TIRANA, October 9
The European Commission among many other findings on its recent report for Albania highlights the fact that legislation on strategic investment raises concerns for the protection of biodiversity, as it may allow large tourism and industrial investments in protected areas, e.g. the proposed airport in the Vjosa-Narta area. In general, the report points out that alignment with the acquis in the field of nature protection, in particular the Habitats and Birds Directives, is well advanced, but policy and law enforcement remain generally weak despite numerous capacity building activities and technical assistance. Moreover, the legislation on strategic investment conflicts with other national laws and with international biodiversity protection conventions that Albania has ratified. Hence, the EC recommends Albanian authorities to take immediate measures to review and improve environmental and strategic impact assessments on existing and planned projects, plans, and programs, especially in the hydropower, construction, tourism, and mining sectors.
In the meantime, the new project for Vlora Airport in the Vjosa-Narta area was raised before by the organization for the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environments in Albania (PPNEA).
The European Commission Report regarding EU Enlargement Policy aims to investigate and monitor the policies of candidate countries, or those still in process, for aligning their legislation with that of the EU. The last published report for Albania, on 6th October 2020, highlighted crucial problems concerning environmental protection.
Read also: Deadline for Vlora Airport Bidding Process Postponed
Photo credit: PPNEA
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