Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Albania bans logging
A deer is seen in a touristic village in the National park of Llogara, some 250 km south west from Tirana, Albania on 27 January 2008. This mountain is situated on the border between Adriatic and Jon seas. Its altitude ranges from 470 to 2018m. The park of Llogara has a significant importance both as a tourist destination and as a transit bridge to the Ionian coast. I
Without serious estimates, it is believed the country has lost 50% to 75% of its woodland; will the ban make a difference?
Albania has seen massive deforestation by up to 50% since 1990. These are in fact outdated statistics. Albania is one of the world’s worst hit countries by deforestation. Woodlands covered 51% of its territory in 1990, reduced to 25% by 2010. NGOs estimate that less than 10% of Albania is covered by forest today, Balkan Insight reports.
By an overwhelming majority law makers imposed a ten year moratorium on logging for industrial purposes or export, but not for heating. The law against logging will carry a penalty of 10 years in jail.
It is known that much of Albanians deforestation is caused by poor villagers using wood for heating and cooking, while the construction boom has also played its own part. This in turn has accentuated floods. A year ago, Albania experienced it second worst floods on record since 1971, leaving thousands homeless and millions in damages.