW World Weather Watch (WMO)

OVERVIEW

The demise of communism was later and more disorderly in Albania than in other post communist European countries. The resignation of Albania's last communist government in June 1992 was accompanied by economic and political chaos, and it was only following the election of a new government in early 1992 that an attempt at comprehensive economic reform began.

The central task was considered to be the rebuilding of the economy on market principles, not simply to resume the patterns of growth that had faltered in the late communist period. In political life, Albania has sought to develop forms of government that allow a genuine role for parliament, political parties, and a wider range of participation. On the other hand, post-communist Albanian society lacked the social preconditions for the creation and consolidation of a liberal democracy. The civil society debate focused on trying to link civil society with democratization. Society as a whole needed to be regenerated.

The democratically-elected government, which assumed office in April 1992, moved quickly to restore civil order and embarked on ambitious economic reforms. The authorities took steps to establish fiscal and monetary control and introduced comprehensive price and exchange system reforms in mid-92, paving the way for the approval of the first IMF stand-by arrangement.

The key elements of Albania's adjustment program include price and exchange system liberalization, fiscal consolidation, monetary restraint and a firm incomes policy. These have been complemented by a comprehensive multi-year package of structural reforms including privatization, enterprise and financial sector reform and the creation of the legal framework for a market economy and private sector activity. Albania's adjustment efforts are being supported by substantial financial and technical assistance from the international community. The sectors which have had the most success in securing external financing commitments for their projects have been infrastructure/transport, agriculture and social safety net, where commitments secured during the two years (1995-97) totaled more than 50% of the sectoral resource allocation for the 1995-97 PIP (Public Investment Programme) period. By contrast, relatively less successful in securing external financing have been sectors like environment, housing, and urban/rural infrastructure.

In spite of the extremely difficult starting conditions, the adjustment effort has had very encouraging results so far. In recent years, Albania has achieved higher growth than any other East European country: 9.3% in 1993, 9.4% in 1994, and around 11% in 1995. The primary areas of growth in the economy have been the agriculture sector, construction and private services. The reduction in inflation from a high of 237% in 1992 has been an outstanding achievement. The 1994 inflation rate of 15.8% was substantially below the original target of 24% and in 1995, it was only 7.4%. This was due to relatively tight credit and monetary policies.

Structural reforms in the public sector included tax reforms, a strengthening of budgetary management, a reduction in budgetary subsidies, the imposition of hard budget constraints on public enterprises, and the establishment of a new banking system. Other structural measures to promote private sector development have included land reform, the privatization of many small and medium-sized enterprises, exchange and trade liberalization, and the enactment of a relatively liberal new foreign investment law.

Economic reform, privatization and the development of the private sector have resulted in a surge of businesses in trading and consumer services. The majority of businesses are in trade, transport and other services. In most businesses there are a few people involved. The total number of unemployed, who are mainly in urban areas, numbered around 19.5% of the domestic labor force in 1994, and 14% in 1995.

Albania's main challenge is to preserve its hard-won success in macro-economic stabilization while turning it into sustainable growth.

While undergoing a fundamental political, economic and social transition, the strategy for the political elite was to promote a parliamentary system, which tends to be more inclusive. Therefore, according to an interim basic law that replaced the old communist-era constitution in 1991, Albania is a parliamentary republic with a unicameral legislature (the People's Assembly) elected by popular vote every four years, whereas, the Prime Minister is appointed by the President.

With the reform and the advent of democratic processes, one of the principal steps of the Albanian Government, once the transition towards democracy began, has been to replace national laws inherited from the previous regime which for both political and economic reasons are considered unsuitable. In particular, Albania has begun to adapt its legislative framework to the principles and rules of the new legal system and, at the same time, modernize and reform the legislative base in order to address the needs of a modern democracy and market oriented economy.

Political parties have a crucial role to play. In the eyes of many theorists, parties are the prime component in the functioning of modern democracies. They are vital points of connection between society and government. Up until now, the political constellation in Albania consists of two main parties and some small ones, which belong to the 'two plus something' model.

The Albanian government comprises the central government and 37 district governments. The central government includes the Council of Ministers and the branch ministries. The central government is the most important level of government, collecting almost all taxes and accounting for most expenditures. The power of the district governments was reduced in early 1993 through a reorganization which created 12 prefectures above the district level and also devoted power to 47 municipalities and 32 communes.

The civil society debate is conceived as the realm of an organized social life which is voluntary, self-generating, autonomous from the state, and bound by a legal order. It has been acting collectively in a public sphere being an intermediary entity, standing between the private sphere and the state. In Albania, NGOs, as the organizational forms and groups, have not been a priority of foreign aid organizations. Some partial programs are developed with the assistance of the UNDP, EU PHARE, the Council of Europe, USAID, several Islamic organizations and so on. However, the general programme regarding the NGO system and coordination of international aid still has to be developed.

From the above, one can obviously see the basic schemes which have been followed; rapid growth, promoting private sector as the main engine for economic growth and stronger regional co-operation. The present government action is articulated around three poles: 1) a continued commitment to the macro-stabilization policy with the implementation of a number of measures to improve mobilization of internal resources and the recent completion of a successful re-negotiation of the foreign debt; 2) the development of the private sector through the acceleration of the privatization policy and numerous legal and institutional steps to support and/or reform specific sectors; 3) a major effort to create or rehabilitate adequate economic and social infrastructures. But, for a development scenario to be sustainable, it seems necessary to focus equally on environmental protection, economic efficiency, and human resources development. These would be keys for determining the long-term development of Albania.

Albania has begun to participate in the elaboration and resolution of international environment issues through the ratification of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Barcelona Convention as well as the Ramsar Convention. Therefore, Albania has demonstrated the interest in articulating and pursuing a strategy for sustainable development.

FACT SHEET

ALBANIA

1. Name of Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s)/Council(s).

No institutional structure exist for sustainable development and multi-sectoral decision-making on development priorities.

A national Commission on Sustainable Development is not yet in place. Currently, one may consider the following:

Department for Economic Development and Foreign Aid Co-ordination (DEDAC)

Committee of Environmental Protection (CEP)

Contact point (Name, Title, Office): Edmond Leka, Director of DEDAC, Dr. Lirim Selfo, Chairman of CEP

DEDAC:

Telephone: + 355 42 28467

Fax: + 355 42 28362

E-mail: Leka@codedac.tirana.al

CEP:

Telephone: + 355 42 65229

Fax: + 355 42 65229

E-mail: Cep@cep.tirana.al

Mailing address: DEDAC: Department for Economic Development and Foreign Aid Co-ordination, Ministry of Finance, Bulevardi "Deshmoret e Kombit", Tirana, Albania

CEP: Committee of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Health and Environment Protection,

"Bajram Curri" Street, Tirana, Albania

2.Membership/Composition/Chairperson:

2a. List of ministries and agencies involved:

No institutional structure exists for sustainable development and multi-sectorial decision-making on development priorities. According to the proposed Capacity 21 Network in Albania, which is still in the pipeline, the composition of such a body would comprise the following institutions:

DEDAC
- Committee of Environment Protection
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
- State Secretary of Local Government
- Ministry of Public Affairs, Territory Regulation and Tourism
- Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
- Ministry of Education and Sports
- Ministry of Health and Environment
- Preservation and Protection of Natural Environment Association
- World Bank Resident Mission
- European Union Delegation
- UNDP Resident Mission

2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participating of academic and private sector bodies: General Directorate of Forests; National Water Council; Preservation and Protection of Natural Environment Association; Committee of Sciences and Technology; Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology; Institute of Hydro-meteorology; Research Institute of Chemical Technology

2c. Names of non-governmental organizations involved: In the areas related to our concerns (Agenda 21), i.e. trade, economic development and environment, at least 10-15 NGOs are active and their activity is based on the 1956 Law on Associations and the 1993 Law on Foundations. The first environmental NGO was set up in 1991.

3. Mandate role of above mechanism/council: National Commission of Sustainable Development - to be set up.

4. If available, attach a diagram (organization chart) showing national coordination structure and linkages between ministries:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 2: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO ACCELERATE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND RELATED DOMESTIC POLICIES (with special emphasis on TRADE)

NATIONAL PRIORITY: (with emphasis in trade):

Includes sustaining the market-determined exchange rate, maintaining a liberal trade and exchange system, normalization of external financial relations following the agreement on debt restructuring with foreign commercial banks, strengthening of institutional capacities in the financial services sector for handling foreign transactions. International trade will also be facilitated by Albania's accession to membership in the WTO.

STATUS REPORT:

Economic development and environmental protection are matters of international common concern. In the course of its development, Albania has become increasingly aware of the fact that its future would not be outside of this international community.

Radical changes followed the collapse of the communist regime, i.e., the removal of the state monopoly, opening of the economy to the international markets and competition, and emerging of the domestic private trade sector. The subsequent stage (from 1993 onwards) was characterized by the total removal of restrictions to export-import, as long as international standards were respected, the removal of export taxes and the setting up of a system with import- differentiated tariffs, stimulation of raw material imports, especially to produce for export, as well as the import of basic food stuffs. As a result, the private trade sector grew, accounting for 75% of total trade in 1995. The free trade policy brought about a new geographical distribution of trading partners with Italy, Greece, Germany and Turkey becoming the most important ones. Albania won the status as observer in the GATT, and is currently working to meet the requirements for full membership in the WTO.

Although Albania has sustained a large trade deficit, equivalent to nearly 20% of GDP in 1995, this has been more than offset by inflows of external assistance and by remittances from abroad. International co-operation for sustainable development is an important component of reforms' policy, with the most important donors to Albania in the multi-lateral context being the EU PHARE programme, World Bank/IMF, UNDP, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Islamic Bank, Kuwait Fund, and in the bi-lateral context Italy, USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Greece.

The latest Public Investment Programme (PIP)- (three-year period) assumes rapid increases in the level of public investment linked to the increasing utilization of external financing. The sectors which have had the most success in securing external financing commitments for their projects have been transport, agriculture and social safety net, where total commitments secured during the years 1994-1995 represented more than 50% of the sectoral resource allocation for the 1995-1997 PIP period. By contrast, relatively little success was achieved in securing financing for the environment, housing, and urban and rural infrastructure.

In 1993, the Government of Albania prepared a National Environmental Action Plan which includes an action programme for short, medium and long terms actions as well as a series of priority projects related to sewage treatment, urban waste, deforestation etc. The NEAP was approved by the Government in January 1994. On the basis of the NEAP, several environmental projects and programmes are now being undertaken with the assistance of international donors such as the Environment Programme for Albania- PHARE, the National Water Strategy- PHARE, Water treatment systems in different regions.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, DEDAC, other line ministries.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Participating in the wide-ranging international cooperation in the fields of sustainable development and environment protection. Working to attract international financial and technical assistance in order to be able to overcome the difficulties of transition period and to be able to embark on the path of sustainable development.

3. Major Groups: While following a more open economy to establish an open trade regime that is fair, stable, non-discriminatory, the government has to identify effective international cooperative mechanisms to guarantee the existing development assistance funding.

4. Finance: State Budget, Foreign Financing ;The most important sources of multilateral aid financing for public investment are the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) and the European Union's PHARE programme. Annual commitments of IDA funding have been falling from US$50 million in 1995/96 to US$35 million in 1996/97. Presumably the annual commitments from the EU/PHARE national programme are at a current level of 30-35 million ECU. Funding from other multilateral agencies such as IFAD, the OPEC Fund and the Islamic Development Bank is expected to continue at the existing level of U$15-20 million per year. The major bilateral donors are Italy, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and the Kuwait Fund. There is also financing from non-concessional external borrowing: IBRD, EBRD, and EIB, as well as financing from non-governmental organizations. (see figures below)

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Albania participates in the Central European Initiative, the South East European Initiative, the Black See Initiative, etc. As far as the trade agreement with the EU is concerned, a special intermediate status (before being associated) is already signed and being elaborated. Albania also won the status of observer in the GATT and is currently working to meet the requirements for full membership in WTO.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

in 000 US$ Trade\years

1992

1993

1994

1995

Exports

72,868

122,370

137,300

141,120

Imports

321,191

571,181

600,944

834,392

Balance

-248,323

-448,811

-463,644

-693,272

in million leks 1) exchange rate lek:US$ for'90 was 8:1,'93-108:1,'94-97:1,'95-93:1 geographical distribution of trade\ years

1990

1993

1994

1995

Balkan

672.10

9,594.40

10,061.00

10,332.07

Central East Free Trade Agreement

636.30

1,497.00

713.83

770.34

EC countries

1,656.10

31,851.00

38,539.00

46,363.93

Others

830.80

2,039.00

2,604.90

2,845.56

total

3,795.30

42,981.40

51,918.00

60,311.90

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 3: COMBATING POVERTY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

Rural poverty alleviation, consisting primarily of rural works and small-scale credits. The policy is aimed at rebuilding the rural economy on a free-market basis from the bottom up, with a focus on actively alleviating rural poverty, restoring food security, promoting the small-scale private sector, repairing basic rural infrastructure, strengthening local governments, and rooting rural development policies in local tradition and culture.

Urban credit: the target population of the Urban Credit Program comprises "unemployed persons or persons receiving economic assistance and who do not have access to banks".

STATUS REPORT:

Focus of national strategy

Although environmental degradation is not as extensive as in other countries, environmental problems exacerbate poverty in many rural areas and have significant health implications in urban areas. Soil erosion, deforestation, and pollution from fertilizers and pesticides runoff are notable throughout large portions of the country, and are economically significant since approx. 75% of the country's land resources are devoted to agriculture and forestry activities and these sectors account for 50% of GDP (1995).

Approximately 65% of the population lives in rural areas. The infrastructure in these areas is the primary target of the national strategy given that roads, irrigation and agricultural marketing infrastructure, water and sewerage systems, electricity supplies are far from being developed.

While the government has established a basic social safety net of cash benefits and food subsidies targeted at the poorer groups in rural areas, it has to be emphasized that an element of the resource transfers to these areas should be directed at stimulating the local economy in order to prevent the build-up of long-term dependence on social assistance.

Highlight activities aimed at the poor and linkages to the environment

Establishment and start-up of the Rural Development Fund (RDF). It was established by a Government Decision in January 1993 as an autonomous, transition institution responsible for implementation of the pilot and full-scale project, under the general direction of a Board of Trustees chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. In September 1994, the RDF was transformed into the Albanian Development Fund (ADF) in order to allow expansion of activities to urban areas under the IDA-financed Urban Works and Micro-enterprise Pilot project.

Rural Infrastructure Works. Initially, there were no small contractors in Albanias rural areas, especially the mountainous project area, and sub-projects were carried out by communes. As small contractors became available, it resulted on average in higher quality rehabilitation.

Small-scale Credit. Under the project, a highly effective small-scale credit delivery mechanism was developed for villages. As of December 31, 1995, a total of 100 village credit funds were created in 9 districts, and 5,143 sub-loans were disbursed to 4,750 families.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure:

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Institute of Labor and Social Affairs, Local Government.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups:

The Government, the Albanian Development Fund, NGOs, the Institute of Social Services under the central government (Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs).

4. Finance: State Budget; Foreign Finance: PHARE-rural poverty alleviation, support of development of local communities in rural and urban areas, focusing the assistance on small projects in infrastructure.

Rural infrastructure financed by IDA (rural roads, water supplies, irrigation, health centers, schools) from the Governments of Italy and France.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The economic reform programme would, in the long term, require the development programme to be elaborated, and special vulnerable groups to be targeted. At this point, regional and international cooperation is necessary for further substantial external financing, which has achieved considerable success so far. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation (previously mentioned) has been used for these purposes.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1985

1990/3

1992/4

1995

Unemployment (%) (as % of the labor force)

22

18

13

Population living in absolute poverty

Public spending on social sector %

Public spending under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (million lek 2) exchange rate lek:US$ was 8:1 for 1990, 108:1 for 1993, 97:1 for 1994 and 93:1 for 1995)

2.5

2.16

Other data

the GDP per capita income

1989 -------> 1,500 US$
1990 -------> 601 US$
1992 -------> 207 US$
1994 -------> 549 US$

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 4: CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

Agriculture remains the most important activity, industrial activities are in decline, while tertiary activities, trade, transport, small-size business, tourism seems to offer more prospects for future economic development.

In the past, government policy emphasized the exploitation of natural resources to meet physical production targets, with the state directly involved through the state and collective farms and through state-owned enterprises in the mining and minerals processing sectors. With the transition to a market-based economy, the Government's role has changed to one of ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of the natural resources base. This new role has focused on developing and enforcing a legal and regulatory framework to manage and promote private sector activity, determining the stock of natural resources, assessing and monitoring the use of natural resources, providing agricultural technical and advisory services, granting licenses for mineral extraction, and monitoring and enforcing environmental standards.

STATUS REPORT:

National policy objectives/focus

The establishment of a market economy system has provided new development opportunities, which include opportunities for optimizing the use of productive elements in poverty striken areas, for the development of natural resources, for industrial restructuring, for increasing employment opportunities.

For the first time (1995) since the transition, Albanians did not consume as much as they produced. In 1992, consumption and investment were nearly twice (1.9) as high as GDP, with investment accounting for only 4-5% and mainly from the state sector. By 1995, consumption and investment were only 1.2 times as high as GDP, with investment accounting for 20-21% of GDP. Indeed, total savings for 1995 were estimated at 24-25% of GDP, compared to 22% for the European Union.

While increased individual savings add to a sense of security in the case of emergency and promise for future consumption, the current consumption rate has remained high, allowing people to fulfil needs long pent-up, as well as desires never before dreamed.

With the state accounting for 40% of GDP, government policies have played a crucial role in assuring basic health, education and other social services, in encouraging relatively stable prices and other legal and economic aspects favoring especially small and medium enterprises, and in investing in public infrastructure. Government expenses, revenue collection, and deficit spending have increased steadily in real terms, with the deficit remaining a fairly constant 32%- 34% of the total Government spending, except for the election year of 1996 for which a budget deficit of 37% was expected.

From a hidden tax system of forced reduced consumption under the previous regime, Albanians now face an open system taxation. The income tax for 1996 is planned to increase by 4% with those earning less than 10,000 lek per month (approx.100 US$) exempted. Revenue from taxes decreased as % of total state revenue from 64% in 1994 to 61% in 1995.

The current expenditures on salaries, social security, and economic assistance continued to dominate the state budget (nearly 70% of the proposed 1996 budget). Investment expenditure accounted for little more than a quarter of state expenditures, with public investment limited to social sectors and public services.

National targets

Poverty alleviation; basically popularize compulsory education; vigorously develop vocational training prior to employment; infrastructure to poor regions where markets are located; ensure an adequate supply of drinking water and an attempt to reverse the degradation of the environment in poor areas.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Government-Line ministries: Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Albanian Institute of Statistics, DEDAC.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Rational consumption to be promoted by formulating appropriate policies to control spending by government agencies and enterprises. Increasing the transparency of personal incomes and profits so that excessively high profits and incomes can be adjusted through taxation. Productive forces should be developed to establish an efficient system of production involving low energy consumption and less pollution, so that the quantity, quality, and diversity of resources for sustaining life can be improved.

3. Major Groups: Government, NGOs, other institutions (institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor).

4. Finance: From the State Budget and foreign financing.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Especially for natural resources management, the resources from PIP have been limited and have been targeted at strengthening capacities within the public sector, to carry out each of these functions, largely through the provision of technical assistance and training. Foreign Cooperation would be considered important in financing the public programmes in order to facilitate the utilization of the country's natural resources on a sustainable basis and to develop them in such a way as to ensure their lasting contribution to overall development (eco-tourism).

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1985

1990

1992

1994 1995

GDP per capita (current US$)

601

207

549

700

Real GDP growth (%) in constant prices

'91

(-27.7)

- 9.7

7.4

11

Annual energy consumption per capita (Kg. of oil equivalent per capita)

Motor vehicles in use per 1000 inhabitants

Other data
Automobiles:

State/private

1993

41,428/
88,279
1994

41,010/
112,876
1995

11,025/
94,665
Total
129,707
153,886
105,720

Government policies affecting consumption and production.

1. Goals and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with a (X) those agents which your Governments policies are meant most to influence.

Agents

Goals

Producers

Local
authorities

Central
Government

Households

Civil society

Material efficiency

Energy efficiency:

Transport

X

X

Housing

X

X

Other

Waste:

Reduce

X

X

X

Reuse

X

Recycle

X

Comments:

2. Means & Measures and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with an (R) those agents who assume primary responsibility for any of the policy measures indicated; indicate with an (I) the agents for which the impact is expected to be especially significant.

Agents

Means & Measures

Producers

Local
authorities

Central
Government

House-
holds

Civil
Society

Improving understanding and analysis

Information and education (e.g., radio/TV/press)

I

R

R

I

I

Research

R/I

R

I

Evaluating environmental claims

I

R

R

I

R/I

Form partnerships

R/I

R/I

R/I

I

R/I

Applying tools for modifying behavior

Community based strategies

I

R

R

I

R

Social incentives/disincentives (e.g., ecolabelling)

I

R/I

I

R/I

Regulatory instruments

I

R

R

I

I

Economic incentives/disincentives

I

R

R

I

I

Voluntary agreements of producer responsibility for

aspects of product life cycle

I

R

I

I

Provision of enabling facilities and infrastructure

(e.g., transportation alternatives, recycling)

I

R

R

I

I

Procurement policy

R

R

R

I

Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing performance

Action campaign

R

R

I

I

Other (specify)

Comments:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 5: DEMOGRAPHIC DYNAMICS AND SUSTAINABILITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT:

Following the postwar period, the population of Albania has increased at a rate of more than 2% annually which has been incompatible with the natural resources and economic development of the country.

Despite the lack of an official policy and strategy regarding population development, state propaganda has always supported a sort of ideological pronationalist attitude. This has rendered almost impossible the implementation of programs and policies related to family planning.

Emigration was forbidden, whereas the population movement from the rural to urban regions was under state control and very much restricted.

Based on the data from the 1989 census, Albania was populated by 3,182,416 people. By 1995, the registered number was 3,248,836 people. Actually, Albania is the only European country with a positive population growth rate. The actual growth rate for the time period 1990-1995 has been estimated around 0.8%. On the other hand, the population of Albania is relatively young. Almost one third of the population is under 14 years of age. The average life expectancy of the population is 71.4 years. Half of the women are at the reproduction age (15-49 years) and less than 10% of them make use of contraceptives. On average, an Albanian woman actually gives birth to 2.7 children. The number has constantly decreased from 6 in 1960, to 3 in 1990, reaching the average of 2.7 in 1995. However, Albania still holds the record of births per woman throughout Europe. The number of abortions in the country is still very high and many mothers lose their lives following the complications from abortion or during labour.

Maternal mortality continues to be the highest throughout Europe: 37 per 100,000 pregnant women die during labour. Infant mortality continues at an alarming rate: 23 babies per 1,000 die before reaching the first year of life and 35 per 1,000 die before the fifth year of age.

Migration is another crucial point for Albania. Before 1990, no emigration was allowed and only very reduced migration within the country was permitted. For instance, the number of people living in cities during 1960-1989 increased by only 5% (30-35%). Migration abroad started only in 1990 following the reduction of the control on population movement. Large-scale emigration started: people emigrated particularly to neighbouring countries (Greece and Italy). It has been estimated that in 1992, almost 200,000 people left the country. On the other hand, much of this was temporary emigration (i.e. people who return following a short stay abroad). Emigration has mainly affected the southern parts of Albania. In fact, no accurate data regarding migration is available, but the massive "exodus" from the rural areas is a virtual certainty. Migration is particularly high in the mountainous northern regions of the country, where the pressure to search for arable land is particularly high. People from these areas reach mainly the coastal regions and overpopulate the big cities like Tirana.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No specific decision-making structure exists to tackle this issue. However, for specific purposes, different institutions deal with the topic accoding to their mandate. Among those institutions are: the Ministry of Health and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources etc., and the Albanian Institute of Statistics.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: There is no proper institutional capacity for policy planning on demographic dynamics and sustainability. The Albanian Institute of Statistics collect and provide data on the issues, and forecast as well. Other Institutions dealing with this item are the Unit of Demography, at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Tirana, Faculty of Geography, et. al.

3. Major Groups: Government and other Institution; NGOs on family planning, women's organizations, young people's organizations, etc.

4. Finance: From the State Budget and foreign financing as specified even in more sectoral perspective.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The economic reform programme would request that a development programme be elaborated, and special vulnerable groups be targeted. At this point, regional and international cooperation is necessary for further substantial external financing, which has achieved considerable success. For these purposes bilateral and multilateral cooperation (previously mentioned) have been employed.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1990

1993

Latest 1995

Population (Thousands) mid-year estimates

3,282

3,167

3,249

Annual rate of increase (1990-1993)

1.9%

Surface area (Km2)

28,748

28,748

28,748

Population density (people/Km2)

114.2

110.2

112.9

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 6: PROTECTING AND PROMOTING HUMAN HEALTH

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Prevention through education

STATUS REPORT: The Policy of Human Health Protection in Albania has been based on the prevention of outbreaks of infectious diseases through general and specific prophylactic measures as well as on educational programs for the prevention of the so-called "civilization" health problems such as anti-smoking, anti-alcohol, anti-narcotic, anti-AIDS, family programming campaigns etc.

The health care structures in Albania depend on the Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection and on the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Special structures depend on the Ministry of Defense.

The Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection, through the Directorate of Primary Health Care and a Network of Local Primary Health Care Departments distributed in 37 districts, monitors the eventual onset of infectious disease outbreaks all over the country and undertakes the appropriate prophylactic measures in such cases. It organizes and supervises normal vaccination campaigns and holds records of databases as well.

A network of hospitals and clinics scattered all over the country is responsible for the treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

During the transition period, the Health Care System inherited considerable deficiencies from the former system and initially relied almost completely on medical supplies from humanitarian aid. To increase the efficiency of health care treatment centers, the Government allowed the creation of a private health care system, parallel to the existing state- owned one. In some areas, such as dental care and the network of drug stores and pharmacies, the private services thoroughly dominated the state existing structures. The health insurance system underwent a complete restructuring through the creation of the Institute of Public Health Insurance. Insurance for basic health problems is mandatory. A centralized state policy is followed regarding the prevention and control of outbreaks of transmissible diseases. In the last three years, the Public Health Service in Albania was faced with cholera outbreaks and an epidemic of poliomyelitis.

The respective campaigns for the control and the eradication of these infections were organized by the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection through the Institute of Public Health and the technical assistance of the World Health Organization.

Following the opening of the country to the western world, associated to the free movement of people, Albania experienced the onset of the first cases of AIDS in its population. According to official data, the number of AIDS-infected people amounts to about 30 individuals. Serological AIDS diagnostic tests are regularly performed at the Institute of Public Health and at the Blood Collection and Preservation Center. The test is secret and free of charge.

There is a reported increase in the use of narcotics especially among the young generation. This has brought about the creation of a narcotics treatment and rehabilitation unit. Special programs organized by WHO are dealing with the effects of smoking and alcohol and the ways of preventing and controlling them. A special program on family planning is being implemented.

Objectives of the primary curative service:

To increase the coverage of curative services from 95% to 100% for urban areas by the year 2005 and from 70% to 90% by the year 2005 for rural areas.

To improve the quality of curative services through the use of standardized protocols for diagnosis and treatment.

The standardized protocols will be correctly used for 95% of the patients by the year 2005.

Specific objectives related to the health status of the population are the following:

To reduce the disease incidence in children (i.e. reduce the infant mortality rate to under 25 per 1000 live births by the year 2000, infant mortality in the year 1995 was 30 per 1000).

To reduce the maternal mortality ratio to 25 per 100,000 live births by the year 2000 (the maternal mortality ratio was 28.5 per 100,000 live births in the year 1995).

To reduce the prevalence of malnutrition to less than 10% for children under five years of age.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Health and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Ministry of Health and Environment, the Faculty of Medicine, the Institute of Public Health.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: From the State Budget, Subsidies or grants from international donors such as WHO, WB, PHARE.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 1995_

Life expectancy at birth

Male

Female

69.5

67.0

72.3

72.2

69.3

75.4

71.4

68.5

74.3

Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)

~ 57.6

28.3

35.7

4

Maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births)

28.2

4

Access to safe drinking water (% of population)

65

70-75

85

5

Access to sanitation services (% of population)

N/A

N/A.

65-70

5
Other data

Life expectancy (years)
male
female

65.6
70.5

68.2
74.1

70.0
76.3
2

2

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 7: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENT DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Housing, infrastructure, energy and water supply

STATUS REPORT: Marked differences already exist in human settlements all over the country. On a horizontal approach which considers settlements from the administrative point of view, it is estimated that of the population as a whole is settled in 1/10 of the country's surface (coastal regions), whereas 1/5 of the population is settled in more than 1/3 of the territory. For the urban population, the horizontal differentiation of the settlements is more striking. In 1/10 of the above-mentioned surface is settled more than 1/3 of the entire urban population, while 1/3 of the territory is settled by 1/10 of the urban population of the country. The population settlements distribution amongst geographic zones reflects major differences. The Albanian Alps, which constitute more than 7% of the entire territory, offer living spaces for only 2% of population, whereas Myzeqeja, which constitutes 5% of the entire territory of the country, has almost 12% of the population. The western flatland side of the country which constitutes 21% of the territory, holds 53% of the entire population of Albania. On the other hand, the central mountainous region of the country which constitutes 48% of the entire territory, holds almost 26% of the population as a whole. From a vertical point of view, it has been estimated that in the administrative units located at an altitude of 300 m above sea level, 27.6% of the population is situated, while at the altitudes 301 - 1,000 metres above sea level - 51% of the population lives and above 1,000m only 20.4%. The majority of the Albanian population (more than 2/3) has settled in the Western flatland side of the country, the area of Korca and Delvina and along the river valleys. The hilly zones and the river valleys at the Western flatland side are home to almost 1/3 of the entire population, while the mountainous zones hold only 2% of the population as a whole.

It has been estimated that during the last decade, the settlements intensity in flatland side of the country has increased at a rate of 1.1%, mainly due to the overpopulation of the cities. The same increase in the settlements intensity has been observed in different hypsometric areas, where the area 0-300m is characterized by a substantial increase in population, the area 301-600m shows almost no increase, whereas above an altitude of 1,000m, a drastic reduction in population is observed.

Albania is a country of a high density population. Tirana, its capital, is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe (5,000 inhabitants/km2 )and a high land use intensity. Built up areas represent over 70% of the total municipal area with one of the lowest ratios of green space per inhabitant. Housing space per capita is the lowest in Europe (7,5 m2). In 1989, 43.4% of the apartments were one-room apartments and 35,9% two-room apartments. Illegal construction due to migration from the North-Eastern parts of the country became very common in the years of transition to the market economy. This is typical for big cities, especially Tirana.

Although electrification of the whole country was completed since 1970, power shortages are very frequent. Energy and heating supplies have become an acute problem. The drinking water infrastructure is old and insufficient to cover the needs for water supply. Most of the population uses drinking water from the tap. Telephones are still missing in most Albanian homes, though efforts are being undertaken with the support of the European Union and IFIs to build a new telephone infrastructure and drastically increase the telephone network, especially in big cities. Road infrastructure is still very poor, old and not well maintained. The railway system, though old, is still functioning. The only international airport is located in Tirana.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and Tourism

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and Tourism, the Faculty of Civil Engineering.

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Bilateral cooperation with Turkey, Malaysia, Israel for housing issues; PHARE Programme has covered some of the feasibility studies and detailed design in the field of drinking and waste water as well as solid domestic waste.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1990

1995

Urban population in % of total population

36.11

42.4

Annual rate of growth of urban population (%)

2.8

2.6

Largest city population (in % of total population)

9.1

15.3

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 8: INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

(See pages vii and viii at the beginning of the profile)

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Transformation of the Committee of Environmental Protection into an independent body of the same importance as the other ministries dealing with different development issues

STATUS REPORT: Prior to 1990, environment was hardly taken into consideration in the development plans of the government. The very small and poorly (from the quantity and quality point of view) staffed unit dealing with environment was underestimated and proved continuous institutional dependence change.

The Committee of Environmental Protection (CEP) was established in 1991. In 1992, it became part of the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection by conserving a relative independence from it. Actually, it is the main specialised body for environmental issues. Still, while being under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health, its role and potential are weakened.

In 1993, the CEP 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 the CEP and its relationship with the Government. More concretely, it was suggested that the CEP become in the short-run, an independent committee depending on and relating directly to the Prime Minister, or in the best case, a Ministry of the Environment. Four years later, this objective has not yet been met.

The above mentioned Strategy 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 constituted the first effort in bringing together development and environment in Albania. The impact of all economic activities on the natural environment was considered and the most 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 into account environmental considerations in their development plans. The NEAP also defines the responsibilities of each organisation (which are expected to give environmental benefits) to be carried out in the short-term (0-1 year), medium-term (1-3 years) and long-term (3-5 years). The NEAP of 1993 is actually being updated in order to better fit the new situation and circumstances.

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 into decision-making in the future. Other draft laws and by-laws are being prepared integrating both environment and development issues.

In 1994, the CEP established its Regional Environmental Agencies (REAs) which constitute its local structure. One of their main duties consists of the control over the local economic activities, trying to ensure that they do not become risky for the environment.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure (please also refer to the fact sheet): The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Department of Economic Development and Aid Co-ordination (DEDAC), different relevant ministries.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Department of Economic Development and Aid Co-ordination (DEDAC)

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 9: PROTECTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Preparation of the strategy for the air pollution monitoring

STATUS REPORT:

Albania accessed UNFCCC in 1994.

No report has been submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat up to now.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

In the transition period to the market economy and due to the closing down of major industrial activities which did not prove to be cost-efficient, air pollution has notably decreased. On the other hand, the contribution of the transport sector has increased rapidly, mainly in big cities, due to the high number of old vehicles imported from the Western Europe which do not have devices for gas treatment before its release (exhaust). Moreover, because of a more attractive price, the generally used gasoline in the country is the leaded gasoline.

No air pollution monitoring system is installed in the country. Albania is the only country in Europe without an air pollution monitoring system in place. With the financial support from the PHARE Environment Programme, Albania is expected to carry out a study for an eventual future strategy for air pollution monitoring all over the country.

Actually no expenses are being undertaken for air pollution abatement.

A project financed by the GEF is expected to undertake an inventory of the CO2 , SOx , NOx , CH4 , produced in the country as well as the calculation of the consumption of ozone depleting substances.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Health and Environment Protection, the Committee of Environmental Protection.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Institute of Public Health, the Institute for Hydrometeorology, the Faculty of Environmental Engineering.

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: A project is being carried out by the Institute of Public Health with the Financial support of the Swiss government. A project will be carried out with support by the PHARE Programme on the study of the possibility for an air pollution monitoring strategy in Albania. Another pilot project on air pollution monitoring in the capital is expected to be supported by the British Know-How Fund. The inventory of the Green House gases is expected to be financed by the GEF.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199-

CO2 emissions (eq. million tons)

N/A.

N/A

N/A

SOx "

N/A

N/A

N/A

NOx "

N/A

N/A

N/A

CH4 "

N/A

N/A

N/A

Consumption of ozone depleting substances (Tons)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Expenditure on air pollution abatement in US$ equivalents (million)

-

-

-

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 10: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY: 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; to elaborate sustainable land and natural resource managing policies.

STATUS REPORT: 75% of 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.

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.

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.

Technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for the formulation of land legislation and policies. Studies have been carried out on various land policy issues (including policies to promote optimal land use). 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and its other institutions (Land Institution)

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: During the 1996-98 period, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food's agricultural policy, analysis and programme management capacities will continue to be strengthened. In particular, a unit for formulating and analyzing policies for European integration is being set up under the Agricultural Projects Office (APO) with EU/PHARE assistance. In addition, the Ministry plans to improve its collection and analysis of agricultural data. There is also a need to expand the programme of staff training in all aspects of the Ministry's work.

3. Major Groups: Government and its research institutions; NGOs; different farmers and producers associations,

Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT)

4. Finance: The Government of Albania, IDA, EU/PHARE

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The programme to develop research and extension land services will continue. The national extension programme will be extended, and a medium-term strategy will be prepared. Additional foreign financing will be required.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 11: COMBATING DEFORESTATION

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

A rehabilitation and improvement of forest resources should be achieved, in order to avoid further degradation of forests: - to promote appropriate and sustainable conservation and management of forestry resources: - to support the establishment of an efficient forestry management service: - to facilitate the privatization of commercial forestry and wood industry operations (Italy, IDA, USA, Switzerland, Japan). Rehabilitation of forest roads network.

STATUS REPORT:

Albania is a country where forests cover 1,0447 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.

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:

Forest cut for opening of new agricultural lands;

Forest cut for terracing;

Forest cut for heating and cooking. Fuelwood used to provide 90-100% of the demand for heating and cooking in all rural and urban areas.

Forest cut for construction, mining, wood processing;

Illegal deforestation cut. 5000 ha were cut down from 1991 to 1992;

Overgrazing of 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 goats are more spread per each ha of forest. The more endangered are especially the re-pruned oak forests, those reproduced by seeds and the ones which have undergone the first phase of exploitation.

Despite measures taken, about 560 fires ocurred during 1993. Fires have covered an area of about 4,000,000 ha and have burned 250 ha. 509 fire cases were reported in 1994, which burned an area of about 400 ha.

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 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 of 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, while in 31% of it, the density is only 0.5-0.6 (tree crown).

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

In order to improve the situation the enforcement of the "Law on forests and forest service police" for the control over forests users, perfection of methods of exploitation, as well as searching for new ones are indispensable. Besides, in order to avoid the consequences and to re-establish the normal state it is necessary that work foreseen in the relevant programmes for sanitary cutting, regeneration and reforestation be done. Among other measures, the study of the grazing areas and the legal definition of the areas where grazing is and is not allowed as well as a more correct implementation of the regulations for grazing are expected to be efficient measures for combating deforestation. These measures could be complemented by the application of economic instruments (tax system) to encourage the raising of animals which do not destroy the forest.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, General Directorate of Forests and Pastures and other institutions.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Formulating appropriate policies and a legal framework for better use of forest resources; establishing effective forestry extension, information services and training of forestry staff; developing private forestry and community management of forest and pasture land.

3. Major Groups: The Government; Research Institution; NGOs for forestry conservation and management.

4. Finance: From the Albanian Government, Italy, USA, IDA, Switzerland, Japan.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Additional funds will be required to initiate activities for combating and preventing erosion in forests and for afforestation, pasture development and protective planting and research.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1985

1990

Latest 1996

Forest Area (ha)

1,044,700

1,031,60

Protected forest area

N/A

N/A

N/A

Roundwood production (solid volume of roundwood without bark in mill m3)

Deforestation rate (ha/annum)

~ 10,447

N/A

Reforestation rate (ha/annum)

~ 3,000

~3,000

~3,000

Other data

Albania covers 28,748 km2 (34.8% constituting of forests, 15% of pasture, 24.3% of agricultural land and 4% of lakes)

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 12: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT:

International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification

Particularly in Africa has not been ratified.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

NO AREAS AFFECTED BY DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Committee of Environmental Protection

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Faculty of Agronomy, the Institute of Soil Research.

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199_

Land affected by desertification (Km2)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 13: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY: A high proportion (most) of the country is mountainous and hilly. Nevertheless, these areas are not especially focused on "mountain development". Part of these regions, especially in the remote northeastern districts, are targeted for poverty alleviation, rural development, combating deforestation etc.

STATUS REPORT: Not much has been planned for sustainable mountain development in the National Environmental Action Plan and the Environment Strategy Study. This issue has been indirectly dealt with when the discussion or plans on Forest development arise. This is mainly due to the fact that forests are generally located in the areas high above the sea level.

Regarding the hill side, terracing for opening of new agricultural land has been detrimental to the environment. The problem is regarded to be not only the fault of the improper terracing, but rather the inadequate resources available to farmers for the maintenance of hill side terraces. Besides, in areas where hill side terraces are near the grazing lands, they constitute a further pressure on erosion.

Typical erosion problems are reported to have occurred in the districts of Diber, Elbasan, Pogradec, Korce, Tirane, Shkoder, Berat, Tropoje, Fier where extensive orchards are grown on terraced steep land.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Committee of Environmental Protection.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Faculty of Forestry Engineering, the Directorate General of Forests and Pastures, the Institute of Forestry and Pastures Research.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: A Pilot Project on Dajti mountain national park, is being financed under the PHARE 1993 Program.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
Low zones having a height of 0-1,000m include 19,090 km2 (67%)

Zones of middle relief having a height of 1,000-2,000m include 13,559 (31.9%)

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 14: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

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

STATUS REPORT: Following a sharp decline after the collapse of the centralised agricultural production system, Albania became 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 privatised, and major reforms in price and trade liberalisation have been achieved. As a result, last year agriculture was growing at an annual rate of more than 14%.

About 50% of the labour force is employed in agriculture and forestry (705,000 people in primary production and additional 100,000 in related sectors) and two thirds of the population live in rural areas.

Prior to the privatisation of arable land, state farms held 25% of the agricultural land, usually of higher quality, and the remainder was held by co-operatives. It is estimated that the privatisation of state farm and co-operatives has resulted in about 500,000 farms of an average size of 1,4 ha.

The Government has initiated a rapid campaign of privatisation of the agricultural marketing and processing sector. The entire system was in a very distressing situation, and factories were working at 5-20% 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 the 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 the central planning, the irrigation network was supervised and maintained by district 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 farmers and collect charges from them as well as maintain the network of channels.

Agricultural activities could have a serious impact on the 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 practised over the past 30 years and has lead to soil erosion. Past excessive use of state subsidised pesticides and fertilisers has lead in some areas to excessive concentration of chemicals in the soil amounting to an average of 468 kg fertiliser/ha and of 9 kg of pesticide and herbicide/ha in 1990. Nevertheless, fertiliser and pesticide consumption has decreased considerably recently.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, its institutions, Local Government and other ministries for especially focused issues (the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Construction, etc.).

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The Government (central and local); interest groups (farmers, etc.); research institutions.

4. Finance: From the Albanian Government; the EU/PHARE Programme, USAID, WB, FAO, IFAD, Islamic Development Bank; the Governments of Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Projects have been financed by the Albanian Government and multi- and/or bi-lateral donors.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1989

1993

Latest 1996

Agricultural land (000 ha)

713,000

704,000
702,000

Agricultural land as % of total land area

24.80

24.48

24.41

Agricultural land per capita

N/A

0.124

0.216

1989-90

1992-93

Latest 199_

Consumption of fertilizers per ha of agricultural land as of 1990

468.75 kg

N/A

N/A

Other data

agriculture output (in million lek)

total employment

1989

75,533

711,000
1993

84,927

750,000
1996

1107,525

750,000

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 15: CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Preparation of a strategy for biodiversity conservation

STATUS REPORT:

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.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

Considering the small size of the country, Albania is rich in biodiversity. There are still species in Albania which are endangered at the European level. The loggerhead turtle has been found along the 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 some isolated parts of the Aegean and Adriatic, is found in Albania. 63 mammals, 215 birds, 31 reptiles and 13 amphibians 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Committee on Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Institute of Biology Studies, the Institute of Forests and Pastures Research, the Institute of Fisheries Research, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Within the PHARE and Life Programmes of the European Union and the GEF.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1992

Latest 199_

Protected area as % of total land area

N.A

N.A

1990

Latest 199_

Number of threatened species

N.A

N.A

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 16: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Selectively determining the national needs for bioproducts and setting up a related environmentally sound biotechnology.

STATUS REPORT: During the communist regime in the country, the totalitarian State pursued the policy of producing everything relying on its "own efforts". Within the framework of this policy, particular attention was given to the production of bioproducts, which were considered by the former regime as "strategic goods". Therefore, many research institutions were involved in bio-research-developed production lines for bioproducts. The technology adopted for this purpose was Chinese, and as a matter of fact, most of the bio-production lines were installed and began to function during the years of Albanian-Chinese friendship.

Bioproducts such as vaccines, antigens, serums were produced by the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (currently called the Institute of Public Health) and the Institute of Veterinary Research, serums for reproduction purposes by the Institute of Animal Breeding Research, and production of antibiotics by the Antibiotic Enterprise in Tirana.

Smaller scale biotechnology lines were also installed in other institutions such as the Institute of Potatoes and Vegetables, Biomass Station, etc.

There was little interest shown by the State to improve the biotechnological lines, especially in view of their possible impacts on the environment. In many cases, the by-products of the bio-lines underwent no special treatment and were discharged into the municipal sewage or dump sites.

Generally, the control of bioproducts for their harmlessness, sterility and other safety parameters was performed by units within the production units themselves thus not allowing an objective evaluation of the final product. Therefore, in some cases, the bioproduct turned out to be a contaminant at the final destination.

Considering that there was no proper market demand for bioproducts, their production and distribution was performed in a centralized way and in many cases the delivered aliquots were not used at all and after expiring, were not always returned to the delivery center for treatment as wastes.

Following the fall of the communist regime and the onset of the free market society, most of the state-controlled biotechnology lines underwent a deep crisis. Due to their obsolete technologies, their final products were of low quality and safety and very costly, and therefore unable to compete with the imported bioproducts. As a result, some of the biotechnology lines were forced to close down their activities.

In some cases, the State was unable to properly manage the biotechnology production lines which resulted in their privatization such as the case of the Antibiotic Enterprise in Tirana. In some other cases, the state-owned biotechnology lines (esp. vaccines production lines) reduced their production activities and acquired the position of distributors of imported bioproducts by keeping a certain commission for the performed activity.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Health and Environment

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The Institute of Public Health (former Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology), the Institute of Veterinary Research, the Institute of Animal Breeding Research, the Antibiotic Enterprise, the Institute of Potatoes and Vegetables Research, the Biomass Station, Faculty of Natural Sciences, etc.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: From the State Budget. Grants from Abroad.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Very reduced cooperation.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 17: PROTECTION OF THE OCEANS, ALL KINDS OF SEAS, INCLUDING ENCLOSED AND SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS, AND COASTAL AREAS AND THE PROTECTION, RATIONAL USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR LIVING RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT:

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

See also the attached tables on the next pages.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and Tourism.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Same as above and the Institute of Hydrometeorolgy and the Institute of Nuclear Physics.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199-

Catches of marine species (metric tons)

5.283

11.655

0.992

5

Population in coastal areas

53%

5

Population served by waste water treatment (% of country's

total population)

--

--

--

Discharges of oil into coastal waters (metric tons)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Releases of phosphate into coastal waters (metric tons)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Releases of nitrate into coastal waters (metric tons)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Other data

Chapter 17 (Oceans) Continued:

Check the boxes in the column below left: Check the boxes in the column below right:
For level of importance use: For level of implementation use:
*** = very important *** = fully covered
** = important ** = well covered- gaps being addressed
* = not important * = poorly covered
N = not relevant O = not covered; N = not relevant

TABLE I. THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE APPROPRIATE COORDINATING MECHANISM FOR INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS AND THEIR RESOURCES.

LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE

ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21

LEVEL OF IMPLEMENTATION

***

A. Preparation and implementation of land and water use and siting policies.

*

***

B. Implementation of integrated coastal and marine management and sustainable development plans and programmes at appropriate levels.

*

**

C. Preparation of coastal profiles identifying critical areas including eroded zones, physical processes, development patterns, user conflicts and specific priorities for management.

*

**

D. Prior environmental impact assessment, systematic observation and follow-up of major projects, including systematic incorporation of results in decision-making.

0

*

E. Contingency plans for human induced and natural disasters.

0

***

F. Improvement of coastal human settlements, especially in housing, drinking water and treatment and disposal of sewage, solid wastes and industrial effluents.

*

**

G. Periodic assessment of the impacts of external factors and phenomena to ensure that the objectives of integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and marine environment are met.

*

***

H. Conservation and restoration of altered critical habitats.

*

***

I. Integration of sectoral programmes on sustainable development for settlements, agriculture, tourism, fishing, ports and industries affecting the coastal areas.

*

***

J. Infrastructure adaptation and alternative employment.

0

***

K. Human resource development and training.

*

***

L. Public education, awareness and information programmes.

*

*

M. Promoting environmentally sound technology and sustainable practices.

0

**

N. Development and simultaneous implementation of environmental quality criteria.

*

TABLE II. TECHNOLOGY (MARINE ENVIRONMENT)

LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE

ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21

LEVEL OF IMPLEMENTATION

*

A. Apply preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment, as well as to reduce the risk of long-term or irreversible adverse effects upon it.

0

***

B. Ensure prior assessment of activities that may have significant adverse impacts upon the marine environment.

*

***

C. Integrate protection of the marine environment into relevant general environmental, social and economic development policies.

*

**

D. Develop economic incentives, where appropriate, to apply clean technologies and other means consistent with the internalization of environmental costs, such as the polluter pays principle, so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment.

0

**

E. Improve the living standards of coastal populations, particularly in developing countries, so as to contribute to reducing the degradation of the coastal and marine environment.

0

**

F. Effective monitoring and surveillance within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of fish harvesting and transportation of toxic and other hazardous materials.

*

TABLE III. SEWAGE RELATED ISSUES

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Sewage related problems are considered when formulating or reviewing coastal development plans, including human development plans.
*
***
B. Sewage treatment facilities are built in accordance with national policies.
0
***
C. Coastal outfalls are located so as to maintain acceptable level of environmental quality and to avoid exposing shell fisheries, water intakes and bathing areas to pathogens.
0
***
D. The Government promotes primary treatment of municipal sewage discharged to rivers, estuaries and the sea, or other solutions appropriate to specific sites.
0
*
E. The Government supports the establishment and improvement of local, national, subregional and regional, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control effluent discharge. Minimum sewage effluent guidelines and water quality criteria are in use.
0

TABLE IV. OTHER SOURCES OF MARINE POLLUTION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS:

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE

ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21

LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION

*

A. Established or improved upon, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control emissions, including recycling technologies.

0

***

B. Promoted risk and environmental impact assessments to help ensure an acceptable level of environmental quality.

*

*

C. Promoted assessment and cooperation at the regional level, where appropriate, with respect to the input of point source pollutants from the marine environment.

0

*

D. Taken steps to eliminate emissions or discharges of organohalogen compounds from the marine environment.

0

*

E. Taken steps to eliminate/reduce emissions or discharges or other synthetic organic compounds from the marine environment.

0

*

F. Promoted controls over anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen and phosphorous that enter coastal waters where such problems as eutrophication threaten the marine environment or its resources.

0

*

G. Taken steps to develop and implement environmentally sound land-use techniques and practices to reduce run-off to water courses and estuaries which would cause pollution or degradation of the marine environment.

0

*

H. Promoted the use of environmentally less harmful pesticides and fertilizers and alternative methods for pest control, and considered the prohibition of those found to be environmentally unsound.

0

*

I. Adopted new initiatives at national, subregional and regional levels for controlling the input of non-point source pollutants which require broad changes in sewage and waste management, agricultural practices, mining, construction and transportation.

0

*

J. Taken steps to control and prevent coastal erosion and siltation due to anthropogenic factors related to, inter alia, land-use and construction techniques and practices.

0

TABLE V. ADDRESSING CRITICAL UNCERTAINTIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAMME AREA THE GOVERNMENT IS CARRYING OUT THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:

LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE

ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21

LEVEL OF IMPLEMENTATION

**

A. Coordinating national and regional observation programmes for coastal and near-shore phenomena related to climate change and for research parameters essential for marine and coastal management in all regions.

*

*

B. Providing improved forecasts of marine conditions for the safety of inhabitants of coastal areas and for the efficiency of marine operations.

0

*

C. Adopting special measures to cope with and adapt to potential climate change and sea-level rise.

N

***

D. Participating in coastal vulnerability assessment, modeling and response strategies particularly for priority areas, such as small islands and low-lying and critical coastal areas.

*

*

E. Identifying ongoing and planned programmes of systematic observation of the marine environment, with a view to integrating activities and establishing priorities to address critical uncertainties for oceans and all seas.

0

*

F. Research to determine the marine biological effects of increased levels of ultraviolet rays due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.

0

N

G. Carrying out analysis, assessments and systematic observation of the role of oceans as a carbon sink.

N

TABLE VI. RATING OF ACTIVITIES IN THE AIR AND MARITIME TRANSPORT SECTORS IN THE SMALL ISLANDS DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS)

AIR TRANSPORT

RATING

MARITIME TRANSPORT

RATING

1. Frequency (external flights)

1. Frequency (external shipping)

2. Frequency (in-country flights)

2. Frequency (in-country shipping)

3. Cooperation at regional level in air transport and civil aviation

3. Cooperation at regional level in shipping

4. Cooperation at international level

4. Cooperation at international level

5. Economic viability of national air line

5. Economic viability of national shipping line(s)

6. Economic viability of regional air line

6. Economic viability of regional shipping line (s)

7. national level training in skills for air transport sector

7. National level training in skills for maritime transport sector

8. Access to training in skills for air transport sector within the region

8. Regional level training in skills for maritime transport sector

9. Access to international training for air transport sector

9. Access to international training for maritime transport sector

10. Supportive of ICAO

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 18: PROTECTION OF THE QUALITY AND SUPPLY OF FRESHWATER RESOURCES: APPLICATION OF INTEGRATED APPROACHES TO THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND USE OF WATER RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT: Albania has abundant water resources, composed of rivers, lakes, underground waters, 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 and have 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.

Albania is a water-rich country, and much of its economic activity is dependent on the utilization of water resources. Over 90% of the energy production is from hydropower plants, while agriculture is critically dependent on irrigation. However, the inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure in each of the water-using sectors and the 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.

The Government's role in the management of water resources has been to develop and implement policies and strategies which promote the conservation and 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.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The 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 Ministry of Mineral and Energy Resources.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: 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.

3. Major Groups: The Government; the National Water Committee; Research Institutions.

4. Finance: From the Albanian Government, IDA, IFAD, Italy, Germany, Austria.

5. Regional/International Cooperation:

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.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 1996

Fresh water availability (liter/second)

8,620

Annual withdrawal of freshwater as % of available water

40%

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 19: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF TOXIC CHEMICALS, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN TOXIC AND DANGEROUS PRODUCTS

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Legal and technical control on the production and use of toxic chemicals in the country and the elimination of toxic substances still present in the country.

STATUS REPORT: During the former regime, agriculture in particular made considerable use of toxic chemicals mainly fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. While fertilizers were mainly produced in the country, herbicides and insecticides were generally imported. Since there was a 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 the long persistence as residues in the environment. There were 70 different kinds of pesticides many of which highly toxic. There was no law that could impose restrictions on the type of the chemical allowed to enter and be 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 a 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 as by products to the environmental contamination, such as the Caustic Soda Enterprise in Vlora, Metallurgic Combine Complex in Elbasan, The Battery and Accumulators Enterprise in Berati, the Cooper Smelter Enterprise in Rubik etc.

The onset of the free market economy brought about a considerable decrease in the use of fertilizers 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 which has contributed to the lessening of pollution from agricultural activities, is the rather low level of pesticides used in the last years, mainly due to the little concern shown by the farmers and the generally restricted possibilities for the 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 2,700 tons of used pesticides derived from the fund of the ex-agricultural cooperatives and enterprises or pesticides not used in their appropriate time. Out of this amount, a 465 ton stock of pesticides on the eve of expiration had come, in 1991-1992, as disguised aid from the former East Germany and was deposited mainly in Bajza station (Shkoder) and Milot. With the continuos insistence of the Committee on Environmental Protection and with the support of Greenpeace, the German Ministry of Environment took the responsibility to undertake actions and allocate funds for the pesticides repackaging and their return in Germany, in cooperation with the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. 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 1,500 tons of pesticides were in the country, not including another 600 tons from the Chemical Enterprise in Durres (wastes from lindan production). An adverse phenomenon that should be impeded, is the privatization of the pesticides warehouses which may cause environmental pollution or be misused by the new owners if their destination is changed.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Committee of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Same as above, and the Research Institute for Chemical Technology, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Laboratory of the Army.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 20: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTES, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN HAZARDOUS WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Environmentally sound and legally compatible removal of hazardous wastes still present in the country.

STATUS REPORT:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal

No information has ever been provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

The number of large industrial and mining activities are the main contributors to the toxic waste production.

No treatment or control has ever been done before dumping; the waste is dumped untreated.

Activities which generate hazardous wastes in Albania include:
- oil extraction and refining (areas of Fier, Patos, Kucove, Cerrik, Ballsh);
- - mining and metal ore processing ( areas of Elbasan, Rubik, Burrel, Kukes, Lac); and
- industrial production, chemical industry (areas of Vlora, Fier, Lac, Durres, Tirana).

A ministerial decision was passed in 1994, which contains a list of hazardous materials banned from import.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Committee of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources,

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Committee of Environmental Protection, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Institute of Research of Chemical Technology.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: A National Waste Management Plan, carried out with the financial support of the PHARE 1993 Environment Programme for Albania. Another project is expected to start ("Waste management in 6 Albanian municipalities; a model to be implemented in other developing countries") with the support of the LIFE Programme of the European Union.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199-

Generation of hazardous waste (t)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Import of hazardous wastes (t)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Export of hazardous wastes (t)

--

--

--

Area of land contaminated by hazardous waste (km2)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Expenditure on hazardous waste treatment (US$)

--

--

--

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 21: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTES AND SEWAGE-RELATED ISSUES

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Waste disposal and building of sanitary landfills

STATUS REPORT: Urban solid waste management in Albania is the responsibility of the municipalities. 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 increased drastically due to the increased and changed consumption patterns. The average 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 coast, being a continuous threat to their quality. 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 systems adopted by the past regime.

A new problem has recently been raised by construction wastes which are left at the site after the completion of buildings.

No regulation forces the construction companies to withdraw the wastes generated by them.

Urban waste management has become a critical issue and an environmental priority in Albania. The situation with urban waste is worrying and is worse with time. It is of a crucial importance to start acting immediately in order to avoid further complications. Therefore, work must start urgently to avoid problems which can be tackled today. Any delay can have such an adverse effect, so as to make the solution of the problem more difficult and/or expensive in the future.

No separate disposal is foreseen for industrial wastes. 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 are closed, the problems related to industrial waste mainly concern the clean up of the already contaminated sites rather than the disposal of the waste production in itself.

Though the industrial activities are not functioning for the time being, it is expected that soon the economy will bloom. Therefore, the definition of the rules and standards to limit the production of industrial waste must be carried out in the short term.

No waste water treatment plants exist in the country. Sewage waters are discharged directly to the sea or rivers, being a threat for the environmental quality of waters and tourism development.

Old sewage pipes are often placed over 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 have occurred such as cholera and poliomyelitis.

Untreated sewage water is used for irrigation leading not only to health problems but also adversely affecting the soil quality, vegetation and aquatic resources.

Both urban solid wastes and sewage water related problems are currently being emphasized with the illegal constructions in areas where no infrastructure is built for these purposes.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Public Works, Territory Adjustment and Tourism, Committee on Environmental Protection.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Same as above, and the Research Institute for Chemical Technology, the Faculty of Environmental Engineering and the Faculty of Energy Resources.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: within the National Waste Management Plan - PHARE Environment 1993; the National Water Strategy - PHARE Environment 1993; Waste water Treatment Plant and detailed design for Vlora and Pogradec cities - PHARE Environment 1993; Waste water Treatment plants and drinking water supply for Saranda-PHARE Crossborder.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199-

Generation of industrial and municipal waste (t)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Waste disposed(Kg/capita)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Expenditure on waste collection and treatment (US$)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Waste recycling rates (%)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Municipal waste disposal (Kg/capita)

N/A

N/A

0,4

Waste reduction rates per unit of GDP (t/year)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 22: SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Setting up a national network for the control and treatment of radioactive wastes.

STATUS REPORT: Radioactive wastes in Albania are related to the existence of authorised nuclear units that make use of radio nuclides, either as radio tracers or as radiation sources for radio-theraupetic purposes.

There are no nuclear reactors in the country.

The Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection, through a special Radiation-protection unit, is responsible for the supervision of the nuclear safety of the existing authorised nuclear units in the country.

The Radiation Protection unit of this Ministry issues regulations and imposes restrictions on work with radioactive substances.

The Institute of Nuclear Research is the national centre responsible for the management and disposal of the radioactive wastes. It also holds training courses on radiation safety and issues certificates for staff personnel to be hired for working in the nuclear units.

Nuclear units that make use of radio nuclides are required to make import orders for radio-isotopes through the Institute of Nuclear Research directly, or proceed independently after having informed the Radiation safety unit of the Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection in advance of the type of radio-isotope and purpose of use.

The Institute of Nuclear Research (INR) is the only Albanian authority responsible for the final disposal of radioactive wastes. The nuclear units, after the temporary disposal of their radioactive wastes in the appropriate containers, must contact the INR for the final disposal of the wastes.

The Institute of Nuclear Research is currently engaged in considering the request of the University Hospital Centre for the disposal of a Co-60 Radiation Source which is actually out of use.

Recently the Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection has reorganised the former Radiation Safety Unit at the level of a Department. The Department for Radiation Safety will undertake most of the responsibilities in the field of radiation protection. It will routinely investigate the activities of the existing nuclear units through a network of radiation safety inspectors.

All units that intend to make use of nuclear techniques must apply for a licence from the Radiation Safety Department and comply with the existing regulations.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Health and Environment Protection, Radiation Protection Department.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The University of Tirana, the Faculty of Natural Sciences,

the Institute of Nuclear Research Tirana, Albania.

3. Major Groups: The Department of Radiation Protection at the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection and the Network of Radiation safety inspectors.

4. Finance: From the State Budget Funds; the International Atomic Energy Agency grants, other funding etc.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Regional and international cooperation is mainly organized and subsidized by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS 23-32: MAJOR GROUPS

The role of major groups are also covered under the various chapters of Agenda 21. The following is a summary of main objectives outlined in Agenda 21. Please check the appropriate boxes and describe briefly any important steps or obstacles.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Ch. 24: GLOBAL ACTION FOR WOMEN TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT.

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

24.a increasing the proportion of women decision makers.

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. Three women hold high ministerial positions (1995). Although there is no adverse attitude towards women serving in high governmental and political positions, little has been done concretely at the 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.

24.b assessing, reviewing, revising and implementing curricula and other educational material with a view to promoting dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge.

Curricula and educational material is being revised.

24.c formulating and implementing policies, guidelines, strategies and plans for achievement of equality in all aspects of society including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development. Policies/strategies etc. are being drawn up.

24.d establishing mechanisms by 1995 to assess implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words):

A parliamentary women's group was created in 1995 to focus on women's rights. This group played an important role in preparing the participation of Albanian women at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Out of the 20 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. Not of all them are well organized, capable of carrying out sophisticated projects. Shortcomings do exist, including the concentration of most of the activities in the capital, Tirana, the emphasis on urban women, the weak participation of young women, and the lack of sufficient publicity about their activities.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Ch. 25: CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

25.4 establishing processes that promote dialogue between the youth and government at all levels and mechanisms that permit youth access to information and opportunity to present their views on implementing A21.

Name relevant youth fora (3-4 most important):

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

Describe their role in

the national process:

25.6 reducing youth unemployment

Youth unemployment (under 20) (1993) 44,820 1995: 20,701

(21-34) (1993) 147,190 (1995)78,069

25.5 ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training.

The goal set in Agenda 21:

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Regarding participation in society and political life, Albanian youth has swung from enthusiastic initial participation to withdrawal or vice versa, from initial apathy to furious participation in public political life. In a country with a high percentage of youth, 20% of current population is 15-24 years old, the 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 35-39 year-olds. The number of young people in important posts and in the administration is still small.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Ch. 26: RECOGNIZING AND STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.

26.3.a establishing a process to empower indigenous people and their communities -- through policies and legal instruments:

26.3.b strengthening arrangements for active participation in national policies

26.3.c involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at the national and local level.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

Ch. 27: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

27.5 developing mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively.

27.6 reviewing formal procedures and mechanisms to involve NGOs in decision making and implementation.

27.8 promoting and allowing NGOs to participate in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review Agenda 21 implementation.

27.7 establishing a mutually productive dialogue by 1995 at the national level between NGOs and governments.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words):

The flourishing of a large number of NGOs and civil institutions is indicative of an active environment and of the involvement in socio-political and economic issues. However, not all of them are currently active.

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 candidates as well as voters. These activities include job creation for women, and access to opportunities for obtaining financial support and the collection and analysis of data specific to women. Also public awareness campaigns are being promoted.

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

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Ch. 28: LOCAL AUTHORITIES' INITIATIVES IN SUPPORT OF AGENDA 21.

28.2.d encouraging local authorities to implement and monitor programmes that aim to ensure participation of women and youth in local decision making.

There are at least ------ local agenda 21s. -----% involve representation of women and/or youth

They involve ----% of population

Government support of local agenda 21 initiatives:

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words):

The recommendations in Agenda 21 are not in the implementation phase in Albania. They are still in the preparatory stage.

Ch. 29: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WORKERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS.

29.2 full participation of workers in implementation and evaluation of A21.

29.3 a to e (By year 2000, (a) promoting ratification of ILO conventions; (b) establishing bipartite and tripartite mechanism on safety, health and sustainable development; (c) increasing number of environmental collective agreements; (d) reducing occupational accidents and injuries; (e) increasing workers' education and training efforts.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words):

The recommendations in Agenda 21 are not in the implementation phase in Albania. They are still in the preparatory stage.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

30: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY.

30.6 increasing the efficiency of resource use, including reuse, recycling, and reduction of waste per unit of economic output.

There are governmental policies encouraging the above objective.

30.18.a encouraging the concept of stewardship in management and use of natural resources by entrepreneurs.

List any actions taken in this area:

The recommendations in Agenda 21 are not in the implementation phase in Albania. They are still in the preparatory stage.

30.18.b increasing number of enterprises that subscribe to and implement sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

The Albanian Committee for Environmental Protection is responsible for environmental issues. The CEP operates under the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection and is responsible even for:

- environmental legislation (preparation, implementation, and enforcement of regulations and standards); and

- activities related to the carrying out and implementation of Environmental Impact Assessments.

Currently, there is a need for the preparation of specific laws, regulations, and standards governing the air, water, and soil pollution and for preparation of laws and guidelines concerning environmental impact assessment, land tenure, coastal zone management, mining, disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, petroleum exploration and development, application of agriculture chemicals and the use of irrigation water.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Ch. 31: SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY.

31.3.b improving exchange of knowledge and concerns between s&t community and the general public.

31.9 developing, improving and promoting international acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and its role in reconciling environment and development.

Brief comments on this chapter not already described in chapter 35 (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

Ch. 32: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF FARMERS.

32.5.c promoting and encouraging sustainable farming practices and technologies.

32.5.e developing a policy framework that provides incentives and motivation among farmers for sustainable and efficient farming practices.

32.5.f enhancing participation of organizations of farmers in design and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

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 agri-business 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.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 33: FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS

Financial resources and mechanisms are also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national financial policies, domestic and external (including ODA)

NATIONAL PRIORITY: The reform programme aims to maintain a high rate of economic growth while holding inflation below a certain reasonable level (under 10%), while maintaining an adequate level of foreign reserves and making progress towards balance of payments viability. The strategy for achieving these objectives involves: removing barriers to private sector development: -increased public saving and investment: -control of credit expansion: control of public expenditure especially the public sector wage bill: strengthening market-oriented structural reform; continuing mobilization of external support as far as possible on concessional terms.

STATUS REPORT: The Economic reform programme, which has been supported by substantial external financial assistance has achieved considerable success. Targets for economic growth, inflation and external adjustment were met. The key macro-economic measures which have contributed to this success were the implementation of a strong monetary policy based on reductions in the domestic financing requirements of the budget and strict limitations on credit to state enterprises. This has been backed up by policies to strengthen revenue performance and fiscal management, the implementation of income policy and further liberalization of the trading system including the simplifying of tariff structures. Recently, these considerable successes have been interrupted by the sudden collapse of the pyramidal scheme based companies.

CHANGES IN NATIONAL BUDGET TO ADDRESS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

The key measures will be the following:

1) Credit policy: The strict limits on credit expansion. The domestic budget deficit will be covered by non-inflationary financing through the issuing of treasury bills.

2) Fiscal management: A strong fiscal policy stance will be maintained aimed at reducing the budget deficit to sustainable levels.

This involves measures to broaden the tax system, improvements in tax administration, elimination of the remaining price subsidies, rationalization of social services, public administration reform and utilization of external support. This, in turn, will require strengthening of institutional capacities for budgetary planning, accounting, reporting and expenditure control.

NEW ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS:

External sector polices: Sustaining the market-determined exchange rate, maintaining liberal trade and exchange systems, normalization of the external financial relation following the agreement on debt restructuring with foreign commercial banks, strengthening of institutional capacities in the financial services sector for handling foreign transactions. International trade will also be facilitated by Albania's accession to membership in the WTO.

Private sector development: This will require further refinements in the legal framework for the market economy and more rapid progress in the creation of the modern commercial banking system. This will be backed up by the completion of a enterprise privatization programme and the seeking of strategic investors in the mining and petroleum sectors and in some public utility operations.

ELIMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTALLY UNFRIENDLY SUBSIDIES: No information.

ODA policy issues

No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

ODA funding provided or received (Total US$ million)

Public investment financed by external credits (mln lek)

1,272

5,188

9,565

19,353

25,000

Average for 92-93

Average for 94-96

Net flow of external capital from all sources as % of GDP

Other data

Public sector investment has increased from about 7.1% of GDP of 1993, to about 8.6% of 1995 GDP. This increase was accompanied by an increase in public investment. The foreign public investment finance reached over 50% of the total public investment in 1995.

In the private sector it is expected that more will be done in light manufacturing and other productive sectors. According to approximate calculations, foreign investments in the end of 1995, were estimated to have reached 210 million US$, excluding investment in oil exploration estimated to be about 200 million US$.

Foreign investors accounted for a growing percentage of private investment, with 53% coming from Italian investors, 27% from Greeks, et al. Most private investment is concentrated in light industry and food processing as well as in the fuel and mineral industries.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 34: TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGY, COOPERATION AND CAPACITY-BUILDING

Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building is also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national policies and actions relating to chapter 34.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT ON LINKS BETWEEN NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION NETWORKS/SYSTEMS:

No information

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: No information

Describe any work being undertaken at the national or local level regarding efforts to promote clean production processes and/or the concepts of eco-efficiency. These processes may include training, preferential financial arrangements, information dissemination and changes in legal or regulatory frameworks.

No information

Provide information on the adoption of environmental management systems. National reaction to environmental management system standards such as the ISO 14000 Series and others. Please note efforts made at the national level to promote their adoption and the creation of certification infrastructure in order to facilitate access to these standards to local industry.

No information

List and describe programs or work under way to facilitate the transfer of ESTs to small and medium sized enterprises. Please note efforts to facilitate access to financial resources and other transfer strategies.

No information

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 35: SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Integration of education and research.

STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, RESEARCH NEEDS AND PRIORITIES:

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.

Universities and Research Institutes act as independent administrative structures. Therefore, the present organizational structure does not offer the necessary background for scientific integration and co-operation.

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

Applied research has been and continues to be a priority in the scientific policy of Albania.

Applied research follows the economic priorities of the country such as agriculture, extraction and processing of ores industry, environmental protection etc. Research costs are partly subsidised by the state budget and to a larger extent, by international funds.

STEPS TAKEN TO ENHANCE SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING, IMPROVE LONG TERM SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT, BUILDING OF CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY:

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 Universities as centres of education and research, through the inclusion of research Institutes as functional parts of the Universities.

Apart from strengthening scientific understanding, it will ensure a rational and better use of the scientific staff and of the available financial resources.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

Year

Number of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research and experimental development

#

19--

Total expenditure for research and experimental development (US$ eq.)

$

19--

Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 36: PROMOTING EDUCATION, PUBLIC AWARENESS AND TRAINING

NATIONAL PRIORITY: Because of their social benefits, services in these sectors are generally unsuited for privatization. The government policies emphasize the "protection" of services and the implementation of reform measures aimed at making services more efficient and better targeted. The Ministries of Education's objectives for the sector are to ensure the provision of a basic education for all Albanians and to meet the professional and technical skills required in a market economy.

STATUS REPORT: In general, indicators of quality and access within the education sector have deteriorated during the early 1990s as a result of the poor conditions of education provisions (poor condition of facilities, poorly motivated staff due to poor salaries and working conditions, outdated curricula, untrained teachers, shortages in equipment and books). This has been the result of critically inadequate funding from the budget for the education sector (average

9% of the total budget). In 1996, it was estimated around 11%.

The policies and strategies for the sector aim at 1) improving the facilities for delivering education through a programme of rehabilitation, reconstruction, re-equipping facilities; 2) updating the education curriculum at all levels; 3) developing skilled teaching staff; 4) establishing an effective system of education management to ensure quality assessment and control; and 5) ensuring a more efficient utilization of facilities and staff and reducing the demands on the state budget.

a) Reorientation of education towards sustainable development

Reorientation of education: 1) to improve the environment and quality of all levels of education in order to ensure that an educated adult population and workforce is being prepared; 2) to rehabilitate and rationalize existing education facilities to suit the changing demographic structure: and 3) to support the restructuring of secondary education, emphasizing a general education and a more broadly based vocational education system.

b) Increasing public awareness

No information.

c) Promoting training

A separate fund, entitled the Training, Employment, and Enterprise Fund (TEEF), has been set up to provide funding for organizations which provide job training and support the development of small enterprises. It is administered by the unit within the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.

ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS:

At the Ministry of Education headquarters: policy development and sector programme planning and management capacities. The Pedagogical Institute: developing its role in instigating and advising the Government on key issues in the sector such as school governance, curriculum development, quality assurance.

The Institute of Labor and Social Affairs is engaged in studying the relationships between labor market and vocational and technical training.

NGOs have contributed financially in the realization of education research projects at different levels, notably the SOROS Foundation "For Open Society" and different Italian NGOs, such as Don Bosco et al.

FINANCING AND COST EVALUATION OF THE LABOR ACTIVITIES:

A range of different international and bilateral donors are active in this field. At present, foreign donors are providing significant amounts to help improve both the physical infrastructure and the know-how education and training system, the most important donors being the EU/PHARE, the World Bank, SOROS, UNESCO, UNICEF, Germany, Switzerland, USA, the Netherlands, et al.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1990

Latest 199-

Adult literacy rate (%) Male

Adult literacy rate (%) Female

% of primary school children reaching grade 5 (1986-97)

Mean number of years of schooling

% of GNP spent on education

Females per 100 males in secondary school

Women per 100 men in the labor force

Other data
1994
1995

Total number of students receiving higher education degrees
3,972
4,436
Average number of school years

Total: 10.89

male

11.36
female

10.48
Women participation in labor force for 1995: 51.1%
Long term unemployment (% of total)
1993
1994
1995

Female

Male

%

45

55
%

46

54
%

48

52

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 37: NATIONAL MECHANISMS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

National capacity building is also covered under sectoral chapters.

Donors: You may wish to describe here how Agenda 21 has influenced your ODA policies in this area.

Developing countries: You may wish to describe any new national mechanisms for capacity building - and any changes in technical cooperation.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:

STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL ENDOGENOUS CAPACITY BUILDING: In Albania, environmental management is as new as many other areas of the Government's activities. No institutional structures exist for sustainable development and multi-sectoral decision-making on development priorities. However, in the current sectoral ministries, divisions exist which address issues related to environmental protection and management. This structure could well be utilised in creating a network of decision-makers from across the traditional line ministries.

Some recent experience exists with respect to environmental management in Albania. In 1991, a Committee on Environment Protection (CEP) was established. The Committee is attached to the Ministry of Health 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 is 25.

Until 1994, no institutional infrastructure existed to address environmental management at the local level. Recognizing 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. Most REAs are staffed by 1-2 professionals. It is expected that operationalisation 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 structures at the local level which are being developed by CEP, the Secretariat for Local Government under the 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 advocating the interest of municipalities at the national level.

In addition to recently created government bodies, other entities such as institutes and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also play a role in environmental management in Albania.

The Institute of Hydro-meteorology of the Academy of Sciences, for example, 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 are 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 to 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, the control of drinking water supplies and the system of urban waste discharges.

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

The first environmental NGOs were created in 1991. NGOs have often taken the lead to point out trade and consummation patterns which are not sustainable long-term and have suggested short-term policy and behavioural changes. In Albania, approximately 300 NGOs are registered, even though only 50 or so are active. In the area related to

Agenda 21, i.e. trade, economic development and environment, at least 10-15 NGOs are active.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 38: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Ch. 38: Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state:

No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 39: INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS AND MECHANISMS

Ch. 39: International Legal Instruments are covered under the relevant sectoral chapters. This is a listing of major agreements/conventions (not already covered) entered into and relevant to Agenda 21:

The need for a comprehensive and decentralised regional development strategy is clear. The government wishes greater donor investments all over the country, especially in those areas with poorer resources and economies. Based on this factor, in addition to the UNDP, a number of donors including the IBRD, the EBRD, the EU through its PHARE programme, UNICEF, UNFPA, and bilateral donors have been requested to be engaged in development assistance and support to municipal governments and organisations at the local level, mostly in building infrastructure. However, investment in human resources development is now considered a priority. A number of donors have expressed interest to co-operate with UNDP.

Albania has demonstrated an interest in articulating and pursuing a strategy for sustainable development. However, since most structures are new, capacity building and institutional development are key components in a move towards better absorptive capacity for policies and investment. In 1993, the Government of Albania, assisted by the WB, prepared a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP). Since the plan was developed at a very early stage in Albania's democratic transition, it lacks reliability with respect to data and participation of the main sectors in the Albania of today. An attempt has been made to publish up-dates for subsequent years. The NEAP includes an action programme for short-, medium- and long-term actions as well as a series of priority projects related to the environment.

Among the prior or ongoing assistance to support Albania to enhance the environmental sustainability of development efforts, are: the EU/PHARE and the WB/IDA, as well as bilateral donors such as:

Environment Programme for Albania, National Water Strategy, Wetland Management, National Waste Management Plan, Albanian Water Supply and Sewerage Management, Environment Center for Administration and Technology, Forestry Project, Water treatment Plants in several districts, Tirana Municipal Environmental Audit, Integral Coastal Zone Management, Lake Ohrid Conservation Project (Albania- Macedonia) etc.

The expenditure foreseen for the period 1996-1998 totalled 1,146 million leks. The Albanian authorities are requesting assistance in reviewing and setting environmental laws and standards and in strengthening the Committee for Environmental Protection to carry out its environmental monitoring and policy work.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 40: INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING

This chapter is also covered under sectoral and other chapters of this profile. The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Very
good
Good
Some good
data but
many gaps
Poor
Remarks
2. International cooperation and trade
3. Combating poverty
X
4. Changing consumption patterns
X
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
X
6. Human health
X
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. Combating deforestation
X
12. Combating 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

Additional Comments

No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

1980

1993

Latest 199-

Number of telephones in use per 100 inhabitants

Other data
1994
1995
Total
41,316
44,287
family
30,395
33,845
office
10,921
10,442

Home | Search | Parliament | Research | Governments | Regions | Issues


Copyright United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org
1 November 1997