Guidelines on the zoning of protected areas in Albania
Zoning is a well-known management tool used to organize large protected areas which have varying structures of land ownership, land use, wilderness conservation and development activities.
In Albania, zoning management guidelines for protected areas are still being drafted. Thus, this management plan follows exactly the draft version of these guidelines.
According to these guidelines there are five main management zones within Albanian protected areas:
- The central zone is where the most important natural and cultural elements of the park are found. This zone guarantees the tranquility of wild life and natural processes, without human intervention. Access is very limited here, permitting only to the protected area’s staff. Scientific studies may be conducted, but on a limited basis (only with special permission and if the study is necessary). In exceptional situations, limited educational tourism is possible (guided tours only on marked trails, in strictly limited numbers and within a small part of the area; maximum of 10% of the area or subzone).
- Sustainable development zone Limited management practices are allowed to improve and maintain habitats, promote rare species, or remove invasive species. Economic activities are allowed in accordance with their sustainability. All development activities are to be conducted in full harmony with the nature, culture and traditions of the area.
- Traditional use zone Consists of areas that are used or will be used in a traditional way for the preservation of typical landscapes, habitats, species and traditional practices within pastures, forests and waters. Traditional methods and sustainable land use practices should respect all traditional practices and species of domestic animals and plants. There are strong constraints on construction, if not in line with traditional architecture. It is permitted to use both local methods or non-traditional methods to achieve or imitate the effects of traditional land use.
- The visitor service zone provides areas for the development of tourism infrastructure and visitor services, such as information centers, hotels, restaurants, camps, places to rest, sports grounds for children, educational centers, etc. Generally, this area is small and often divided into several sub-zones.
- Special protective zones may be between different areas and outside the boundaries of protected areas.