State Audit Finds Issues in Protected Areas Management

TIRANA, February 9

The High State Audit (HSA) says that protected areas and national parks have been exploited and negatively affected by mining activities and hydro power plants constructed against the law. These are the findings of an inspection conducted by HSA on the efficiency of protected areas administration.
According to HSA, there are no standards and criteria for defining the surface of natural parks and how much hectares each employee of protected areas administration must cover. Moreover, the managing staff lacks qualification and their tasks are not well-defined.
The report also highlights the lack of booklets, tourist guides, albums, and publications on national parks, protected landscapes, endemic plants, and natural monuments.
The administration of protected areas cannot define the number of visitors and set fees in order to generate incomes for specific areas.
“Hydro Power Plant (HPPs) construction against the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern convention) and the Albanian law on the protection of the Red List threatened species,” HSA highlights in the final report.

In the meantime, it says that private subjects that exercised their activity in natural parks don’t pay obligations to local or central administrations, even though they are the major users and beneficiaries of natural heritage.

News Source: Monitor