Albania becomes 87th country to join the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) -

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Bulevardi "Dëshmoret e Kombit",
Pallati i Kongreseve, Kati ll,
Tiranë, Shqipëri.

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Bulevardi "Dëshmoret e Kombit",
Pallati i Kongreseve, Kati ll,
Tiranë, Shqipëri.

Albania becomes 87th country to join the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Belgrade, Serbia and Tirana, Albania, 26 June 2024 (IUCN / Ministry of Tourism and Environment of Albania) – IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the world’s largest environmental network, welcomes Albania as its 87th member, following the official approval of the organisation’s Statutes. This step shows Albania’s commitment to global conservation efforts.

The Ministry of Tourism and Environment has been designated by the State as the official liaison with the IUCN Secretariat. “As Albania joins the IUCN, together with the rich biodiversity, we bring a firm commitment to the protection of the environment, and this membership provides us with a valuable platform to collaborate and learn from global best practices, thus strengthening our conservation efforts and policies,” said the Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro.

“Albania has created a model for protected areas by declaring the Vjosa National Park, which protects one of the last wild rivers in Europe. Albania has also created new parks, such as the ‘National Park of the Alps’ in the north of the country. These protected areas are key assets for our ecotourism, perfectly embodying the slogan “Albania All Senses”. With over 21.4% of our territory under protection and other initiatives, our partnership with IUCN will strengthen our capacity to combine traditional knowledge with modern science and contribute significantly to local and global environmental goals. We are optimistic about the mutual benefits that this collaboration will promote by strengthening our biodiversity conservation practices and advancing sustainable development,” concludes Kumbaro.
Albania boasts a diverse range of natural environments, with rugged peaks, lush forests, pristine rivers and rich coastal landscapes. These diverse ecosystems support a wide variety of flora and fauna, contributing to Albania’s rich biodiversity.

The country’s environmental policy is implemented through mechanisms such as the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the growing network of protected areas. Complementing this comprehensive approach to biodiversity conservation, Albania has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 20.9% by 2030. This includes sustainable forest management and forest landscape restoration.

We are delighted to celebrate Albania’s membership of IUCN. We look forward to strengthening our cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and helping the country achieve its ambitious national goals, thereby contributing to global conservation objectives,” said Oliver Avramoski, Director of the IUCN Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO). “Some of our many areas of cooperation include policy development, capacity building and quality assurance of the management effectiveness of protected and conserved areas, including IUCN Green List certification.”

Over the past two decades, IUCN has worked closely with the government and civil society in Albania, helping to strengthen the institutional framework for nature conservation, improve the national system of protected areas and increase community involvement. Key protected area-related interventions include support for the Albanian part of Lake Ohrid as a World Heritage Site, management planning and community engagement in Šibenik National Park and along the Buna River, and IUCN’s role in the designation of the Vjosa River as Europe’s first wild river national park.

In addition, initiatives such as the Northern Forest Initiative and the ADAPT project demonstrate the potential for collaboration in addressing environmental challenges and promoting nature-based solutions.
At the regional level, Albania is an active member of the Western Balkans Biodiversity Task Force (BDTF BB). This regional body advises the Western Balkans Green Agenda Regional Working Group (GAWB) on the implementation of the nature and biodiversity pillar of the GAWB Action Plan.

As Albania joins IUCN as its newest Member State, both sides are committed to furthering joint efforts in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, community engagement, climate change adaptation and environmental governance.

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