World Wetlands Day 2004 -- Albania
[The MedWetCoast project has ended but the Web site can be found at http://vinc.s.free.fr/ (2007).]
The MedWetCoast project Albania celebrates the 2nd of February!
In the frame of the wetland day the MWC project organized some public awareness activities in Vlora and in Tirana.
In cooperation with CSDC (Civil Society Development Center) in Vlora, from 31 January - 1 February 2004, MWC organized some meetings with community groups, fisherman, in Narta and Zverrneci areas, which focused their discussion in the theme of 2nd February 2004: "From mountains to the sea: wetlands work for us". They received also copies of a leaflet prepared on this occasion and also copies of the RAMSAR 2nd February thematic poster prepared for this international day.
In Orikumi, in cooperation with the NGO "Laguna e Kalter", were organized meetings with pupils and teachers of the Orikumi high school. Specialist and officials of the Orikumi municipality, local fisherman, and other community representatives attended these meetings. The thematic leaflet prepared by the MWC on 2nd February 2004 was distributed and commented by the participants.
These activities were followed with a local workshop in Vlora, dedicated to 2nd February- World Wetland Day. In this activity participated environmental NGOs, representatives from the prefecture authority, County Council, Qender Commune; local officials from the Forestry service, Directorate of Agriculture, Directorate of Waters, Regional Environmental Agency (REA), etc. The head of CSDC, Mr. Aleksander Mita addressed the greeting remark and than Mr. Petrit Dervishi - Local Project Coordinator presented the participants with the theme of 2nd February, the role and importance of the wetlands, and the relevance of the MWC project to this date. During this conversation with the invited people, the project staff presented the results achieved so far, objectives to be met with the management planning process. The social economic and biodiversity values of Narta Lagoon, Orikumi Lagoon and other project sites were recalled as very significant for the whole area and country wide; also their wise use and conservation practices were mentioned as very important element of the future activities in the area.
The Director of the Museum of Vlora discussed on the natural and historical values of this area as very prominent part of the whole ecosystem asking for more attention to these values, for their protection, and their use as additional tool in raising public awareness and identifying the beauty y of the area. Particularly, this is very remarkable in ancient city of Oriku, where due to the military bases established there for decades, it has not allowed for thorough and entire exploration of this site making the also the access to this area very limited.
The chairman of the Narta commune identified the great potential and important values of this site (Narta Lagoon) and asked for a common effort in enforcement of the law and regulatory framework against illegal activities in the lagoon and surrounding ecosystem (fishing, hunting, building etc). More investments are needed in the area, which would provide for better and sustained traditional activities and ecosystem uses.
The activity continued with a video display of the documentary prepared by the MWC project "Narta and Us" dedicated to the wide movement of the NGOs against the oil drilling activity, which took place there last year.
The activity ended up with a group visit in Narta lagoon. Representatives of he environmental NGOs once more highlighted the measures to be taken for the protection and conservation of this lagoon. This activity received wide local media coverage.
During the 2nd February, a display advertising focused on the wetland protection was shown on some national television.
On the third of February, the MWC project in cooperation with the MoE organized a press conference in the MoE premises for the World Wetland Day. Mr. Zamir Dedej introduced for the invited experts, representatives of the institutions concerned with wetlands and for the medias, the important role of the lagoon in country context, problems they face during last decade as result of variety of changes happened in the country, strategies, policies and actions taken by the MoE for conservation and protection of the wetlands.
A group of journalists from the main national media was invited to make a visit in the rehabilitated area in Narta Lagoon. They conducted fact-findings, made interviews and received the necessary information for the site problems and project contribution to better conservation and protection strategies for this area. The project staff and representatives of local authorities accompanied the journalists. The documentaries prepared were broadcasted in the national channels in the following day.