Integrated Forest Management along the transboundary Drin River Basin
The long-term impact is to contribute to climate change mitigation and sustainable development and to improve the living conditions of rural communities in the Western Balkans region along the Drin River, through strengthened Integrated Forest Management (IFM). The overall outcome of the project will be increased socio-economic and environmental benefits for local communities through ecosystem services, strengthened by the application of IFM methods, afforestation and the protection of biodiversity.
1. Degraded and/or damaged areas are afforested and regenerated through IFM practices.
2. Improved conservation and eco-friendly income opportunities (Albania, North Macedonia).
3. Improved know-how and capacities for IFM along the Drin River Basin.
4. Regional expertise in IFM and replicable good practices of related policies are available.
5. Increased awareness for gender equality and mainstreaming in climate change and sustainable development.
The target group of the project is composed of the local population in the target area in general, as well as 120 community members who will be supported in small-scale eco-friendly activities. More than 500 forestry workers in the target region will receive on-the-job training and capacity building workshops. Furthermore, more than 750 forest experts and multipliers (e.g. forest associations, municipalities) as well as up to 125 students from forestry high schools and universities will benefit from an improved quality training, to allow a holistic and multi-level approach.
The target region are the municipalities of Shkodra (Albania), Prizren (Kosovo), Struga (North Macedonia) and Kolashin (Montenegro) along the Drin River Basin.
Besides piloting modern afforestation methods, forest rehabilitation and setting good-practices for income-generation for local communities, the regional expertise in IFM will be fostered. Academic research and analyses of the project activities will showcase the benefits of IFM and will be the basis for regional know-how exchange and collaboration. Gender equality issues will be addressed as well.
The transboundary catchment area of the Drin River includes the countries Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Framework conditions have been created but there is a lack of practical scalable approaches that involve the local communities and can scientifically prove the social and economic benefits of Integrated Forest Management (IFM). Especially poor rural communities lack resources, know-how and awareness of modern sustainable agro-forestry. The regional project will strengthen IFM along the Drin River Basin by implementing pilots that complement the latest policy developments and integrate local communities. The project applies a multi-stakeholder approach, integrating national and international experts as well as local communities, central and local authorities, and on-going initiatives.