REC Albania starts park project based on trilateral agreement

March 2, 2016
IT'S OFFICIAL: Project agreement signatories raise a toast (from L to R: Qirjo, Habertheuer, Tomasova, Ciganik).

The Regional Environmental Center Albania (REC Albania) has officially begun implementation of a project titled "Dajti National Park: An Accessible and Attractive Touristic Destination". This is the first project to be set in motion based on the trilateral Austerlitz-Slavkov cooperation agreement between Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In early 2015, the prime ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia established the Austerlitz-Slavkov agreement in Slavkov u Brna, Czech Republic, with the goal of establishing cooperation in areas of shared interest.

On March 1, 2016, during a special ceremony at the Czech Embassy in Tirana, Bronislava Tomasova (Ambassador of the Czech Republic), Milan Ciganik (Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia) and Heinz Habertheuer (Head of the Coordination Office for Technical Cooperation at the Austrian Embassy) each signed a joint declaration of partnership to launch the Dajti National Park project.

REC Albania will implement the project in partnership with the Dajti Alpino Touristic Association and in close cooperation with various agencies responsible for protected areas and parks. REC Albania Director Mihallaq Qirjo also signed bilateral agreements between the REC and each of the programme's donors.

"The aim of this valuable support is to bring people, and particularly children, closer to the values of nature, exercise and healthy activities," Qirjo said at the event. "Attractions like this should be an incentive for local development to promote natural values and biodiversity."

RUGGED BEAUTY: Gorge of the Tirana River just north of Dajti Mountain. Photo: User: Albinfo

Research on Albanian tourism trends indicate that visitors to the country generally prefer outdoor activities. The Dajti National Park project aims to provide up-to-date facilities for safely exploring Albania's natural wonders within the framework of the new Austerlitz-Slavkov cooperative platform.

Within the project framework, approximately 100km of trails will be marked throughout Dajti National Park and its surroundings. Other project outputs will include printed brochures, leaflets, customised network and mobile phone applications, and educational games for youth and small children.