Geographic Studies Center



Assessment Report

For the Establishment of a UNEP - GRID Compatible Environment and Natural Resource Information Network at the National Level

Geographic Studies Centre
Tirana, August 1997

This assessment report is compiled at Geographic Studies Centre by the specialists:

Prof. Dr. Ergjin Samimi - Director
Prof. Dr. Perikli Qiriazi - Geographer
Ass. Prof. Dr. Skender Sala - Geographer
Merita Dollma (Operator and Translater ) - Geographer
Anila Ciba (Web-design) - Physicist

[Table of Contents][Order copies of this Report][Index of documents]


2.1 Brief Country Profile (Geography, History, Economy)
2.2 Environmental issues and environmental decision-making: The role of Envoronmental Information in improving policy and managment decisions
3.1 National level network: Analysis of institutional framework, main institutions involved and mandates: Ministry of Environment, Mapping Authority, Remote Sensing, Statistical Office, Sectors ( Agriculture, Planning, Meteorology, Forests, Water, Wildlife, Health, Industry ), Education ( Universities ), Private Sector, NGOs
3.2 Sub-national environmental information network
3.3 International networking. Links and support, on-going and planned projects of relevance
3.4 Analyses of legal Framework : Existing legislation regarding management and public access to environmental information.
4.1 Priority need of information for decision-making
4.2 Legislation regarding the management and accessibility of environmental information
4.3 Financing of environmental information management
4.4 Improving institutional framework
4.5 Cooperation with international ( Global and Regional ) Environmental Programmes, including UNEP and UN - wide environmental databases
4.6 Methodologies for integration of data and information between the sectorial agencies and between the sub- national and national entities
4.7 Priority information technology needs.
4.8 Priority information technology needs for database and meta database development
4.9 Training needs
5.1 Proposed action for quick improvements
5.2 Proposed pilot activities
5.3 Perceived Constraints for improvements

6.APPENDIXES (Database and Information Products, Directories)
A-1.General Information For Albania
A-2. Institutions and state organizations (Relevant Contact Addresses National Institutions, Sectorial Agencies, Universities)
A-2.1. Non Governamental Organizations NGO
A-3 Relevant ongoing or planned related projects or programs
A-4 References
A-5 Proposed Pilot Zone (jpeg file)

UNEP/GRID-Arendal (1995)

1. Summary

This report is prepared according to the request of GRID/ ARENDAL for a general information over the environment status in Albania SoE.

After communist regime destruction Albania is facing the transition time where the economical, social and environmental problems are a lot. The damage of the natural vegetation cover, biodiversity, increase of erosion, pollution etc are the most emergent issues of the environment.

The information is gathered by some state institutions and NGO-s which deal with the environmental issues.

The legislative frame has started to be compiled after '90-s but it is not executed so far.

There has started the work for the reorganization, elaboration and distribution of the environment information. Anyhow CEPP is not realising its role for the distribution of the environmental information particularly the sharing of information is not in quality. For this it will be very important the establishment of the National Geoenvironment/Natural Resource Information System and its connection with the international system Internet. In Albania there are still environmental data which are not in the disposition of the environmentalists scholars. This made difficult the preparation of this general information.

Geographic Studies Centre has already established a Geoenvironmental Information Unit in the frame of GIS and to develop further on it GSC proposes a project - pilot Tirane - Durres. For this pilot should be created a database, by using Remote Sensing integrated with the conventional data.

Anyhow special thanks to the organizations and collaborators which contributed in the preparation of this report.

2. Background

2.1 Brief country profile


Republic of Albania is situated on the west of Balkan peninsula on the eastern littoral coasts of Adriatic and Jonnian seas that have a great importance for the connection of Albania with the world. It is situated in the north geographical latitude 420 39' ( Vermosh ), south geographical latitude 390 38' ( Konispol ) and eastern geographical longitude 210 40' ( Vernik ) , west geographical longitude 190 16' ( Sazan ). The length of the border is 1094 km where 657 km are land, 48 km river, 73 km lake and 316 km littoral border The north - south extension is 340 km, east - west 148 km and over the sea level 2751 m (mountain of Korab )

Albania is bordered in the north and northeast with the Republic of Jugoslavia, in the east with the ex Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia while in the southeast and south with Republic of Greece.

The total area is 28748 km2 and 3.2 million inhabitants ( 1994 )

Geographical landscapes are significant for variety of forms and for this Albania is considered a big natural museum. In it are typical mediterranean landscapes on the west, mediterranean landscapes with visible continental influences on the east; passing landscapes in the central part , mountainous landscapes and especially the alpine ones inside and in the north of the country.

Albanian site takes part in the wrinkled alpine region, with which are connected the seismic movements and various geologic construction ( sediments , magmatic and metamorphic formations) and the diversity of the underground richness ( over 40 sorts of minerals ). By these minerals are significant : chromium ( maximum extraction 1281 000 ton , 1989 ), copper ( maximum extraction 1059 000 ton ) , FE - Ni ( 1476 000 ton , 1989 ), pyrite etc. The country is rich with fuel such as petrol ( max extraction 696 million m3 ) , natural gas ( 696 million m 3 ), coal ( 2 million ton / year ), natural bitum ( 357 000 ton ) etc.

The relief mainly hilly - mountainous is significant for the various forms , big contrasts. Until 200 m over the sea level lays 23.4 % of the country. The altitudes 200 - 1000 m include 48.1 % and over 1000 m include 28.5 % of the Albanian territory.

Plain field areas suitable for the intensive agricultural development and without erosion problems are few and situated on the west. The rest hilly part which lifts up gradually toward east offers possibility for the development of the fruit bearing, stock breeding, tourism etc.

The climate is Mediterranean on the west. Inside the country are appeared the influences of the continental phenomenons in the climate while in height the alpine ones.

Summer, in general, is hot and dry , while the winter is wet. The average annual temperature is 7.50 C to 17.50 C. The temperature of January -30 C to 100 C and of July 180 C to 250 C. The extreme values oscillates from - 26.90 C to 43.90 C. The period with equal or higher temperature than 100 C changes from 260 to 300 days in a year. In general there precipitate average 1480 mm in a year. But the average annual quantity of the precipitation changes from 600 mm to 2100 mm. There are met 2000 - 2700 hours with sun radiation. The extraordinary meteorological situations which are accompanied with economical damages happen rather often.

Albania is rich with water richness. It is traversed by a hydrographical network with general length over 49 000 km and mean density 1.7 km/km2. The annual volume of the water quantity of the rivers arrives 41.2 km3. Main rivers are Buna and Drin with average discharge 680 m/sek, Vjosa 195 m3/sec, Mati 103 m3/sec, Seman 95 m3/ sec. It has parts of the big tectonic lakes ( Shkodra, Ohri and Prespa ), glacial lakes (about 30) , karstic ones (80), littoral (10) and artificial (700). It is rich with underground water and big karstic springs, mineral springs and thermomineral ones. Some of the rivers, parts of the littoral and some lakes are polluted by the industrial , agricultural and urban wastes.

Vegetation world is various. There are 3250 kinds of natural plants, which constitute 29 % of the total number grown in Europe and 47 % of the Balkan plants. In Albania are met plants of different regions such as: Mediterranean, northBalkanic, alpine - carpatian, central of europe, euroaziatics. etc. 1 % of the Albanian vegetation is endemic and 5 % is subendemic. There are four vegetation belts ( Mediterranean shrubs , oaks, beeches and conifers, alpine in pastures ).

About 35 % of the territory is occupied by the forests , from which to every person belongs 0.3 ha. The high forests occupy about 47 % of the forest area, low forest 29 % and shrubs 24 %. About 10 000 ha forest are proclaimed national parks. The wild world is rich with many kinds of animals, even rare ones ( grey dark bear, wild cat and goat, pelican , etc). As we see the country is significant for the biodiversity but are damaged a lot by the man's activity.


Albanian territory has been inhabited since the middle paleolit ( about 100 000 - 40 000 BC ). It has always been lived by an autochthonous population of Ilirs. The country is faced with many usurpations : Romans, Slaves,Turkish . Inside the established Albanian state after the proclamation of the independence on 1912, was included only the half of the former Albanian territories and population. It influenced negatively in the development of the country which couldn't walk with the same step of the other European countries. The unsolved national problem kept always in tension the relationships with the neighbour countries. It influenced in the isolation of Albania by Europe which was total in the time of the communist regime. During the World War Second Albania was invaded by the Italians and later on by the German nazists. After this war there came the communist regime which was based on the state property over the all productive means, even on the personal property. During 45 years ( 1945 - 1990 ) in Albania was the centralized monist system and in the power always was the Communist Party which settled the state of the proletariat dictatory, which abused in brutal way on the essential rights of the man. The high expenses for the army, policy, total isolation by the world especially after ' 70 s caused the slow rhythms and the deep economical crisis of the '90. All this resulted in the strong movement for freedom and democracy, which in the beginning of '90 was crowned with the destruction of the totalitarian communist system.

The victory of the political pluralism and democracy in Albania, created the conditions to enter in the road of the free market. After this victory it started to be applied the economical and political reform , in base of which are the economical privatisation, free private initiative and the opening of the country toward the world. All this created the conditions for the country development through the foreign and Albanian investments. Albania became member of many international organizations ( OSBE, European Council, Islamic Conference ), friend member of the European Community, set the peace partnership with NATO etc. It settled the diplomatic relationships with USA , Russia and other countries interrupted during the communist country as well as with many world financial institutions ( FMN, World Bank, European Development Bank ). With the help of these international institutions of the European Community of USA and other states Albania was included in some big projects and programs which intend the development of the infrastructure, investigation stimulation, preservation of the environment etc.

During the transition time Albania was faced with huge economical difficulties, which were connected with the deep backwardness economical problem , with the change of the property direction system, old technology of the production, with the slow and not always right realization of the reforms, with the uncertainty of the foreign investigations. These were accompanied with social problems , which exploited in the beginning of 1997 with the destruction of the so-called pyramid schemes which were operating in Albania for some years. As a result Albania was included in the several armed protest which headed Albania in the true chaos. This brought the destruction of many economical objects and hard damages of the environment.


In the period 1945 -1990 the Albanian population is distinguished for the high annual natural increase ( 2.3 % ), causing so the threefold of the population. After 1990 because of the massive emigration of the population out of Albania and the sensitive decrease of the natural increase the rhythms of the population increase are negative. The mean density of the population is 111 inhabitants / km2. More than 60 % of the population is concentrated on the Western Lowland especially in the main cities of it. A good part of the population has come after '90 when the low stopping the free movement of the population was cancelled and a massive movement of population started. In the most populated regions of this lowland ( Tirana - Durres ) the density of the population is over 300 inhabitant /km2 .The mountainous north area has rare population ( 40 inhabitant / km2 ). Males constitute 51.3 % of the population. The average age is 27 years old. About 32 % of the population is under the work age, 58 % in the work age and 10 % over the work age. On 1989 the urban population was 36 % of the total , while on 1995 it was 42 %. This population is still increasing rapidly. 44 % of the population is the active population, a considerable part of which is jobless ( 10.6 % on 1995 )

In Albania exist the obliged 8 - year school system. 80 % of the children finish the middle school. In the 6 universities and high schools are prepared specialists on 75 specialities.

The administrative organization in Albania is : 12 prefectures and 36 districts. Main cities are Tirana with 500 000 inhabitants ( 1996) , Elbasani with 105 000 ( 1996), Durresi 104 000 ( 1996), Shkodra 94 000 ( 1996 ), Vlora 86 000 (1996 )


Albania heritages by the period of the World War Second an backward economy already feudal where the industrial production with artisanal character occupied only 6.6 % of the general production and the backward agriculture didn't fulfilled the needs of the country. After the war in Albania was settled the totalitarian centralized socialist economy oriented totally toward the state property. The input concentration in the hands of the state as well as the credits taken by the other states ( Union Soviet and later on by China ) gave possibility to the economy development in the first 10 years of the communist period . Besides the expansion of the existed light industrial and food economy , were delivered and developed some new branches of the industry such as ; Energetic industry, ( lifting and processing of the petrol, natural gas, bitum, coal), Electric industry based mainly on the hydrocentrals , Mine industry ( Fe- Ni , chromium, copper, pyrite , phosphorites, quartzite etc ) , Metallurgic industry ( black and colours metallurgy ); Chemical industry ( fertilizer, sulphuric acids, soda ,PWC, colours, pesticides, pharmaceutical productions etc ), Mechanical industry, Industry of construction materials, wood and paper etc. On 1989 Industry gave more than half of the total production of Albania. But this development was oriented to the wrong road, toward the heavy industry and on the base of the old technology received by the East countries which brought the serious pollution of the Environment.

In the field of the agriculture the arable land area was broadened. So were dried the soils and the swamps, were opened new lands in the slopes of the hills and mountains and was replaced their forest vegetation. The arable area was increased rapidly from 290 000 ha ( 1938 ) to 710 000 ha ( 1989). This damaged the forests and stimulated the intensive development of the erosion and soil degradation of the new agricultural lands.

56 % of the total agricultural area was included on the drainage system.

Even why the agricultural production was increased, it was wrongly oriented in the production so called " without means " of the crops, while to the other agricultural and blectoral cultures were given less importance.

Automobilistic roads with general length 6489 km are not in good state. Only 2377 km are asphalted but even these are narrow. First railway was built on 1947. Today the rail network is 440 km long and it is connected with the international system

But the energies of the socialist system were soon dried .The autartich , monist and totally centralized system of the economy destroyed the free initiative. The wrong political orientation of the isolation and the support totally on its forces applied especially after '70 took away also the possibility of help from abroad.

All these sent the Albanian economy in crisis which become deeper on '80 s noting so its culmination in the end of these years, when the economy entered in full collapse.

Albanian people hopes and believes that the difficulties of the transition time will be gone and Albania will enter in the fast economical development basing on the democracy and on the free market.

2.2 Environmental Issues and Environmental Decision - Making

There are a great number of environment problems heritaged by the communist regime and transition time ( after 1990). During the communist period the main problems were :

Very old and amortised industry ; overutilization of the natural resources; efforts to develop without criterion of the intensive agriculture even in the hills and mountains , full lack of the urban wastes recycling ; lack of the legislation and necessary institutions for the environment protection and the disrupted of the volunteer environment movement ( NGO ); low scale of the citizen's awareness for the environment problems and the lack of the information for these problems. The industry was concentrated in particular regions. Prevail of the country was not included in the industrial zones ( about 70 % ), urban development and infrastructure.

In Albania was not developed the nuclear industry , or the industry of dangerous chemicals production . It was characteristic the low scale of consume , trade with simple packing, massive usage of the public transport, usage of the home made food , lack of the massive touristic development etc.

All these conditioned the pollution of about 30 % of the country with industrial wastes , chemicals, and agricultural organic matter and urban wastes, while the rest of the country was clear, with virgin sectors but in general with high evolution of the erosion and of the erosive - denuded processes ( the average stony flowing module 1500 ton /km 2 / year, while the maximum 18000 ton/km2/ year) as well as the grave damage of the forest cover ( about 30 000 ha ) and rare wild world.

In the air polluted part of the country or with obvious pollution of the air, water, land and grave damage of the biodiversity , were created the so-called hot spot zones which were connected with the mine industry , copper metallurgy , chromium and Fe - Ni, industry of extracting and elaborating of the oil and thermoenergy, chemical industry, industry of construction material , paper, leather; also they were connected too much with the fertilizers usage in the agriculture, urban wastes especially the unprocessed liquid ones etc.

The water pollution has resulted mainly by the industrial gases such as SO

( sulfuric gas ) in the mass about 267000 ton / year , 90kg / inhabitant dust and smoke 174 000 ton / year etc. Often the content in the air of the smoke in Tirana and Elbasan was 2 - 3 time higher than the permitted limits.

Water pollution has come as a result of the 250 million m3/ year discharge of the polluted industrial waters, which have over 30 sorts of polluted substances. Also the communal waters with high uncycling bacterial charge have caused problems. So are polluted the lands close to the water objects or watered by the polluted waters and has decreased in minimum their number of living creatures or are disappeared completely ( Shkumbin after the waste discharge of the Metallurgic Combinate )

Also by the stony industrial mine wastes as well as the urban activity have polluted and degraded the environment.

Environmental problems during the transition time after 1990

The change of mono system into pluralism and the application of the economical reforms of the trade were accompanied with the appearance of the new environment problems, which are :

- Decrease of the industrial pollution level in the mass of 34 % for the air and 13 % for the land. This has happened for the majority of the mineral industry, metallurgy and chemical objects were closed for they couldn't resist to the free market. Anyhow because of the big heritage of pollution by the past ,the areas around them are still polluted in the mass until 14 times over the allowed limits. As a polluted source is still the oil industry, copper and chromium one as well as the cement industry. New industrial objects built during these last years in general are of the light and food industry and have more advanced technology. So the polluted level around them is low.

-Land privatisation was accompanied with the emphasised decrease of the chemicals usage.In the same time were abandoned new lands ( about 140 000 ha ) on the slopes of the hills and mountains opened during the communist period. This resulted on the fast growth of the erosion on these soils.

- The massive usage of heating by the electric energy and gas, decreased obviously the air pollution of the urban centres by the gas and smoke of the fuel ( wood and coal )

- Lack of the environment protection laws was accompanied with grave forest damages by the illegal cutting ( over 50 000 ha ) and fauna damages by the hunting without criterion. Grave damages had the environment in the urban centres , which were immediately expanded by the rural population migrations. There are too many illegal constructions out of the regulating plans and hygienic - sanitarian conditions. This engraved much more the urban environment , made difficult the water supply of the population, increased the uncycling urban wastes ( about 300 kg/year/ person ) and damaged in maximum the green area. This was greatly increased especially during the chaos time of the first months on 1997. The river waters close to the residences ( Lana and river of Tirana in Tirana ) have concentrations of the organic pollution much higher than the allowed maximum.

- The fast increased of the number of vehicles ( over 100 000 ) , most of them are consummated out of the allowed limit and the usage of the oil with high content of sulphur and Pb has resulted on the grave pollution of the air, where are appeared also smoke, with gas contents ( SO2, CO, CO2, NO2 etc ), dust and smoke . The concentration of these gases overpasses the allowed limits ( SO2 until 2 times )

Protective masses

After '90 s was changed the concept for the environment. For its protection were created some institutions ( CEPP, and the protection sectors in the state organs in the centre and base ).The environment started to have central place in the undertaken studies by the scientific institutions and cooperation with the World Bank , CE etc. Studies for the situation and the environmental strategy in Albania were realized and on the base of them was prepared the National Action Plan over the environment and many other studies about the problems and particular zones of the country. Very important is the approvement of the main law for the environment as well as the others laws which create the necessary legal base to protect the environment ( look the analysis of the law framework ) . There were established many environment NGO-s.

- There was created the initial environmental information network with the centre at CEPP. With the ensured data were realized studies , were compiled the reports of the environment situation for two years periods and started the work for the sensitization of the public opinion by media. A particular value had this information for the laws' preparation and the decision makings by the competent organs. There was asked the execution and application of these laws. But the lack of the consolidated legal state didn't allow the realization of this objective and as a result the environment goes on to be threatened.

- The international cooperation in the field of the environment started and was widening simultaneously. This cooperation has ensured the inclusion of the country in the current of the European processes, receiving of the experience and the necessary financial support. Anyhow there still lack the international bilateral agreements or the memorandums of the understanding in the field of the environment.

3. Status of Environment Information Network

3.1 National level network . Analysis of institutional framework, main institutions

In Albania has no Ministry of Environment. The central specialised organ for the problems of the environment is : Committee of Environment Preservation and Protection included in the Ministry of Health and Environment. This committee , since 1993 has this structure : an juridical office, three directories, which are :economy, information and protection of natural resources

It has in its organic about 25 specialists, mainly chemists.

Regional Environmental Agencies ( REA ) held on each prefecture of the country with a limited staff ( 2-3 persons ) depend on this committee. These agencies of Territory Regulation Councils have as their own duties to control the execution of the environment law, the situation of the environment and the damages in the territory of the administrative units they cover, ask the compensation of the caused damages and insure the useful environmental information.

In some Ministries are established sectors or directories, which treat sectorial aspects of the environment protection. Among them the main ones are:

- Sector of Protection of the Cultivated Plants in Ministry of Agriculture and Food

- Council of systemizing and regulating the territory in republic scale, close to Prime Ministry and in district scale close to their municipalities

- General Directory of Forests, in Tirana and Directories of Forests in districts which are in charged with the maintenance of the forests by the damage

- Sector of environment protection in Ministry of Energetic and Mine Sources

- Sector of Environment in Ministry of Construction , Territory Planning and Tourism

- Departments of drinking water , air and greenish of the residencies protection, close to the municipalities and districts

- At Hydrogeological Service there is the laboratory of simple analysis of the underground water content, to define the quality of water to be used and drank.

- At institute of Forests is elaborated the general strategy of forests and of the wild fauna world. There is also the sector of fauna and Flora protection and of natural monuments and pastures.

- At institute of Geologic - mineral projecting besides the mines reserves definition of country is established also the department of geoenvironment, which makes analyses of polluted scale of soil with remain of mine industry, metallurgic , chemical and oil industry.

- At institute of soils study are studied the sorts of soils and their fertility. There is also the erosion sector which has realized different measurements and has opened the experimental parcels for its intensity also the sector of soil protection by the chemicals pollutants of agriculture. The last one has realized several analyses, defining the scale of this pollution.

- Directories of hygiene in the all centres and districts

- Services of Inspectorate of Hygiene in every municipalities which is engaged with the protection of the residences hygiene

- Service of forest policy, which is engaged with the execution of the preservation and protection masses in forests

- Service of construction policy which ensure the legal execution of construction

- In the Institute of Public Health function these departments : Department of protection by the air pollution, water, protection of water and infective illness. These departments realise continuous observations over the quality of air, drinking water and over the epidemic appearance. Their duty is for the all country but actually these measurements are concentrated only in Tirana and in some other main centres of the country. In the same time they propose protective masses

- Academy of Science through its scientific institutions has started the work on the study of the environmental problems and concretely:

Geographic studies Centre has established GIS and by using the ArcInfo program and its modules in WS and PC has created a database with conventional data for the natural and social elements. So by the digitizing are compiled:

- Environmental maps of some districts

- Environmental maps of some cities

-Touristic - environmental assessment map for the all littoral, lakeshorte and mountainous regions, accompanied with respective studies.

In the same time are realised studies for the environmental situation of the albanian cities.

- Institute of Hydrometeorology besides the sectors of meteorological, climatic and hydrological studies is also the sector and laboratory of analyses of air and superficial and underground waters, which realize measurements and continuous analysis over their content.

- Institute of Nuclear Physic has the sector of radiation scale attendance.

- Biological Studies Centre has focused their work over the environmental problems like biodiversity and flora richness of the country.

With the problems of environment are broadly engaged the universities

- At Faculty of Construction Engineer of Polytechnic University has started the function of the environment profile which prepare environmentalist engineers.

- In the faculty of geology and mines of this university is held the Department of applied geology and Environment, which treat the geoenvironment problems in the education process. Also it realizes studies on this matter.

- At University of Tirana, Shkodra, Elbasan and Gjirokastra function the Departments of geography, biology and chimney where the environment is the main object in both education and scientific direction. In the chemical laboratory of Faculty of Natural Sciences of University of Tirana realize analysis over the soil content, water and air. Close to this faculty there is the museum of natural sciences and Botanic garden, which realizes studies about the Albanian biodiversity and have defined the plants and animals threatened

- In both agricultural universities of our country in Tirana and Korca there are particular sectors which treat the ecological problems, especially the erosion, forest damage, soils' degradation and their pollution through the chemicals

All these institutions , according to their profile, realize observations and studies over the environment. Last years are seen improvements in the base material and in the observation and study technology. But still the shortages are a lot especially in the direction of scientific and automatic elaboration of information. Still there is no coordination among them to exchange and distribute this information.

Cartogarphic Authorities

According to the law code the publishing right of the studies and cartographic editions belong to :

For the thematic maps

Geographic Studies Centre of the Albanian Academy of Science which gains the data and compile maps of any type for the elements of the nature and society even complex maps in different scales.

GSC prepare also general geographical maps in scale 1 : 100 000 or less than this one. GSC disposes a strong system ARC Info running on PC and WST and it has a detailed database for the natural and social elements.

. Different Institutions of Geology, Forests, soils etc compile manuscript copies for the presence of their workings. Very rare these maps are edited.

. Institute of Army topography has as its own duty to gather data and compile topographic maps of different big scales from 1 : 10 000 to 1 : 100 000.Their database has been the photogrametric survey realized by tee Soviet Union on ' 50 s and by the Chines on 1965-1975. There predominate even today the work through the analytical methods.

Remote Sensing

It has started a year ago in Geographic Studies Centre in the frame of project " Albanian Land Use " financed by CE and it intends the above map compiling . Paralely the young specialists which are working on the satellite are being trained by European Trainees. Also there lack the equipments for exact automatic interpreting of the satellite images.

Private Sector

- ICC applies Cad System and is working for the cadastre of Albania. Generally just this year some private firms are trying to begin the work in GIS but they are very week and takes time to build up them as Hards, Softs and qualification.

Statistic offices

- Institute of Statistic prepares monthly, quarter and annual scientific editions with general data for all the country and population, economy etc. Data about environment are very few and very general.

- Departments of Statistic in all ministries, elaborate data over the sectors they cover

- Departments of Statistic in municipalities and districts, gain and elaborate data over the economical activity and population of the districts.


They are established and have started their activity only after 1990. Now there are a number of them and are extended also in the districts. They cover the problems of the environment ( look appendix 2 ) . They have good specialists and scholars of particular environment problems. They are trying to help on the awareness of the problems of the environment and over the sensibilization of the public opinion. They are opponent toward the intervention in the environment. Their activity is developed based on the projects financed by foundations and particular programs such as PHARE ,etc. But still their influence on the protection of the environment is low. This because they lack the experience and the necessary material and financial means. Their work and voice is not appreciated by the international organisms , so far.

3.2Sub - National Environment Information Network

In Albania is held the national network of information insurance. This network consists of:

- Committee of Environment Preservation and Protection CEPP which is the centre where the information is gathered. This information the committee ensures through its inspectors and especially by the national network, which needs to be improved. This information is used for the sensibilisation of the public opinion by media ( radio TV, newspapers , posters etc).

-Environmental Regional Agencies ERA gathers the environmental information through its inspectors. All this information they send regularly at CEPP , in report form , for every three months. For the emergent problems they try to ensure the information immediately.

- Sectors and Departments of the environment in the central state institutions, in scientific institutions and in Universities of the country, together with the environmental information they send also respective proposals for decision making.

- NGO-s gather the environmental information by their activists. Together with NGO information they make concrete proposals for solution of the problems.

This information network does not function as it should. This is connected with the lack of full legal base, lack of financial and material means. The information comes written by manuscript and still it stores in brief - cases . There does not function the information system based on database. This delays the collection of the information as well as its usage for public opinion sensibilisation. With the gathered information CEPP prepares the reports which reflect the situation and the problems of the environment in two years periods. But even these are issued very late so their role remain modest.

CEPP has as its own duty to inform every citizen about the environmental information, activities which help or damage the human's health, edit brochures, reports, bulletins etc for the problems of the environment. Until now these duties are realized fair and the reasons are financial and professional ones. About the function of getting and giving data there exists a special law. So the Albanian institutions are separated by the institutions of the environment of Ec and of the particular countries so the decision makers and the interested public have difficult to contact with the environmental problems and to find out the duties.

3.3 International Networking: links and support, on - going and planned projects

Connections for the environment problems with the other countries in Albania generally are covered by CEPP . But there exist also other Institutions and other state organisms which communicate directly with their homolog in other states. Among them we mention Directory of Public Health, Hydrometerologic Institute, Geographic Studies Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Forests and Pastures, Agricultural University etc. Such connections have also NGO-s.

The connection and cooperation is expressed in common project application such as the project : " Over the situation and strategy of the environment "realized in cooperation and financed by World Bank. On the base of this strategy was prepared and approved by the government " National Action about the Environment Plan". Further on are undertaken other studies such as the one about the littoral zone and wet lands. Albanian state has signed some convents and tractate ( Barcelona, Protection of the international waters and lakes, Industrial Accidents, Assessments of the Influences in the Environment in the International context, Climatic changes, Biologic diversity, Ramsarit convent etc) which are concerned with the environment protection. Already the projects are totally organized in cooperation and financed by foreign donators. Many conferences and national and international symposiums organized in Albania have been in function of the environment protection role . There are also projects in process for ex; The one of the Monuments of Nature, Protection of the littoral lagoons etc. By the World Bank is projected the financing for the construction of a cleaning impiant of black waters in Pogradec city. With the help of CE, World Bank, BERZH etc are realized important studies about the situation of the environment in Albania and strategy which should be followed in the future.

With the instance of CEPP there are some natural objects which are put under protection by the International Convent ex. Karavasta Lagoon is included by RAMSAR convent etc. Are very few institutions connected with INTERNET so the receiving of the information is very limited. CEPP and sectors and other environmental departments have not made possible a stable system for the environmental information exchange with the other homolog of the neighbour places and so on. Until now it is ensured an uncompleted environment literature and some data aparted over the environment problems of the cross border objects. This is achieved only on the base of the common projects.

3.4 Legal framework

Look at the law enclosed to this report in Albanian language. This material was given to us by CEPP meanwhile they've promised to give us the English version which will send to you immediately.

Legislation and institutional structure

Laws and rules in the field of the environment were the poorest in the legislation topic during the communist time.The same for the institutional personnel. The evolution of the lows until 1996 is as in the following;

- Laws for the land separation, 1991

- Law of the land use, 1991

- Law for the environment protection, 1991

- Law for the Forests and Forest Policy Service , 1992

- Law of the territory planning, 1993

- Law for the wild Fauna and Hunting, 1993

- Law for the protection of the Medical Plants and aromatic ones, 1993

- Law about the development zones with priority to tourism, 1993

- Law for the pastures, 1995

- Law for the fishing and Aquaculture, 1995

- Law for the water resources, 1996

There still does not exist any law for the preservation of the nature. This law will intend to preserve, protect and restore the natural equilibria of the landscape, manage the natural landscape, as well as the stable utilization of the natural richness. This should be accompanied with changes and administrative reformation. On process are the laws for the Environment fund for the littoral zone management etc. These should be accompanied with the natural impact assessment.

In Albania there is not any organized and managing structure to follow and encompass the environmental problems. But there are state organs, search - scientific institutions and non governmental organizations which follow the study and natural resources administration.

The highest authority is the Council of Ministers, which operates by the National Council of the Territory Regulation, National Water Council etc.

There are some Ministries which deal with the matters of the protection and natural resources utilization.

1. Ministry of Public Affairs, Planning of the Territory and Tourism, which operates with the Institute of Planning of the Territory and Urbanistic.

2. Ministry of Agriculture and Food, operates by the General Directory of Forest and Pastures, Directory of Fishing etc.

3. Ministry of Health and Environment Protection , operates by the Committee of Environment Preservation and Protection. This committee has the right of controlling the environment , but not to manage and administrate the natural resources.

The enforcement of the environment problems ( study, preservation, and managing ) requires the cooperation and collaboration of the institutions and over mentioned organizations. Albanian state ,international organisms (PNUD, World Bank, EBRD ) should make much more for the environment law and institutional personnel . Also it should be given importance to the regional and subregional structures' creation, initiatives and regional projects for the protection and managing of the environment etc.

4. General Needs Assessment

4.1 Priority needs of information for decision making

- Emergent establishment of the controlling national system of the water, air, land quality in the hot industrial and urban zones

- Establishment of the monitoring national system to attend the rate of damage of the environment biodiversity.

- Monitoring of the human activities assessment over the environment.

- Insurance of the equipments and staff training which will use these equipments.

-Rationalization and the priorities discover of the scientific studies for the environment by the scientific institutions' side ( Institutes of the Academy of Sciences, Universities etc ) defining clear study thematic , the need for equipment and laboratories for analytical analysis, the elaboration and exchange of the environmental information and its sending at CEPP.

- Creation of the national environment and resource information system to gain , monitor and elaborate the data. Database creation and staff training which deal with data collection, elaboration, distribution and preparation of the information as a base for decision making .

- Connection with the European Environmental Information Systems

- Compiling of the politic for the public information over the environment , for their participation on the defining of the environmental politic and standards.

- Development of plans to cooperate with NGO, RTV, Press, journalists , conferences, workshops.

- Compiling of the strategy for the distribution of the environmental information through bulletins, brochures, technical newsletters

- Compiling of plans to include the environmental education in the 8 - years schools programs, middle schools and universities.

4.2 Legislation on management and accessibility of environmental information

- Guarantee with law the right of the state administration to share information and Natural Resources. This information should include all the laws, advise administrative acts for the law execution, proposals for the stimulation of the administrative procedures , decision making , environmental information gained by the state, NGO, private network, database to create open database to everybody etc.

- Guarantee the legal right of the physical and juridical persons, getting and using of the information free of charge.The public information should be realised by the publication of the annual reports and environment Natural Resources Census in Word, Internet form.

- Juridical obligation for the physical and juridical persons who damage the environment in order to settle preliminary measures for the negative consequences.

4.3 Financing of the environmental information management

Financing of the environmental information management includes:

a) System of the air, water, land, fauna and flora monitoring , protective masses. In this financing are included the laboratoric equipments and staff training. All of them are in rudimentary quality and very rare is implemented something from new technology.

b) Geographic Information system for Environment/Naturtal Resources is an immediate necessary for Albania. We think , the actual system at GSC could realise this duty after its strength on processing capacity for the conventional / satellite data and staff training in ArcInfo and Imagine


c) System of Environmental Information Distribution ( for the natural resources lacks ) exists by the brochures, statistics, booklets, reviews , newsletters, newspapers as a product of the state and NGO institutions work. There should implemented a.s.a.p. the information distribution by Internet and Media.

4.4 Improving Institutional framework

National Environmental Information System should be supported by a full institutional frame

- Environmental Natural Resources and Information Centre should be totally a computerized centre to gain the environmental information , to elaborate this information and through the database and metadatabase to create the databank; distribution of this information for the public and high organs of the execution and legislation accompanying them after scientific discussions with proposals for decision makings

- System of Environment Monitoring, depends on scientific or state institutions.

- NGO need to be financed by CEPP to ensure and send on time the information at Environmental Information Centre.

4.5 Cooperation with International Environment Programmes ( Global and Regional) include UNEP and UN -wide environmental databases

State and NGO institutions are interested to cooperate with UNEP ( INFOTERRA ), UN and with other international organizations ( meta information ) to undertake common projects with neighbour states and gradually with other states creating so the common system of meta information database.

4.6 Methodologies for integration of data and information between the sectorial agencies and between sub - national and national entities

The environmental information gained in different levels of the state institutions and NGO by using GIS should be entered in the database in particular layers according to its problems. This includes the information through the quantity data and local/regional maps. The construction of the Environmental Information System in the level of the local authority constitutes the first step to create a stable base of data. Paralelly Geographic Studies Centre should organise itself as a focal point of GIS aiming to help local focal points to build up. Later ion GSC should arrange to enter Internet.

In the all levels by digitizing of the regional and national maps, tabular data entering, will be created the database where all the changes monitored in the environment will be continuously added. This enable to receive the existed situation in every moment.

4.7 Priority information technology needs

- Modernization of Telecom to ensure the automatic connection of the all administrative units of the country.

- Ensure of the equipments and the advanced technology ( Improve ht existing Hw, SW wat , GSC to elaborate satellite images/Remote sensing)

4.8 Priority needs for Database and metadatabase development

- Creation of the data network, chippers and graphic elaboration of the information

- With this elaborated information will be created the local database which will be enriched with regional information. Metadatabase will be created by the combining of the information according to the database criterias.

4.9 Training needs

Creation of the Natural Environmental Natural Resource Information needs training of the staff in and outside Albania.The training should consist on General Concepts of Environment Natural Resources, Geographic Information System: short term for ArcInfo ESRI SWT, IMAGINE ERDAS

Long term for geographic information system for environment, database creation, internet.

5. Proposed action

5.1 Proposed action for quick development

To start the job of Natural Environmental Natural Resource Information establishment should be:

- assessed all the existed possibilities of the monitoring network and information gathering, existed state and NGO institutional system .

- approved the legal support

- prepared the national program of AlbENRIN

- prepared a pilot project

5.2 Proposed pilot activities

National Environmental Information Resource System establishment for the prefecture of Durresi and Tirana. Their solution is done based on these factors :

- No full network existence for the monitoring of the water and partly for the air;

- In these prefectures there are the most important institutions for this matter;

- Telecom function rather better than in the other prefectures

Project pilot will last for one year. During the first 6 months will be done the assessment of the situation of the needs and the ensurance of the technological equipments, as well as the staff training.

In the second half will be gathered the data, will be created the institutional network, will be digitized all the cartographic, graphic information and their elaboration; Creation of Database , proposals for the decision makers and public opinion sensitizing ; Improvement of the information system inside the zone which will be connected with the rest of the country.

5.3 Perceived Constraints for improvements

- Improvement of the legal system

- improvement of the equipments and technology

- Improvement of the main direction of AlbENRIN

- Improvement of the staff qualification

Appendix 1

A-1.General Information For Albania
Name : Republic of Albania
Population : 3.2 milion, 41% urban
Capital: Tirana, 500 000 inhabitants
Area : 28 748 km2, 335 km from south to north, 150 km from west to east
Geographical coordinates : North geographical latitude 390 38' and 420 39'
East geographical longitude 19016' and 2104 '
Borders : North - Northeast - Jugoslavia ;
East - Ex jugoslavia Republic of Macedonia;
Southeast - Republic of Greece
Language: Albanian - indoeuropean language of a particular group
Religion: Muslym 70 %, orthodox 20%, catholic 10 %
Relief: Field 20 %, hills and mountains 80 %
Altitudes: Average 708 m
Maximum 2751 m
Wind: Predominate the western and eastern winds
Temperature: January -30 C - 100 C
July from 170 C to 25.60 C
Precipitation : Average annual 1480 mm with oschilations from 600 mm to 3100 mm
Forests : 35 % of the territory , dominate the oak and mediterranean shrubs
Wetlands : 7%
Network Density : 1.7 km/km2, general length 49 000 km
Main rivers : Buna and Drini, Vjosa, Semani, Shkumbini
Lakes : Tectonical big lakes 3, glacial 20, karstic 80, artificial 600
Lands : Predominate the brown lands
Flora : About 3250 species
Protected area : 10000 ha National Parks

Appendix 2

Institutions and state organizations

1- Institute of Geographic Studies
Rruga "M.Toptani" 11
Tel & Fax: ++355 42 27985
2- GCC
Rruga "Asim Vokshi", Pallati 22/1
Tel & Fax: ++355 42 26014
email: MRACO@LTC-Tirana-Al
3- Hydrometeorological Institute
Rruga "Durresit", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 22439
Fax: ++ 355 42 23518
4- Institute of the Public Health
Rruga "A. Moisiu", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 62731
Fax: ++ 355 42 63553
5-Ministry of Construction and Tourism
Sheshi "Skenderbej", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27879
Fax: ++ 355 42 27879
6- Ministry of agriculture and Food
Tel: ++355 42 27924
Fax: ++ 355 42 27924
7- Ministry of Industry and Transport
Rruga "S.Toptani", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27713
Fax: ++ 355 42 27713
8- Institute of Foresty
Rruga "Dibres", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 33343
Fax: ++ 355 42 33343
9- Ministry of Health and Environment Protection
Bulevardi "Zhan D'Arc, Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 32937
Fax: ++ 355 42 32937
10- Institute of Geology and Mines
Rruga "Deshmoret e Lirise"
Tel: ++355 42 26597
Fax: ++ 355 42 26597
11- Seismological Centre
Rruga "Mine Peza", 140,
Tel: ++355 42 28274
Fax: ++ 355 42 28274
12- Center of Hydraulic Researches
Rruga "Sami Frasheri" no.5, Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 26541
Fax: ++ 355 42 26541
13- Institute of Statistics
Rruga "Lek Dukagjini", no.5
Tel: ++355 42 22411
Fax: ++ 355 42 28300
14- Institute of the Military Photo
Tel: ++355 42 28470
Fax: ++ 355 42 28470
15- Directory of the Public Health
and Environment Sector
Sheshi "Skenderbej", Bashkia "Tirane"
Tel: ++355 42 25120
Fax: ++ 355 42 25120
16- Department of Environmental Geology
Faculty of Ingenieery, Polytechnic University
Tel: ++355 42 22592
Fax: ++ 355 42 22592
17- Department of Environment Engineery
Faculty of Engineery, Polytechnic University
Tel: ++355 42 23793
Fax: ++ 355 42 23707
18- Regional Agency of the Environment
Rruga "Q.Stafa" ,Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 26828
Fax: ++ 355 42 26828
19- Department of Geography
University "Luigj Gurakuqi", Shkoder-Albania
Tel: ++355 224 43747
Fax: ++ 355 224 43747
20- Department of Geography
University "E.Cabej", Gjirokastra-Albania
Tel: ++355 726 3858
Fax: ++ 355 726 3858
21- Department of Geography
University "F. Noli", Korca-Albania
Tel: ++355 824 2580
Fax: ++ 355 834 2230
22- Department of Geography
University "A. Xhuvani", Elbasan-Albania
Tel: ++355 545??
Fax: ++ 355 545???
23- Department of Geography
Faculty History-Filology, Rruga "Elbasanit"
Tel: ++355 42 24109
Fax: ++ 355 42 24109
24- Regional Agency of the Environment
Council of the District, Berat-Albania
Tel: ++355 ?????
Fax: ++ 355 ????
25- Regional Agency of the Environment
Council of the District, Shkodra-Albania
Tel: ++355 ????
Fax: ++ 355 ????
26- Regional Agency of the Environment
Council of the District, Lac-Albania
Tel: ++355 ?????
Fax: ++ 355 ?????
27- Regional Agency of the Environment
Council of the District, Kavaja-Albania
Tel: ++355 574 2866
Fax: ++ 355 574 2866
28- Regional Agency of the Environment
Fushe-Arrez, Puke-Albania
Tel: ++355 ???
Fax: ++ 355 ???
29- General Directory of the Water Utilization
Sheshi "Skenderbej", Tirana-Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27148
Fax: ++ 355 42 27148

A-2.1. Non Governamental Organizations NGO

1- National Geographical Committee( Join IGU )
Qendra e Studimeve Gjeografike
Rruga " Murat toptani " Nr.11
Tirana -Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27985
Fax: ++ 355 42 27985
2- National Cartographic Committee( Join ICA)
Qendra e Studimeve Gjeografike
Rruga " Murat toptani " Nr.11
Tirana -Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27985
Fax: ++ 355 42 27985
3-Albanian Association of Ingineers ,
Geologs and Scholars of Geoambients
Institute of Geology, Bll "Vasil Shanto "
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 26597
Fax: ++ 355 42 ???
4- Masmedia association and the Environment
Rruga " G. Domi" Pall 2 shk. 2/21
Tirana - Albania
Tel office ++355 42 30314
Tel Private ++ 355 42 64100
5- Environment Center of Administration
and Technology - ECAT
Rruga "A. Frasheri " P16, Shk. 6/53 , Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 23930
Fax: ++ 355 42 23930
6- Albanian Civil Society Foundation
Rruga " Asim Vokshi " vila 137 , Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 23564
Fax: ++ 355 42 23564
mobil 038 2020 482
e-mail: postmaster@acsf.Tirana.Al
7- Albanian Open Foundation - SOROS
Rruga "Mihal Duri " Nr.15 Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 34621
Fax: ++ 355 42 34621
8- Organization for Education Resources
and Technical Training ( ORT - USA )
Rruga "Vaso Pasha " No.4

Tirana - Albania
Tel & Fax ++355 42 23564
email: & guest@demnet.Tirana.Al
9- American Agency for the development ( USAID ) Tel: ++355 42 3075
Fax: ++ 355 42 3075
International Culture Center, Kati i II
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 28777
Fax: ++ 355 42 28777
10- Youth Club of Environment - PERLA
Faculty of the Natural Sciences
Tirana - Albania
Tel Office ++355 42 25454
Tel. Private ++ 355 42 25018
11- Environmental Youth Club
Gjimnazi " Sami Frasheri "
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 25873
Fax: ++ 355 42 23116
12-The association " Young ecolog "
Gjimnazi " Sami Frasheri ", ; Rruga e Barrikadave
Tirana - Albania
Tel office: ++355 42 25873
Tel. Privat ++ 355 42 24020
13- Scientific Association of the Forest Students
Fakulteti i Pyjeve , Universiteti Bujqesor
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 25360
14-Environment and Development Society
Instituti Hidrometeorologjik
Rruga e Durresit , 219
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 23518
Fax: ++ 355 42 23518
15- Albanian Speleolog Society
Rruga "Konstandin Kristoforidhi" Nr. 16
Tirana - Albania
Tel private: ++355 42 33244
Fax: ++ 355 42 32800
16 - Association of the Water Maintenance
and Protection
Instituti i Hidrometeorologjise
Rruga e Durresit, 219
Tirana - Albania
Tel & Fax ++355 42 23518
Tel Private ++ 355 42 27990
17- National Society of Decoratiev
Flora and Fauna
Rruga "Kostandin Kristoforidhi " Nr.16
Tirana - Albania
Tel private: ++355 42 33244
Fax: ++ 355 42 32800
18- Protection and Maintenance of the Natural
Environment of Albania
Rruga "Asim Vokshi " Pall 13, Shk 4/7
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27342
Fax: ++ 355 42 27342
19- Albanian Ecologic Club
Rruga " Todi Shkurti " Pall 13, Shk 4/32
Tirana - Albania
Tel: ++355 42 27342
Fax: ++ 355 42 27342

Appendix 3

Relevant on going and planned projects

1.Mediterranean Action Plan
Priority Action Program
Conservation and Wise Use of Lagoons
Welland sector from Lalez bay to Vlora bay.1995 and Coastal
2.Republic of Albania ,
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Institute of the Forest and Pastures Researches
Bioclimatic intensity and the ecological map
compiling for the districts of Korca, Tirana, Kukesi,
Vlora and Shkodra. Tirana, 1995
3. UNEP Implications of climate change for the Albanian coast, Atheene 1996
4. PHARE Karavasta Lagoon
Wetland Management (Project), Tirane 1996
5. UNEP MAR Over the extraordinary meeting of the contracting
Parties to the Convetion for the Protection of
Mediterranean Sea,1996
6. Priority Action Program UNEP Management Programme " The Albanian Coastal
Region " Tirane, 1996
7. Kommision of European Comunity
Government of Albanian Republic
National Strategy of Water for Albania, Tirana 1996
8. EC
Program PHARE Liason
Geographic Studies Center
Corine Land Cover Albania, Tirane 1996 - 1998
9. Centre Ecologique Albert Schweitzer
Swiss Science Foundation
Geographic Studies Center
Integration of Ecological Resources
and Cultural value in territorial planing for
Tirana, Durres - Elbasan of Albania1996 -1998
10.Geographic Studies Center Maps of Environment of Tirana District
and Tirana City 1996-1997
11.Geographic Studies Center Albanian Geographical Environment digita
database for physical and social elements in
1 : 100 000 scale. 1996 -1997
Geographic Studies Center
Synergy project 1995-1997

During 1992 - 1996 by the institutions, NGO-s and foreign foundations are realised some seminars, conferences about the Albanian environment. World Conservation Monitoring Centre has "Protected Areas Information about Albania". For further information see: Protected Areas Information

A-4 References

Council Of Ministers Parliament
Comittee of Environment Protection
and Preservation
National Environmental Information Center
Geographic information for
Environment and Natural Resources
ALBENRIN (close to GSC)

State Organs State Institutions Central Ministries NGO


District Environment
Regional Agency
Municipality Council Communes

NFP CEPP Department of Economy
Department of Information
organisation about
Regional Agency
of Environment REA
Department of Problems
of water, wastes and soils

MCE Geographic Studies
Department of Economy
Department of Geography
Department of Information
Department of GIS-
Remote Sensing
Institute of Mine and
National Resources

NFP - National Focal Point

MCE - Main Components of Environment

CEPP - Committee of Environment Preservation and Protection

GSC - Geographic Studies Center

REA - Regional Agency of Environment

Proposed Pilot Zone

pilot.jpg - 40.98 K