Last month featured two important events: the Bankers Petroleum and Kurum. Despite the importance and the negative impact they had in several areas, including the environment, nothing has been discussed during May.
Talking about the public report on the first 300 days of governance, where achievements related to improvement in the quality of the environment are lauded. From 12 achievements cited in the report, less than 40% are verifiable and we might even say actually achieved. We will stop in the 2 years moratorium on hunting and the State Inspectorate of the Environment, Forest and Waters.
- Moratorium: What about analysis?
Another activity on the environment was the World Migratory Bird Day on May 9. In the promoting activity organized at the Visitor’s Center of the Protected Area Kune-Vain in Lezhe the importance of raising awareness among society regarding the importance of preserving these birds was emphasized.
Illegal hunting and without complying any criteria has been the main cause of the problems we currently have with the fauna. In 2014 the government adopted a two-year moratorium on hunting.
At the end of the 90’s Albania had about 12 000 hunting arms. Today, according to official data there are around 150 000 such arms. Only 15 000 of these citizens posses hunting permits. This is due to the complete lack of cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, in charge of approving arms permits and the Ministry of Environment, in charge of approving hunting permits.
As a result, those who are outside hunting associations constitute the most imminent danger, because they continue hunting despite lack of information regarding laws and regulations they have to follow.
Based on these figures, Albania ranks as one of the first countries in Europe from the number of hunters (legal and illegal) compared to its population.
The moratorium applies for citizens that have hunting permits, while the rest, approximately 130 000 arms possesors hunting without a permit, will continue to do so because by law it was forbidden for them to hunt even before. Based on this data analysis, logically a moratorium on hunting is pointless. A moratorium to block hunting arms would have been more efficient instead.
Even though a year has passed, there is no report from the Ministry of Environment, with concrete analysis and figures that show the positive impact of the moratorium. An ‘’impact’’ that was discussed superficially during the World Migratory Bird Day.
We have had enough words; citizens need concrete results and detailed analysis.
2- 100 leke for a hundred year juniper
While the public report of the first 300 days in power mentions protection of forests and forestation of degraded areas as an achievement of the government, in Milot there is a forest business going on as we speak.
Different trees are cut by residents of Milot commune and sold in the market. After processing the trees they are sold in the market as stakes to support fruit and vegetable trees. Only 20 leke are needed to buy seeds and 100 leke for a juniper several years old.
Genci Hoxhaj, director of the Forest Police Inspectorate at the Ministry of Environment declared that:
‘’Forests damaged in Malbardhe are communal forests, administered by the commune’’.
According to Hoxhaj, the responsibility lies with the commune that has only one guard at its disposal and has to protect 3800 ha of forest.
The question that comes naturally is: Why then was the Inspectorate created? which is also mentioned as on of the government’s achievements. Isn’t this inspectorate in charge of dividing managerial functions and controls at all levels? Apparently this is another achievement on paper, because the service of forest police seems inexistent, it does not stop to prevent the massacre against forests in Albania, where after cutting several pine trees, work has continued also in cutting other trees around Milot.
This treasure that is thousands of years old of our forests is being used as stakes to hold olives and tomatoes and no one is reacting.