Albania plans to build airport in protected area


Landscape from Narta Lagoon (Photo: R. Georgieva ©)

Albania plans to build new international airport in Narta Lagoon protected area. In the end of the last week the Albanian Parliament approved the project. Local nature conservation organizations such as PPNEA, AOS and others, as well as international organisations like EuroNatur call for an earnest environmental impact assessment that meets international standards.

A few kilometers north of Vlora, the KBA Narta Lagoon is one of the largest and most important coastal wetlands of Albania due to its amazing biodiversity and one of the top sites for wintering and migratory waterfowl in the country.

In 2016, in the frame of the CEPF project “Land of Eagles and Castles”, joint teams of BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria and PPNEA conducted a survey that aimed to broaden the knowledge on the list of breeding bird species, their numbers, distribution and treats in the KBA. In total of 136 birds species were observed. In terms of international conservation status, two species are Vulnerable and five species are Near Threatened according to the global IUCN Red List, 58 species are considered of European conservation concern (SPEC), 67 species are listed in the EU Birds Directive, 130 species are listed in Bern Convention and 71 species are listed in Bonn Convention. In terms of national status, 33 species are included in the Red List of Albanian Flora and Fauna.

Ironically, the decision of the Albanian Parliament was taken just before the World Wetlands Day, the theme of which was "Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future". The aim of the theme was to highlight the important role of wetlands in the urbanization process and their key importance for the better way of life of the people in the towns.

Albania, CEPF project Land of Eagles and Castles, PPNEA, EuroNatur