Eagles and Castles

The initiative corresponds to the CEPF strategic direction on promotion of civil society involvement in Integrated Coastal Zone Management to minimize the negative effects of coastal development in the Southwest Balkans priority corridor.

The aim is to deliver a model for establishing community-driven, nature-based tourism in three of the eight Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) that have been identified along the Albanian Adriatic coastline in the Southwest Balkans Corridor. These KBAs are: (i) Narta Lagoon and surrounding area; (ii) Vlora Bay, Karaburun Peninsula and Çika Mountain; and (iii) Butrinti and surrounding area. The areas stretch along the southern Albanian coastline and shelter unique biodiversity in rich variety and high abundance. The selected area represents an important “crossroads of dispersal” for the flora of the Balkan region.

The specific objectives of the project are to:
  • Establish sound scientific basis for informed biodiversity intervention;
  • Encourage economically viable sustainable local livelihoods;
  • Create ownership over project results to guarantee their long-term sustainability;
  • Enhance awareness on the importance of formal nature protection of and build local capacity to effective nature protection management;

The information on biodiversity components collected during the initial stage of the program will serve as a basis for further monitoring programs of the population trends of flagship species in the project KBAs. Furthermore, the results from these monitoring programs could be communicated to the authorities and used to develop and implement adequate direct conservation measures by the management bodies of the protected areas. The aim is to achieve sustainability of the monitoring programs through intervening in the following levels: (i) by building capacity of the management bodies of the KBAs; (ii) by building capacity in local target groups – e.g. hunters, fishermen; (iii) by integrating a form for data collection from tourists in the online project portal.

Building capacities and raising awareness of management bodies and local stakeholders about the importance and profits coming from the biodiversity components, through providing real examples will assure indirect conservation of the flagship species within the project KBAs.

Raising local stakeholder’s awareness for nature conservation during the project meetings and workshops is expected to decrease the illegal disturbance and persecution on the species from conservation priority, as well as the degradation and loss of natural habitats. As an added value to the project results will be the biodiversity data collection for the project KBAs, which will be in benefit to the forthcoming integration of Albania as EU candidate country to Natura 2000 network.

"Land of Eagles and Castles: Pilot Sustainable Tourism Model for the Albanian Adriatic Coastline" is implemented by Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) in partnership with Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds (BSPB) and is financialy suported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

For more information visit the project website:


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