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STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION “The Zero Emissions Territory” Final document - June 2011

UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania www.artgold.undp.org.al AULEDA www.auleda.org

www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu


The present document was drafted in the framework of UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme www.artgold.undp.org.al with the financial support of: UNDP Albania Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo - Ministero Affari Esteri UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services with the contribution of: www.inextstudio.org Mr. Andrea Nobili - Senior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Federica Di Pietrantonio - Junior expert in Strategic Planning Ms. Jonila Prifti and Ms. Maria Grazia Zagaria - iNExTstudio staff (Italy) in close cooperation with: Vlora Regional Council Staff AULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency of Vlora UNDP ART GOLD 2 – Mr. Luigi Cafiero, CTA; Mr. Estevan Ikonomi, National Programme Officer; Ms. Matilda Duri, Communication Officer; Mr. Aurel Jupe, Local Coordinator for Vlora Region and ART GOLD 2 project team. in coordination with: ILS LEDA - International Links and Services for Local Economic Development Agencies IDEASS - Innovation for Development and South-South cooperation Universitas Programme - KIP (Knowledge, Innovation and Policies for Human Development) Initiative Acknowledgements It would be impossible to mention all the people who gave their precious contribution to the preparation of this document. Special thanks go to the following institutions and stakeholders: their invaluable help made this work possible. Albanian Government: Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth and Sports Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Inter Agency Scientific Committee for Human Development Cooperation and Italian Embassy in Albania Italian Cooperation - DGCS UNDP Albania ART GOLD 2 project team UNOPS, UNEP, ILO ILS LEDA Universitas Programme IDEASS Albanian Development Fund Vlora Regional Council Prefecture of Vlora Environmental Agency of Vlora Region Municipalities and Communes of Vlora Region AULEDA Thanks also to the numerous territorial actors at national, regional and local level who actively participated in the strategic planning process, for their cooperation and commitment. Vlora, June 2011


STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION “The Zero Emissions Territory - ZET”

Final document (June 2011)


Table of contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1

INTRODUCTION TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION Why a Strategic Plan in Vlora Region? Background and objectives of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region How to read this document Methodology of the Strategic Planning process Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process Participation - The basis of the Strategic Planning process

5 5 6 8 9 11 13

CHAPTER 1. ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK 1.1. Introduction to the analysis framework 1.2. Sharing the analysis - The Kick-Off event 1.3. Territorial framework 1.4. Historical highlights 1.5. Infrastructure for the mobility and urban fabric 1.6. Social context 1.7. Environmental aspects 1.8. Landscape and cultural heritage 1.9. Value chains 1.10. Territorial programming 1.11. S.W.O.T. analysis of the regional territory 1.12. General development goal and keywords of the strategic plan 1.13. Scenarios for regional development

20 20 22 23 24 26 31 35 38 50 56 64 66 69

CHAPTER 2. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. 2.5. 2.6. 2.7.

Methodological introduction Participation in the strategy definition - Open Days and Public Debates Vision for regional development Strategic Guidelines and Actions Synergies among Strategic Guidelines - Internal coherence of the Strategic Plan Consistency of the Strategy with the regional development policies Consistency of the Strategy with the national development policies

CHAPTER 3. ACTION PLAN 3.1. Methodological introduction 3.2. Participative projects devising - The Focus Groups 3.3. The 10 Project Boxes for regional development 3.4. Synergies among Project Boxes 3.6 A future for the Strategic Plan: the Coordinated Development Projects ANNEXES A. B. C. D. E.

Bibliography and References Diagram of the Strategic Planning process Project Boxes and Project proposals Survey of programmes in progress in Vlora Region Map of cultural and landscape heritage in Vlora Region

76 76 77 86 88 98 109 111 115 115 116 119 147 149


Abbreviations

ADF AGA2 ART CDP CPC CTA DGCS EU FG GPP IDEASS ILS LEDA INSTAT ISD KIP LEDA MASH MBUMK MDG METE MITIK MOE MPCS MPPT MTKRS NGO PB SDC SG SNV SP SWOT TSG UNDP UNEP UNESCO UNOPS UTL VKM WB

Albanian Development Fund ART GOLD Albania 2 Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Cooperation Networks for Human Development Coordinated Development Projects County Partnership Council Chief Technical Advisor Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (General Directorate for Italian Development Cooperation) European Union Focus Group Gross Primary Productivity Innovations for Development and South-South cooperation International Links and Services for Local Economic Development Agencies National Institute of Statistics Integrated Support for Decentralisation Knowledge, Innovations and Policies for human development Local Economic Development Agency Ministria e Arsimit dhe e Shkencës (Ministry of Education and Science) Ministria e Bujqësise, Ushqimit dhe Mbrojtjes së Konsumatorit (Ministry of Agriculture) Millennium Development Goal Ministria e Ekonomise,Tregëtisë dhe Energjitikës (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy) Ministri për Inovacionin dhe Teknologjinë e Informacionit e të Komunikimit (Ministry for Innovation and Communication and Information Technology) Ministria e Mjedisit, Pyjeve dhe Administrimit të Ujrave (Ministry of Environment) Ministria e Punës, Çështjeve Sociale dhe Shanseve të Barabarta (Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities) Ministria e Punëve Publike dhe Transportit (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation) Ministria e Turizmit,Kultures,Rinise dhe Sporteve (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports) Non Governmental Organisation Project Box Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation Strategic Guideline Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (Netherlands Development Organisation) Strategic Plan or Strategic Planning Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Technical Support Group United Nations Development Programme United Nations Environment Programme United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization United Nations Office for Project Services Unità Tecnica Locale (Local Technical Unit) Vendim i Keshillit te Ministrave (Decision of the Council of Ministers) World Bank


VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Executive Summary

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, expertise, and resources to help people build a better life. At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, assisting them in formulating their own solutions to global and national development challenges. UNDP's main goal is to help developing countries build their own national capacity to achieve sustainable human development; that is, to improve people's lives on an enduring basis. In particular, UNDP Albania supports the country's aspirations towards European Union integration and contributes to national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender equality, environmental sustainability and good governance. The UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme is part of the UNDP Art Initiative (Articulation of territorial and thematic networks of human development cooperation), which promotes national co-operation for governance and local development projects. The Programme is financed by the Italian Government (Italian Cooperation) and supports the Albanian Government to achieve the MDGs and meet the requirements of EU accession through the promotion of partnership with regional councils, in line with the Albanian National Strategy for Decentralisation and Local Governance. The programme works to create links and implement partnership among Albanian and European regional and local communities, local institutions, Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) and other actors operating in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas Programme and IDEASS, among others). Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit needed support designing an overall development policy, involving the entire regional territory and addressing critical

territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while maintaining continuity with programmes, projects and sector policies already ongoing in the area. Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania aimed at promoting and supporting democratic participation of local, national and international actors in the decision-making process regarding Vlora Region development policies, and sought to provide the Regional Government with the required capacities to autonomously draw and manage international funds for development. To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a Strategic Plan (SP) as a long term programme on territorial governance and sustainable development adopting a participatory approach. The SP aim is to engage the local community to create its own vision for the future, and discover the best way to implement it by connecting the cultural, environmental, social and economic aspects of the territory. The SP mission is to propel a balanced and endogenous development of the area and increase the value of the Region by strengthening its unique cultural, social, environmental, economic identity and its human resources. By doing so, the Regional Government and community can become more aware of the roles they can play in the development process and become more confident in their abilities to cooperate in development processes. Within the framework of ART GOLD 2 the Strategic Planning represents an innovative democratic process necessary to lead Albania towards EU integration and a useful instrument to complete the administrative decentralisation ongoing in the country. In a country characterised by a scarce tradition in participatory practices, Vlora Region Strategic Planning serves as a democratic and bottom-up process, necessary to strengthen the collaboration and mutual trust amidst institutions, local and foreign actors.

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Furthermore, Vlora Region Strategic Plan represents a coordination platform among donors, international organisations, national orientations and regional and local policies. Hence, donors can allocate funds on projects that best reflect community needs, and be part of a real sustainable development. The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region started with the inventory of territorial policies at national, regional and local level, in order to coordinate them, prevent overlapping, develop synergies and optimise results. At the same time, a territorial analysis provided an overview of the current regional territorial situation in terms of infrastructure, environment, cultural heritage, economy, social aspects, etc., through the usage of the most recent published information on various planning and programming documents, together with the outcomes of territorial surveys and participatory meetings. There was no need for additional research to be conducted, because the Strategic Planning process did not start from scratch rather it maintained continuity with policies already operating on the territory. The territorial analysis allowed the identification of the Region’s real strengths and weaknesses, s u m m a r i s e d i n a n S . W. O . T. a n a l y s i s . Subsequently, the Keywords and possible Scenarios of regional development were identified. Keywords summarised the issues and needs emerged during meetings, which the territorial actors deemed crucial for regional development. The Scenarios represented the possible future configurations of the Region, and were based on present conditions, trends outlined by the current operating policies at all levels and on the possible variables that the SP can introduce to trigger sustainable and endogenous development. The territorial analysis gave way to the definition of a shared short, medium and long-term regional development Strategy, consisting of: • A Vision - suggesting the possible role that Vlora Region can play in a global perspective, in coherence with the analysis results and the outcomes of the participative process. • Nine Strategic Guidelines - The integrated and synergic directions to follow in order to accomplish the Vision, addressing the main critical aspects of the Region. • Thirty-three Actions - The “tools” to fill the gap between the present situation and future

development. They are strongly interconnected and help achieve several goals at the same time. They are realized through projects implementation. This Strategy, discussed and approved by territorial actors, attempts to convey the regional community’s desires and needs, as directly or indirectly expressed during participatory meetings and events, and finally adapt them within the current situation of the territory, the ongoing programmes and the national policies and goals. The next step of the Strategic Planning process was the Action Plan, which is an integrated system of projects, which need to be implemented in order to attain the SP goals. The projects were mainly proposed by local actors and established in a rational and vision oriented framework. The territorial actors involved in the participation process proposed around 100 project proposals and ideas regarding the implementation of the shared regional sustainable development Strategy, hence representing the fulfilment of territory requirements. Other ideas were also suggested by SP experts based on the outcomes of public debates and of meetings held with national level institutions. Another group of project ideas came from the analyses conducted by one of ILS LEDA experts on the regional value chains. In order to give a wider perspective to these proposals and ideas, the SP experts introduced “Project Boxes” or “containers” where projects addressing the same topics and/or same parts of the regional territories were clustered around a single theme and integrated, hence developing synergies and interactions. In this way, projects can contribute more effectively to the achievement of the Vision and to the redefinition of the future role of the Region in the national and international setting. The Strategic Planning methodology adopted in Vlora Region uses a bottom-up approach. This means that each step of the Strategic Planning process was characterised by the participation of all local stakeholders in the definition of the SP. The participation steps had a growing interaction level, where the involvement and collaboration of stakeholders and civil society was constantly sought after, both by arranging face-to-face meetings with significant actors (more than 100 meetings were held in the framework of the Strategic Planning process) and by organising public consultation events:

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• A Kick-Off event to publicly launch the Strategic Planning initiative; • Thematic Workshops to identify critical territorial issues and start defining the regional development Strategy; • A public debate to share a draft Vision and Strategy for regional development with all territorial actors; • Two Focus Groups meetings for the joint identification of integrated projects to achieve the Strategic Plan objectives. Participation to the events was satisfactory and all actors proved to be interested and willing to actively engage in the Strategic Plan preparation. During this process the collaboration between regional and local actors, and between ART GOLD 2 and partners, was also strengthened. The results of the participatory process were all taken into consideration and included (after the required work of processing and systematising activities) in the Strategic Plan. Therefore, all the Plan contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon by the whole regional community. The participatory process in Vlora Region was supported by a number of information and communication materials aimed to inform the territorial actors around Strategic Planning issues, involve them in the process and stimulate discussion during public consultation events. These materials were conceived taking into consideration the scarce habit of the regional population to participatory practices. One of the most important tool created for the Vlora Region Strategic Plan is the website (www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu) where it is possible to find all the information concerning the Strategic Planning in Vlora Region. The process described so far led to the following findings, conclusions and recommendations: • Given the present situation and the trends outlined by current national and regional policies, Vlora Region has three possible development Scenarios ahead: ‣ Scenario 1) Tourism development Tourism is the leading sector in Vlora Region economy as well as the main catalyst of economic growth. However, hitherto a clear strategy for tourist development has not been established. The “beach tourism” has played the leading role, with negative effects on the environment.

Nonetheless the Region has a variety of potential tourist attractors (cultural heritage, natural areas, traditions and food) and hence has the opportunity to move towards responsible and sustainable tourism, generating income and employment whilst respecting the environment and the local culture. ‣ Scenario 2) Rural development and agrobusiness - Rural activities are an important part of regional culture and identity. However, the environmental issues regarding the rural sector such as the lack of water, wastewater and solid waste management systems should be addressed immediately in view that the natural environment is a potential source of income for rural areas both through its ability to affect the quality of food products and through its attractiveness for tourism. The challenge is thus to achieve an overall environmental sustainability in regional rural activities, balancing innovation and tradition and enhancing the quality and the security of typical local products. ‣ Scenario 3) Services, networks and light industry - Vlora Region lacks the basic services systems. Infrastructure problems have a negative effect on economic activities, which cannot be developed without an adequate energy supply and reliable communication systems. Ongoing policies have acknowledged, to some extents, the necessity to upgrade infrastructure and services networks, while keeping an eye on environmental sustainability. The risk is that the lack of financial resources can cause delays in the implementation of the strategies hence leading to short-term solutions and losing sight of the overall sustainability and coordination of interventions. The challenge is to continue to coordinate all the relevant components of the Scenario, so that all sector policies converge on the same objectives and are coherent amidst each other. • To achieve a more diversified development and avoid the unbalances that a single sector development can cause, these Scenarios should be carried out simultaneously, in an integrated and complementary manner, making sustainability the central thread of regional development.

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Hence, the Vision chosen for the regional sustainable development is “Vlora Region 2020: a Zero Emissions Territory – ZET”: Vlora Region should become a territory in which sustainability covers all sectors of human activity (tourist accommodation, transports, solid waste management, water and wastewater management, productive activities, building activities, etc.) and in which all development policies and initiatives are coordinated and synergic. In this framework, the Region should decide to meet the growing global demand of cultural tourism, ecotourism and rural tourism and consider environmental protection not a limit but an opportunity to foster innovation, socioeconomic development and professional growth.

future of the Strategic Planning process is to initiate and develop a set of integrated projects, focused on geographical zones of interventions that can be considered homogeneous because of their morphological, socio-economic and/or cultural features. These integrated projects shall derive directly from the outcomes of the Strategic Planning process conducted, and shall serve as the “tangible expression” of the shared development Strategy on the regional territory. Through them, the Actions of the regional SP will be gradually implemented, always considering the “big picture” represented by the overall Vision and Strategy. The recommended integrated projects or Coordinated Development Projects (CDPs) to develop are the following four:

• In order to accomplish this Vision, 9 Strategic Guidelines were identified: 1. Community based tourism 2. Typical rural products and handicraft 3. Fishing and Aquaculture 4. Education and Training 5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage 6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation 7. Material and nonmaterial networks and energy 8. Social inclusion 9. The Strategic Plan of children and teens

‣ The Cultural Tourism Region - Creation of thematic tourism circuits involving the cultural heritage sites spread in the whole Region, to be managed and promoted in a coordinated way with the active participation and cooperation of all governmental levels, cultural associations, tourism-related businesses.

• These Strategic Guidelines will be achieved through the implementation of 112 shared projects and project ideas, contained in 10 thematic “Project Boxes”: 1. Thematic tourism in Vlora Region 2. Brands for Vlora Region food products 3. Water and soil protection 4. Seaways in Vlora Region 5. Vlora Region handicraft 6. Basic infrastructure & ICT for Vlora Region 7. Vlora Region Social care network 8. Children of Vlora Region 9. Health in Vlora Region 10.Working women in Vlora Region • Considering the thematic nature of Project Boxes, the projects they collect involve the entire regional territory. Therefore, in order to make their implementation as effective as possible, it will be necessary to identify physical areas of intervention at sub-regional level, also to facilitate the establishment of project partnerships and make their actions more incisive. Therefore, the challenge for the

‣ The Shushica Valley Rural District Establishment of a partnership for the management and coordinated rural and tourism development of the sub-regional area of the Shushica river Valley, featuring organic agricultural tradition, high tourist potential and a rich landscape and cultural heritage. The partnership will involve local governments and a cluster of businesses (single and associated) working in the agro-food and tourism sectors. ‣ The Albanian Southern Coast Landscape Tourism Region - Implementation and integration of the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan, extending it to the whole Region, and implementation of the Strategic Plan projects regarding the coast, in order to preserve and develop the littoral areas of the Region in a sustainable way. ‣ The Delvina Agro-food District Establishment of a partnership for the management and coordinated rural development of a sub-regional area featuring a strong agricultural tradition and a rich heritage of typical agro-food products with a consolidated market (Saranda). The partnership will involve local governments and a cluster of businesses (single and associated) working in the agro-food sector.

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INTRODUCTION

TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION

The bridge to the Zvernec Monastery in the Municipality of Novosele

Why a Strategic Plan in Vlora Region? An absolute priority for most territories nowadays is the development of a stable and sustainable economy base. In that respect the Albanian government has adopted a development policy focused on investments in key infrastructure and has promoted leading sectors in the economy that demonstrate regional comparative advantage. Vlora Region government units have shown a continuous interest in being part of an integrated development in compliance with the National Tourism Strategy and the National Strategy for Development and Integration. Vlora Region is the main tourist destination in Albania. Although at the local level a few strategic development plans referring to municipal territories exist, so far a shared Regional future vision and strategies to guide the development of every single Municipality and Commune, especially those that do not have any local development plans, have not been established. Hence,

in March 2010, the Region launched a strategic planning process within the framework of UNDP ART GOLD 2 Programme. A Strategic Plan is a territorial growth and renewal platform aimed to attain an endogenous and sustainable development model through the involvement of the entire cultural, environmental, social and economic components of a particular area. The Strategic Plan is an innovative and flexible territorial governance instrument, already applied in several European cities and territories, intended to provide a clear direction on local development policies. Strategic planning is a necessary tool for communities and institutions in order to promote democratic participation as an integral part of the territorial planning hence allowing local actors to state their opinions and the latter to be integrated in the development policies.

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Background and objectives of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region Vlora Region SP is an initiative of the ART GOLD 2 Albania programme, which is part of the UNDP ART Initiative (Articulation of territorial and thematic networks of human development cooperation).

ART GOLD 2 promotes a national cooperation framework for governance and local development through the active role of public and private actors as well as of local and central institutions representatives.

UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, expertise, and resources to help people build a better life.

Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit needed support designing an overall development policy, involving the entire regional territory and addressing critical territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while maintaining continuity with programmes, projects and sector policies already ongoing in the area.

At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, assisting them in formulating their own solutions to global and national development challenges. UNDP's main goal is to help developing countries build their own national capacity to achieve sustainable human development, that is, to improve people's lives on an enduring basis. In particular, UNDP Albania supports the country's aspirations towards European Union integration and contributes to national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender equality, environmental sustainability and good governance. ART Initiative promotes national co-operation for governance and local development projects. The programme is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Italian Cooperation and supports the Albanian Government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to meet the requirements for EU accession through the promotion of partnerships with regional councils, in line with the Albanian National Strategy for Decentralisation and Local Governance. The programme aims to create linkages and establish partnerships among Albanian and European regional and local communities, local institutions, the Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) and other subjects operating in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas Programme and IDEASS among others).

Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania aimed at promoting and supporting democratic participation of local, national and international actors in the decision-making process regarding Vlora Region development policies, and sought to provide the Regional Government with the required capacities to autonomously draw and manage international funds for development. To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a Strategic Plan (SP) as a useful instrument to support the administrative decentralisation in Albania. As indicated in the methodology applied by strategic planning experts, an SP is a short, medium and long-term programme for sustainable territorial development and governance, designed through a participatory, “bottom-up” process. Hence, the Vlora Region SP was guided by principles of participation and negotiation: the main public and private actors operating in the territory were engaged in open meetings and events, during which they jointly identified regional potentials and weaknesses and envisaged possible regional development Scenarios. Subsequently, the same actors collaborated in defining a common development Vision and the strategic goals to achieve it.

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The ample participation in the numerous meetings and events organised during the process, demonstrates the ability of the SP to trigger and strengthen mechanisms of cooperation within local communities. Hence, SP is not a product rather an everchanging process, built through negotiations and mediations and the use of participatory techniques. The main goal of the strategic planning process was to identify a list of far-reaching projects, consistent and shared, resulting from a bottomup approach. The project identification was guided by the idea that Albania will become a member of European Union in the near future. Additionally, SP incorporated priority projects,

submitted by territorial actors for UNDP funding. SP experts provided technical assistance in the development of these projects, primarily focusing on their consistency with the sustainable regional development direction traced through Strategic Planning. Within the framework of ART GOLD 2, Strategic Planning represents an innovative and democratic process necessary to lead Albania towards EU integration. The Vlora Region SP represents a coordination platform among national, regional and local policies and the institutions which promote them (Ministries, local governments, Albanian Development Fund, etc.) and is a useful coordination tool for international donors.

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How to read this document

The present document gives an account of the strategic planning process carried out in Vlora Region from March 2010 to June 2011. It also explains how the strategic planning methodology was applied in the target area, the way territorial actors were involved in the process, and the results achieved. It describes the regional territory’s current situation and illustrates the shared sustainable development strategy that was chosen by the regional community. All its contents were shared with territorial actors and/or were drafted on the basis of their suggestions and observations. Hence the SP does not claim to be exhaustive and can be subject to integrations and additions at any time. By and large, this document represents a summary of what emerged from the democratic negotiations process that was the basis of the strategic planning exercise. Hence, it is open, shared and modifiable. If necessary, it can be

updated, always through the involvement of the whole regional community. The Regional government should use this document as a memorandum and a guide for the gradual implementation of coordinated development projects in the Region. The participative nature of the SP guarantees the continuity and legitimacy of the development strategy. The fact that this strategy was approved by most territorial actors should be taken into account by present and future administrators to fulfil local community expectations. This SP was drafted in alignment with the goals of the Regional Strategy for the Achievement of the UNDP Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It also refers to the national strategic goals, stated in the National Tourism Strategy and in the National Strategy for Development and Integration.

The Strategic Planning process for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

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Methodology of the Strategic Planning process Strategic Planning is a cyclical process of review and assessment, constantly accompanied by monitoring, communication and participation procedures. It consists of four main steps: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Launch Analysis Framework Strategic Framework Action Plan

• a set of Keywords, synthesising the analysis results, and the Strategic Plan general goal; • the development Scenarios, expressing possible future configurations of the Region based on present conditions and on the trends outlined by current policies at all levels. In this phase, meetings with stakeholders were important to highlight current problems and share objectives for sustainable development.

3. Strategic framework 1. Launch The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region started off with a series of preparatory activities, aimed at introducing the strategic planning initiative to Albanian authorities at all levels, mapping stakeholders, pointing out general goals and programming further activities. The strategic planning methodology and its possible outputs were discussed with various territorial actors, emphasising future benefits in terms of development policies coordination, resource optimisation, local community involvement and awareness. The SP was then introduced to the public through a Kick-Off event organised in Vlora and supported by a communication campaign.

2. Analysis framework Vlora Region’s current situation was analysed, starting from the information contained in recent plans and programmes regarding the regional territory. This analysis includes: • an analysis of territorial aspects (historical background, infrastructures, environment, cultural heritage, social and economic context), based on information from existing planning and programming instruments, assessed through territorial surveys and integrated with the participatory process outcomes; • a compared analysis of plans and programmes regarding the Region; • an S.W.O.T. analysis, identifying the area’s main potentials and problems;

The territorial analysis was the first step towards the definition of a shared short, medium and long-term regional development strategy, consisting of: • Vision - Is the future image of an area, directing all development policies. It suggests the possible role that Vlora Region can play in a global perspective in compliance with the analysis conducted and the outcomes of the participative process. • Strategic Guidelines - Are the directions to follow to accomplish the Vision, creating an integrated and synergic system focused on crucial issues of regional development. • Actions - Are the “tools” to fill the gap between current situation and future development. They are strongly interconnected, help achieve several goals concurrently and are carried out through projects implementation. The contents of this step were discussed and shared with territorial actors in a series of thematic workshops in Vlora and in Saranda.

4. Action plan The Action Plan contains an integrated system of coordinated projects (proposed by territorial actors and organised in a coherent, visionoriented framework), which must be implemented to achieve the Strategic Plan goals. The Action Plan traces possible procedures to implement the projects and suggests the role of institutions and private actors in the implementation process. The Action Plan was discussed and agreed upon by territorial actors during Focus Groups.

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A diagram synthesizing the main steps of the strategic planning process

VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”


VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process

Strategic Planning (SP) steps

Type of activity Performed activities Preparatory meetings with UNDP representatives, AULEDA and AGA2 staff to share the SP methodology

Participation Desk and other activity field activity

Surveys of the regional territory Preparation of a draft SWOT analysis

Ongoing plans and programmes analysis Extrapolation, processing and organisation of data and information useful to outline the Analysis Framework Draft of the Analysis Framework, including possible regional development Scenarios In-depth definition of roles and responsibilities of all people involved in the programme, to optimise the SP process

Launch and Analysis Framework

Coordination activities with other UN programmes, especially assessing their ongoing activities in AGA2 areas of intervention

March 2010 MarchSeptember 2010

MayAugust 2010

 

Kick-Off event: presentation of the SP methodology and of the first achieved results to territorial actors; share the draft Analysis Framework

Training and technical assistance to AULEDA staff to prepare the Kick-Off event of the SP

Technical assistance and training to AULEDA and AGA2 Local Coordinator on the organisation of the Kick-Off event Technical assistance and training to AGA2 Communication Officer on communication activities concerning the SP process, focusing on the preparation of information and communication materials for the Kick-Off event

FebruaryOctober 2010

Preparation of a “Strategic Planning Starter Kit” CD-Rom to support training activities addressed to AULEDA

First County Partnership Council meeting Support the participative identification of priority projects to be funded by AGA2, and to the definition of shared selection criteria

FebruaryMarch 2010

Meetings with local authorities and other significant stakeholders, to present AGA2 SP methodology, collect information on programmes and projects implemented and under implementation in the targeted areas, establish cooperation and synergies

Time

May 2010

May 2010 JulyOctober 2010 August 2010

 AugustSeptember 2010

October 2010

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Strategic Planning (SP) steps

Type of activity Performed activities Support AULEDA and AGA2 staff in the organisation of the Open Days events, focused on the definition of the regional development strategy Open Days in Vlora and in Saranda: discussion on possible regional development Scenarios and outline of a draft development strategy using a participatory approach

Participation Desk and other activity field activity

Improve coordination between strategic planning process, other ongoing ART programmes and activities carried out by significant Albanian and Strategic Framework international cooperation actors Provide technical assistance to AULEDA and AGA2 staff to carry out 2 public debates to discuss the draft Vision and Strategy Carry out a meeting with a panel of experts selected by the Regional Council and a public debate with territorial actors: approval of the draft regional development Vision and Strategy

November 2010

 

December 2010

December 2010

 

Present a draft Strategic Plan during the International conference “European integration, knowledge, innovations and democratic governance of development” in Tirana

Monitor and support the process of priority projects design in collaboration with AULEDA and the Regional Council of Vlora

Round of meetings with Municipalities and Communes to increase local authorities involvement in the SP process

Focus Groups in Vlora and in Saranda: conception and design of project proposals to include in the regional SP

NovemberDecember 2010 December 2010

Define the final version of the regional development Vision and Strategy, based on the public debates results

Action Plan

November 2010

Process and organise the Open Days outcomes Prepare a draft Vision and Strategy for regional development based on the debates results

Time

December 2010-January 2011 January 2011

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February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Participation The basis of the Strategic Planning process

A moment in the participatory process: the Kick-off event in Vlora (October 2010)

Each step of the strategic planning methodology is characterized by participation hence encouraging the growing involvement and commitment of territorial actors. During the first phase, actors are informed on the strategic planning methodology and objectives. On the second one, they are asked to focus on the identification of potentials and critical aspects of their Region, and to outline possible development Scenarios. The third phase is a joint identification of a shared Vision and Strategy for regional development. The last phase encompasses a deeper involvement of territorial actors, who are asked to commit in identifying and starting up development projects. In line with this methodology, the active participation of all territorial actors was fostered throughout the strategic planning process and realized by arranging face-to-face meetings with significant actors as well as organising public consultation events. The participation steps were characterised by a growing interaction level starting from a mere presentation of the strategic planning initiative (the Kick-Off event), to thematic workshops, a public debate on the Strategy, and lastly to Focus Groups in which territorial actors worked together on projects definition. Meetings with significant stakeholders were held throughout the process, conjointly with the

necessary coordination meetings with all the actors involved in the programme. Participation activities, within the framework of ART GOLD 2, supported the establishment of a County Partnership Council (CPC) and a regional Technical Support Group (TSG). The former is the main advisory and coordination body for the preparation and implementation of regional development policies and is formed by institutional subjects and representatives of civil society, education and business organisations, whereas the latter provides the CPC with the necessary technical assistance in defining and implementing development projects. The Local Economic Development Agency of Vlora (AULEDA) was established by ART GOLD in 2003 and later became a recipient of of empowerment policies carried on by both ART GOLD 2 and ILS LEDA. AULEDA played a crucial role in the management of the participatory processes and, supported by SP experts, developed its capacities to bring together territorial actors, moderate public discussions, etc. The results of the participatory process were all taken into account, processed, organised and included in the SP. Hence all the SP contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon by the entire regional community.

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Participatory meetings Facts and figures

More than 110 meetings were held in the framework of the regional strategic planning initiative, from February 2010 to April 2011.

The figures of participation

In order to establish consensus and readiness to actively participate in the strategic planning process, and develop a sense of ownership of the process, various meetings organized aimed at presenting SP goals and objectives to Albanian government representatives, regional and local authorities and other relevant actors operating in the area. As a result, strategic planning participative methodology was widely shared and agreed upon and cooperation relations were established, especially between AULEDA and institutional actors such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albanian Ministries, Italian Cooperation, World Bank, Vlora Regional government, International cooperation bodies, etc. In addition, the meetings were also important for carrying out a survey of activities and projects implemented by national and international actors in Vlora Region, as well as to collect information on the implementation status of development interventions, including urban planning and local development experiences. Furthermore, they highlighted coordination opportunities between ART GOLD 2 and other

50 meetings with stakeholders

70 coordination meetings

6 public consultation events

40 hours of public debates

• More than 300 participants to the public discussion events

organisations operating in the Region and helped fostering cooperation among institutions. Another group of meetings was dedicated to establish a coordination platform among ART GOLD 2 programme staff, AULEDA and other actors directly involved in the programme. These meetings also had a capacity building purpose, especially towards AULEDA, which was constantly involved and trained in strategic planning methodology and activities. The meetings are listed in the next page in chronological order, divided into the two abovementioned categories: coordination meetings and meetings with significant stakeholders.

The Key stakeholders in the Strategic Planning process

NATIONAL LEVEL Albanian Government’s policies Ministry of Interior Ministry of Economy, Trade & Energy Ministry of Education & Science Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth & Sports Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Consumer Protection Other Ministries Ministry of Health

AGA2

STRATEGIC PLAN “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

Regional government Municipalities

Communes

Regional & local authorities’ policies

Local associations & NGOs Private enterprises Other stakeholders

International NGOs

Local community’s projects

International cooperation projects

LOCAL LEVEL

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70 Coordination meetings • 38 meetings with UNDP ART GOLD 2 staff • 17 meetings with AULEDA staff and Regional staff • 5 meetings with Universitas programme coordinators • 4 meetings with ILS LEDA expert • 1 meeting with UNDP Cluster Manager • 1 meeting with UNDP Country Director • 1 meeting with UNDP-ISD • 2 meetings with AULEDA board representatives

46 meetings with stakeholders • Directory of Strategic Programming, Ministry of Economy • Ministry of Education and Science • Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth and Sports • Credins Bank • AlbInvest Foreign Direct Investment Department • Deputy County Chair of Vlora County Council • Deputy Mayor of Vlora • Italian Cooperation Director • Vlora Region Environmental Agency • Environmental Association “Adriatiku” • Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Orikum • Deputy Mayors of Shushica Commune • Mayor of Hore-Vranshit Commune • Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Himara • Decentralized Cooperation Office, Regione Emilia Romagna • World Bank • Regional Department of the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture • DGCS, Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo (2 meetings) • Central Directorate, Ministry of Tourism (2 meetings) • Italian Consul General in Vlora • Head of the Qarku of Vlora • Environmental Hot Spot Project, UNEP • General Directorate, Ministry of Tourism • Albanian Development Fund - ADF • Netherlands Development Organisation - SNV • 19 Local authorities (Municipalities and Communes) representatives

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Public consultation events Facts and figures

To create involvement and ownership in the Regional SP and its process, six public discussion events were organised as follows:

1 Kick-Off event 5 October 2010 Public launch of the Strategic Planning initiative and introductory meeting.

2 Open Days 17 and 19 November 2010 Public consultations were held in Vlora and Saranda to outline the regional development strategy, subdivided into the following 4 thematic workshops: • Environment and infrastructure networks for sustainability • Cultural heritage and tourism • Social issues • Rural development and diversification of rural activities

1 Public debate 15 December 2010 A public consultation meeting was held to share, discuss and review the draft regional development Vision and Strategy with territorial actors. The event was preceded by a round table with a panel of experts and intellectuals chosen by the Regional Council.

2 Focus Groups meetings 18 and 19 April 2011 Public consultation meetings were held in Vlora and in Saranda to define shared and integrated projects for the SP implementation. All the events were successful in terms of participation numbers which was satisfactory (more than 330 registered participants in total) and all actors showed interest and willingness to actively engage in the SP preparation process. During these events the collaboration between regional and local actors, and between ART GOLD 2 and partners, was also strengthened.

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I e merkure 06.10.2010

I§~

Prezantohetplani . strate;gjik,nisma e p~p-it. Pirro: Hartimi i planit strategjik, inipakt

per zhvillim te qen.drueshemte territorit Teuta Shalilku

1\irizmi, tIashegimjakulturore, infrastIUktura portuale, aeroportuale, agroindus1lia, bujqesiajanesektomqe, regershetuarne nje strategji re mirefillte zhvillirni, do re siIInin zhvillirnin qe realisht pret qarku i Vlores. Autoritetet vendore m.qarkut Vlore dhe aktore re tjereqe kontribuojnene zhvillirninerajonit, prezantuan dje ne qytetin e Vlores nisjen e procesit re planifil9mitstrategjik per qarkun e Vlores. Ky proces mbeshtetet ngaprogramiPNUD-it, ART GOLD2, dhe Agjenda Lokale e ZhvillirnitEkonomik, AULEDA Kryetari i Keshi\lit re Qarkut, z. YIli PiIro,deklaroi dje se strategjia qe qarku i Vlores po perpiqet re realizoje, synan qe ajo rejete ne koherence me strategjire e . zhvillimit re qeverise. Ai tha se Keshi\li i Partneritetet qe eshte miratuar nga Keshilli i Qarkut, ka nje ro! ko~ltaliy re pe=ktuar dhe detyri!n per re ~ur procesin e planifikimit strategjik dhe se me ane te takirnit te zhvilluar dje dhe ta1dmere tjera qe do pasojne, synahet re realizohetnje strategji rajonale per qaIkun e Vlores ne koherence me te gjitha strategjire qe jane ndertuar nga ministrite e linjave dhe me strategjite qe ka ndertUar qarku ne fusha re tjera. "Po hedhim nje hap, i dli duhetre jete nje mares dhe nje vleresues i drejtp~rdrejre ne zhvillimineqarlaItre Vlores. QarlaI yne, nje qark me potendale turistike, me nje pozite gjeografike re favorshme, me nj e pejzazh atrakti\r, qe ofron nje game re gjere akIivitetesh ne det dhe ne mal dhe me nje numer ta madh monumentesh te trashegirnise kulturore, pornje mungese ne infrastrukruren turislike. Ne nje sere sektoresh qe kane nevoje,si p.sh. mjedisi turislik, profesionalizimi ne sektorin e turizmit, infrastruktura portuale dhe aeroportuale, sishem

pra sektore q e j ane reooe-

dhe qe duhet ne re ardhmen

kere strategji

t'i ndertojme

me

per t'i dhene

Autoritetetvendbrete qarkutVloredheaktorete tjere qekontribuojnene zhvillimin e rajonit,prezantuan djene qytetineVlores nisjene procesitte planifikimit strategjik perqarkuneVlOres "

nje supon re fuqishem turizrnitsi sektort prioritarn.e qarkuntone", - ka deklaruar Pirn>. Projekti ne fjale, qeeshrej mbeshteturedhe nga operacioniitalian me nisme re UNDP-se,eshrevleresuar nga konsuUi italianne V1Ore,SergioSroci,per~ e tij dhe modaIitell!t qe ka. "Pjesi!rnanj a e UNDPne zhviDjrnjn e projektit eshreshenja me e mire per gjetjen e zgjidhjes me re mire per planin strategjik te rajonit re Vlores. Bashkep!Jnimiqe po bejme, eshre me shurne sesa ajo qe ne kerni pritur per zhvillimiri e ketij projekti dhe eshre gjith" ashtu nje perpjekje per lehresimin re c;faredolIojmenyre",-. tha dje ne takim konsul1i italian ne Vlore, SergioSroci.Edmond Leka, nenkryetari i Bashksie se VIores, tha sene kere ~ re p]anjfikimit stiategjik, Bashlda e Vlores si bashlda me e rnadhe e qarkut re Vlores, duhet re jete p'e'rfitueSja me e madhe e ketijprojekti. planifikimi strategjik eshre nje proces me pjesemanje re giere, gjare re cilitinstitucionet,subjektetprivate,shoqeria civile dhe qytetaret e VIores do re punoj ne

se bashku per re percaktuar rruget per zhyj]];rnjn e rajonit Gjithashtu,ai penaqeson kuadrin referues per re gjitha projektetdhe nismat, duke i orientuat drejtrealizimit re qellimeve re perbashketa. "Hartimi i pianitstrategjik do re kere nje impaktte konsiderueshem per aIri!jen e zhvillimitte qendrueshem te teIIilDrit Nga ana !jeter, ky eshte nje proces demokratik dhe gjitheperfshires", - deklaroi \ayetart i Keshillit te Qarkut Vlore, z. YUi Pirro. Vladimir Malkaj, menaxher i programeye re UNDP ne Shqiperi. tha se p\lnaper kere plan strategjik kish~nisUr prej koheshdhe dje po behej verem njeop~tim publik. "UND\, eshre prej kohesh promovuese e zhvillimit ~ional dhe lokal ne gjithe Shqiperine. Eshte pun\!ar edhe ne Vlore m~ projekte per mjedisin apo mbledhjen e armeve. For edhe per strategji te zhvillirnit rajonal. Sot UNDP-j a ka disa projekte dhe programe re rendesishrne ne nive! qeDdror per programe per zhvillim rajonal. qe perafrojne politikat e zhvillirnit rajonal shqiptar me kerkesat dhe politikate ardhshrne

shume

re af"erta re Bashkimit

Evropian", - deklaroiVladimirMaJkaj, menaxher i programeve te UNDP, ne Shqiperi. Gjate aktivitetit

te prezantuar

VIore, mellxiologjia

dje ne

qe do te perdoret dhe

rezultatet e para te perftuara, iu bene te njohura te gjithe aktoreve te pranishem, peIfuqesuesve te UNDP-se, Ministrise se Puneve Ie Brendshme; Ministrise se Ekonomise, TregIise dhe Energjetikes, Ministrise se Arsimit dhe Shkences, Ministrise se Turizmit, KuItures. Rinise dhe Sporteve. Procesi i planifikimit Strategjik i ka fillesat ne shkurt 2010 ne kuader Ie programit ART GOLD 2 Ie PNlJD-itdhe

do Ie drejroje

ne muajt

e ardhshem

strategjik

per re cilin eshre rene dakord

zbatimin

me re gjithe aktoret identifikohen

e planit

Gjare procesitdo

Ie

burirnet

dhe do Ie zbarohen

nisrna qe permirffiojne

dlesine e jeteses

nerajonine Vlores. Programi ART GOLD 2 ne Shqiperi si pjese e njetit Global te lniciatives

ART ka per qellim

voje rnireqeverisjen vendore.

Prograrni

qiperi financohet

re promo-

dhe zhvillimin

dor ndermjetaktoreve

ven-

dhe auroriteteve ART GOLD 2 ne Sh-

nga qeveria itaJiane

Press releases of public consultations: the Kick-Off event (top), the Open Days (right) and the Public Debates (above)

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The materials to support participation

Right: The logo designed by iNExTstudio for the strategic planning process, representing the transition from inputs (analyses) to outputs (projects), passing through the “filter” of participation

The participatory process in Vlora Region was supported by a numerous information and communication materials aimed to inform the territorial actors on strategic planning issues, engage them in the process and stimulate discussions during public consultation events. These materials were designed taking into consideration the scarce tradition of the regional community to take part into participatory practices. Since the beginning of the process, in order to ease participation procedures, it was decided to provide territorial actors a continuous information support.

be followed for a productive debate and encouraging democratic discussion; the “glossary”, explaining the most important words regarding the strategic planning process; etc. • graphic layout of the folders to be handed out to the participants, containing selected information and communication materials. • graphic layout of pins with the logo of the strategic planning process, handed out during all participation events.

Presentations were held in each event summarising the strategic planning methodology and the current status of the SP (activities performed, achieved results, next steps, etc.). Each presentation was complemented by a diagram of the strategic planning process, updated for each event. Other graphics and communication materials were prepared for the events, such as the following: • logo of the strategic planning process; • draft event agenda and invitations; • layout of the attendance sheets, to collect participants’ names and contacts; • graphic layout of posters to advertise the events; • graphic layout of event cards, containing contacts of ART GOLD 2 and AULEDA, handed out to participants; • graphic layout and contents of brochures, providing basic information on the strategic planning process and its current status; • information materials such as “rules of the debate”, explaining to participants the rules to

Above: The poster designed to advertise the Open Days in Vlora and Saranda (November 2010)

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The Strategic Plan website www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu

SP experts provided support to the creation of the SP website, a major information and communication tool to disseminate information on the strategic planning process activities and results in Vlora Region. Within the framework of a strategic planning process, a website can: • encourage participation and support democratic decision making, giving updated information to the local community on the strategic planning process, methodology, agenda, activities, objectives and achieved results; • improve transparency in policy-making and assist to create trustful relations between local communities and authorities, including UN; • provide support to potential donors in selecting projects that can be funded in the area, by describing the development strategy

the territory adopted and the Action Plan to achieve it. The aim is to ensure that funded projects fulfil territorial needs. In that respect, the website was conceived as an out-and-out deliverable of the programme. Jointly with field training and promotion activities performed during the missions, SP experts drafted and shared with AULEDA and Regional staff the guidelines for the creation of the website and defined tasks and responsibilities related to website management. Technical assistance was provided to the web design company contracted to carry out the site design and implementation. T h e S P w e b s i t e w w w. v l o r a r e g i o n strategicplanning.eu is operational and is being updated by Regional staff, in cooperation with AULEDA.

A screenshot from the website of Vlora Region Strategic Plan, currently in progress

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CHAPTER 1

ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK

The Butrint lagoon

1.1. Introduction to the Analysis Framework An important goal of the Vlora Region SP is to act as an interface among different levels of government, citizens and government bodies and different types of programmes. The aim is to achieve optimal coordination, integration and synergy and enhance and maximize the effects of development initiatives on the local and regional territory. Consequently, the main objective of the Analysis Framework is to assess the current situation of the territory, starting from experts territorial survey, direct observations in the participatory events and analysis of planning and programming documents recently published. In the specific case of Vlora Region, the majority of planning and programming tools were implemented after the year 2005 and the information they contain can be considered updated. Therefore, they were taken as a basis for the preparation of this Analysis Framework. Direct observations from

citizens and local institutions were useful to complete the missing part of the analysis, that is the perception that the local community has on the future development of the Region. In terms of methodology there was no need for new research to be conducted because the strategic planning process did not started from zero, rather it maintained continuity with the programmes, projects, processes and policies already operating in the territory, coordinating and enhancing them and providing a wider perspective. The result is the construction of a consistent reference system for the identification of a shared development strategy, which aims to enhance and organise local resources. Hence, territorial analysis is an important step for developing a shared image of the future of Vlora Region that has to be attained through the identification of common goals and strategies.

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Sources for the territorial analysis

As previously mentioned, the SP Analysis Framework collects territorial information mainly from secondary sources, and integrates relevant information with the results of direct observation and participatory process.

For the environmental analysis and the value chains survey the main reference was the document “Valorisation of endogenous territorial potentials - Survey of the resources of Vlora” prepared by one of ILS LEDA experts.

The main sources of information for the territorial analysis of Vlora Region were the following:

The source of most demographic data was INSTAT (Albanian National Institute of Statistics), while UNESCO official website was the main source for additional information regarding the regional history and cultural heritage (www.unesco.org). Other relevant references were the Albanian National Agency of Tourism website (www.albaniantourism.com) as well as Vlora and Saranda Municipalities official websites and the book “Delvina Albania” by Ylber Hysi.

At national level: • Sector Strategy of Transport • Sector Strategy of Social Protection 2007–2013 At regional and sub-regional level: • Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan • Corridor VIII - Pre-feasibility Study on the Development of the Railway Axis • Vlora Regional Strategy for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals At local level: • Structural Plan of Vlora City • Strategic Development Plan of Orikum

Please note that surveys included in this document are not intended to be comprehensive and can be subject to integrations and additions at any time, in coherence with the process nature of the regional SP.

Screenshot from the UNESCO website regarding Butrint World Heritage site

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1.2. Sharing the analysis The Kick-Off event The Kick-Off event of the strategic planning process in Vlora Region took place on October 5th 2010. The meeting was moderated by the AULEDA Director, had a considerable participation (around 70% of the invited actors attended, for a total of nearly 80 participants) and received good media coverage. During the meeting, the strategic planning methodology and objectives were presented and explained, emphasizing the innovative approach of the initiative. The role of the SP as a coordination platform between national and local policies was also pointed out, together with its usefulness for fund-raising. The meeting was also useful to: • emphasize the regional ownership of the strategic planning process • highlight the significant role of AULEDA in Vlora Region development and its commitment in supporting the programme. The event succeeded in explaining to institutions and civil society representatives the strategic planning methodology and “philosophy”, stressing the participatory and operative nature of the initiative, in the framework of UN programmes focused on human development in Albania.

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

1.3. Territorial framework

Vlora Region is one of the 12 regions of Albania, established as a local governmental unit on November 30th, 2000. The Region includes the districts of Vlora, Saranda and Delvina. Every district, includes one or more Municipalities and a number of Communes, for a total of 7 Municipalities and 19 Communes (see table 1). The regional capital is Vlora, a large industrial, commercial and communication centre. The estimated population of the Region is 211.734 inhabitants (INSTAT, 2009), on a 2.706 km2 surface. Vlora Region is situated in the south-western part of Albania extended mostly on the Ionian coastline. Vlora is the Region with the longest coastline in the country. Its geographic characteristics are the main potentialities for tourism and local development. The Region has a coastline of 144 km, which is home to beautiful sandy beaches. The shore starts in the southern part of the city of Vlora and meanders to the most southern point of the Greek border, including the Karaburun Peninsula and the Albanian Riviera.

Table 1. Municipalities and Communes in Vlora Region

Municipalities

Communes

Delvina Saranda Konispol Vlora Himara Orikum Selenice

Finiq Mesopotam Vergo Aliko Dhiver Ksamil Livadhja Lukove Markat Xarre Armen Brataj Hore-Vranisht Kote Novosele Qender Sevaster Shushice Vllahine

The Region is mainly mountainous and hilly. Its meadows and valleys enable the local population to make their living through the agricultural and livestock production. The area constitutes a mosaic of historical and cultural traditions offering a variety of habitats and important environmental values. The Region is characterised by diverse economic conditions that are directly connected to the different levels of development. The difference in the quality of life between coastal urban areas and rural areas (mainly situated in mountains or in river valleys) is noticeable and it is the cause of several social and economic issues. This situation is strictly connected with the role that “beach and sand” tourism has played so far in local development.

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

1.4. Historical highlights

In ancient times the Northern part of the present region of Vlora was populated by an Illyrian tribe, while the Southern one was inhabited by the Epiriot tribe of Chaonians. At that time, the city of Vlora was called Aulona. It was renowned by many travellers as one of the main port cities of the southern Illyrian region, second only to Apolonia and Oricum. The name, Vlora, is one of the few geographic names of Adriatic eastern coast that has remained unchanged since the ancient times. A relevant part of the population of these provinces was able to resist the process of Romanization and enslavement, which characterised a large part of the Balkans peninsula. According to archaeological remains found in the area, Vlora region was marked by significant prehistoric residences, cultural and economic settlements, cities and urban centres. Vlora Region has numerous sites that prove the independence and the continuation of Illyrian culture through the Bronze and Iron Ages. Other known ancient settlements are the cities of Amantia, Olympia, Kanina, Himara, Cerja, Armeni, Saranda, Butrint, Finiq, Triport and Aulona. The ancient archaeological symbol of Vlore is “The Girl of Aulona” a sculpture of a nymph 87 cm high and carved by local masters with the limestone of Kanina. It is a testimony of the grave clothes of the Illyrians. The city of Orikum was founded south of Vlora. Orikum is the most ancient port on the southern coast and was a noteworthy residential area in the 5th century B.C. Orikum then became a

fortified port and an important Adriatic military base. Amantia was founded in the 5th century B.C. and is one of the smallest southern Illyrian cities. Its remains include many buildings and stadia built with large stones. The ancient city of Phoenice (Finiq) was built in the 5th-4th centuries B.C. in the southern part of the Region, near the present city of Saranda. Phoenice was the main city of the Chaonians and later in the 2nd century B.C. became the capital of the state of Epir. The city of Saranda was initially the port of Phoenice and the first traces of the settlement go back to the 2nd century B.C with the name of Angjizmos. Although it was situated in a favourable geographic position, it never became an important centre like Butrint. The latter was an ancient town within the region of Epirus. First archaeological evidences of settled occupation date back between the 10th and the 8th century B.C, although there is earlier evidence of settlement in the 12th century B.C. Butrint was the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. After a period of prosperity under the Byzantine administration, Butrint was occupied by Venetians in the late 14th century. In the late Middle Ages the city, under the Ottoman administration, was abandoned due to the formation of swamps in the area. At present, the site is a repository of ruins representing each period of the city development. In 1992 it was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Left: ancient theatre in Oricum archaeological park; Above: a view of Butrint archaeological park

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In the 6th century A.D. and continuing in the Middle Ages, Aulona was mentioned in a list of important port coastal cities, with developed naval facilities that exported olive oil, salt, timber and olives throughout the rest of Europe. In the middle of the 14th century the aristocratic Delvina family ruled the town of Delvina and in 1354, Mehmet Ali Pasha Delvina was the owner of the castle and the city. In the 15th and 16th centuries the Ottoman regime turned Vlora into an important Adriatic Port. Vlora was the base for the Ottoman attacks against the southern Italian cities in 1480, against Himara insurgents in 1492 and served as a base for the Sultan Sulejmani against Corfu in 1537. In the 17th and 18th centuries Vlora was one of the most important harbours of southern Albania due to the shape of its bay that protected boats from storms. A large depot was built in the port of Vlora for the storage of agricultural products and goods to be exported. The city developed trade with Trieste, Venice, Vienna, Corfu, Istanbul, Izmir, Brescia, Bari, Manastir, Ioanina and Malta. Vlora exported olive oil, olives, salt, wool and leather, as well as a many of other agricultural products from around the region. Throughout the centuries Vlora has been known as one of the most patriotic areas of Albania. Struggles for freedom, independence and prosperity have been in the spirit of all people in the territory. Vlora region was the site of many wars against foreign occupations and

struggles to spread Albanian education and was home to many patriotic societies. The most important event in the city of Vlora happened on the November 28, 1912, when Ismail Qemali, together with other Albanian delegates from around the country, declared the Independence of Albania from the Ottoman invasion and raised the national flag in Vlora. Vlora became the first capital of the independent Albania.

In December 1914 the Italians conquered Vlora. After the expansion of the Italian occupation, a resistance to their rule started to grow. In 1920, after the Congress of Lushnja, the “National Protection Committee” was created. The Commettee organised war troops in the War of Vlora.

In this page: historical monuments in Vlora and in the Shushica Valley

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1.5. Infrastructure for mobility and urban fabric Transportation systems are a key factor for successful tourism development. So far, Vlora Region has been relatively isolated because of its under-developed road network and the poor travelling conditions. The analyses conducted show a lack of integrated transport development policies at the regional and local level.

road infrastructure. In various villages the unpaved roads cause problems in people transport and hamper the development of rural economy. The lack of an efficient road maintenance system from communes and municipalities makes the current situation even worse.

Nevertheless, the measures foreseen by the Albanian Government for the development of the road infrastructure are expected to transform the present situation. The development of a network of regional transport infrastructure will facilitate the movement of people and goods and will bring markets closer. As a result it will promote business and increase access to services such as health and education hence having a direct impact on the citizens living conditions.

The growing volume of traffic on the roads is the main source of air pollution and traffic congestion, causing environmental and economic problems. Traffic volume in summer season further aggravates the current situation, due to the affluence of tourists. Moreover, especially in the coastal cities, roads were not designed to accommodate the heavy increase of vehicular traffic that is due to the rapid growth of the market economy and the resulting uncontrolled urban development. Hence, major traffic problems have arisen making Albania one of the countries with the highest rate of road accidents and people injured and killed among European countries. Many of these accidents were caused by poor technical condition of roads and by the old vehicles in use.

In Albania, buses are the only means used for public transportation differently from European cities where other types of transportation means like tramways, underground railways, regional railways etc. are used in transit systems. At the moment there are no such projects for alternative means of public transportation.

Road network

Due to the lack of a highway in Vlora Region, both transit and local traffic use the same roads passing through several cities and/or villages and causing congestions.

The road network of the Region is based on the north-south axis connecting Tirana and Durres with Vlora city, Orikum, Himara and Saranda, which represents the main axis at a regional and interregional level. The uneven development of the road network is one of the main reasons for the unbalanced development of the different parts of the region. There is, in fact, a proportional relation between the level of poverty and the quality level of the Cars Buses/Minibuses Table 2. Nr. of road vehicles for passengers in Vlora Region and Albania (INSTAT 2007)

Vlora Region

Motorcycles

Total

18.599

594

762

19.995

Albania 225.114

35.973

11.639

272.726

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Diagram 1. Road maintenance budget for the national roads by prefecture 2005-2009 (First five year review of Albanian National Transport Plan 2010)

The most relevant road projects under construction or in the pipeline in the Region are the following (See also Fig. 2):

• Levan–Tepelene: rehabilitation of the national road and partial new construction (at the tendering stage)

• Lushnje – Fier – Vlora: upgrading to a 2x2 motorway (under construction)

• Ure e Kardhiqit (near Gjirokastra) - Delvina: rehabilitation to a national road (project in the pipeline)

• Vlora – Llogara pass – Dhermi: rehabilitation of the national road (completed) • Dhermi – Himara - Saranda: rehabilitation of the national road (under construction)

• Saranda – Krane – Konispol (Greek border): rehabilitation to a national road (project in the pipeline) • Cuka - Dritas – Pllake – Mursi: regional road rehabilitation (project in the pipeline).

Fig. 2 (on the right) Existing, ongoing and new road infrastructure (from the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan)

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Rail infrastructure After 1990s, the volume of railway traffic decreased in Albania as well as in all Eastern European countries. The transport of passengers decreased due to the massive import of vehicles, constant improvement of the road infrastructure and competition with private bus companies. Meanwhile, for security reasons, the maximum speed of trains has been reduced to 30-40 km/ h and in certain areas to 25 km/h. One of the reasons for this decrease is the lack of funding over the last 20 years to maintain and repair the railway. Also, the signage and communication systems were destroyed during the period 1991-1997. Therefore, trains move at reduced speed and have a low security level.

The infrastructure of the railway system is poor and as a result of insufficient allocation of resources and lack of a mechanism to ensure constant maintenance, the technical standards of the railway are low and do not guarantee safety. The signage system on the lines and on the interconnection system in some train crossing stations is non functional. There are many level crossings, which often cause accidents between trains and other road vehicles. In these conditions, the railway transport is not competitive if compared with road transport. The current railway connects Vlora city with the northern regions with Vlora station being the last stop. It is not used for public transportation but only for goods transport.

Corridor VIII The Corridor VIII is one of ten ‘Trans-European Corridors’, which plan to facilitate the exchange of goods, people, oil and other energy supplies among the EU, the Balkans and central Asia. Therefore Corridor VIII, once completed, will concur, in the general framework of the South Eastern European Transnational Axis, to the development of a Transport Network in the Balkan Region. This network will represent both a bridge between Europe and Far East and a factor for peace and development of the intraregional economies.

The main alignment of Corridor VIII runs from the southern Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi, the Albanian ports of Durres and Vlora, the cities of Tirana, Skopje, Sofia, Plovdiv, to the Bulgarian ports of Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea, thus connecting the Italian Adriatic Transport Corridor, the Adriatic branch of Motorway of the Sea and the Mediterranean Transport Area to the Black Sea Pan-European Transport Area. Along its route Corridor VIII is interconnected with Pan-European Corridors IV, IX and X. (Source: Pre-feasibility Study on the Development of the Railway Axis - Final report, 2007)

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Maritime infrastructure Albania has recently approved a law on maritime administration and on the establishment of a maritime directorate. At present there is a ban on private yachting of Albanian boats over a certain length, and due to problems with smuggling it will not be removed before mid 2012. Albania sits between 2 very large agglomerations of nautical tourism, one in the South, based in Greece, and one in the North, centred in Croatia. Currently, vessels from both countries sail across the Albanian coast without stopping, due to the lack of reception facilities and the security offered by organised facilities. Vessels whose homeport is in Italy hardly venture into Albanian waters at all. However, interest towards Albania is increasing. The ports of Vlora and Saranda have been identified as the Region entry points for foreign vessels and deserve full marina facilities within the existing urban environment. Vlora seaport is the second important port in Albania, which has been defined as the second entry gate to Corridor VIII after the port of Durres. This port transfers passengers and goods, covering around 10% of the exportimport goods. Its infrastructure and superstructure is currently being developed. The Italian government will fund the first, second and third phase of the port empowerment project through 15.3 million euros, which will also include the construction of the docks for goods and the ferry dock.

the Master Plan, as a port with a tourist function for the transfer of passengers, while the transfer of goods will be made in Limoni harbour (around 3 km from the town port). Funding is to be provided by the national budget and the World Bank. The Italian company La Petrolifera ItaloAlbanese, based on a concession agreement with the Albanian Government, is constructing the Port of Vlora Bay. This port will be used for the unload and storage of oil, gas and their sub products. It will facilitate the processing by increasing security levels and environment protection. Among other ports that should be mentioned there are the Triport fishermen harbour, in Vlora, and the recently completed Orikum marina (see the photo below) in the southern part of the Vlora Bay, which offers basic services to yachts, multipurpose spaces and apartaments.

Himara port serves as a secondary port, used mainly for tourism in Himara and the surrounding areas, and does not play any role in goods transfer. Saranda seaport (see the photo on the top) is a secondary port, which transfers passengers and goods. It is also being developed based on Regions

Table 3. Maritime transport of passengers and freights (INSTAT 2007)

Total Durres Lezhe Vlora

Total passengers

Total freights (000 tons)

978.115 701.081 36.543 240.491

4.271 3.423 283 565

136.831 10.366

457 108

of which: Vlora port Saranda port

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Public transportation Private cars are the main mean of transportation within the regional territory. Some private bus lines do exist, which connect the main cities with each other. The most common form of collective transportation by private vehicles is the minivan (in Albanian: furgon). Conversely, except for Vlora city, walking is the main mode of movement inside cities and communes because the Region is characterised by a large number of small towns and villages, where all facilities are within a walking distance. Public transport does not play a relevant role in the mobility of the population in Vlora city, where the degree of motorisation is increasing. On the other hand, public transportations corporations are facing an increasing pressure for further development, decreased subsidies and new obligations of reconstructing and renewing their fleet. Currently, Vlora city has only 3 public bus lines: Vlora–Uji Ftohte, Plazhi Vjeter-Unaza and Cole–Spital. The city public transportation service has a total serving capacity of 2.074.064 passengers per year and 50 passengers per trip, hence 114 trips per day. As a result, more and more private vehicles are used for urban trips. Biking is much less common in Albanian towns (except Shkodra), mainly because the streets are not designed for bicycle use and are also encumbered with parked cars, garbage materials, etc. That is why this mode of displacement needs special attention through regulatory measures, as well as construction of separate bike lanes. The development of pedestrian surfaces should not be limited to road areas only but should be extended to cultural and historical sites, recreational areas and along the sea front.

Urban fabric Since the fall of communism, Albania has experienced a transition to market economy. The effects of this transformation are visible especially in the physical and spatial pattern. Urbanisation has gone through three phases: • the first phase was dominated by the development of informal sector; • the second was characterised by the consolidation of the informal sector and the emergence of a formal one; • the third or current phase is steady urbanisation growth, with further development

of formal sector and rapid regularisation of the informal settlements, alongside with new formal settlements. In Vlora Region, as in other Albanian regions, can be identified four types of residential buildings, such as following: • Apartment building blocks (3, 4 or 5 storeys) built during the socialist era (around 1970) and accommodating the majority of the urban population before 1990. These buildings are of medium to low quality, however in most of the cases residents have renovated the interiors over time. All these residential buildings are connected to public services. • Traditional single and apartment houses dating back to the 1920s. • Newly constructed single houses (1 to 3 storeys, 100 to 150 m2 floor area). These houses have no official connection to public services, except for power connection. • Newly constructed multi-storey (5 to 13 floors) high quality buildings in the main cities. The centres of the cities were mainly composed by old socialist-type apartment blocks and other buildings accommodating a very high population density ranging from 300 to 500 inhabitants per hectare. This rapid urbanisation has not been followed by the development of necessary supporting infrastructures. There has been a lack of municipal financial resources and urban management capacity to maintain and guarantee the cities quality of living. Uncontrolled and illegal constructions are destroying the cultural and environmental assets, especially the high quality of natural landscape of these cities, hence creating serious obstacles for better planning. The road infrastructure already renovated does not satisfy the demand of an increased population density. In terms of tourism development this represents a threat, especially in the coastal zone, not only because it damages the landscape but also because it entails environmental and territorial resources destruction.

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1.6. Social context

Socio-demographic profile

Figure 3. Vlora Region population compared to Albanian population (INSTAT 2009)

As of January 2009 (according to INSTAT official web site) the estimated population of the Region is 211.734 inhabitants, which represent the 6,6% of the total inhabitants of Albania (see Fig. 3). The Region has a total area of 2.706 Km2, 9,5% of the area of the country. Population density is low, about 78 inhabitants/Km2. The majority of the population of the Region lives in Vlora (see table 3). The share of urban population in the Region is 54% whereas for Vlora district this share is 58% (see Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Urban and rural population in the Region (INSTAT 2009)

The most common household model in Vlora is a family with four members. The average life expectancy is 71,4 years, 68,5 for men and 74,3 for women. According to data from local records, the average age in the Region is 28,6. In some communes like Mesopotam, Dhiver and Himara the percentage of population above 65 (about 30%) is a lot higher then the Region’s average. One reason for this unusual share is the large scale of emigration in these areas. Since younger people tend to be keen to emigrate, the share of the middle age group has shrunk, leading to a higher proportion of people above 65 in the remaining population. Another important phenomenon is that the communes of Vlora district have a higher share of the 0-14 age group, especially the mountainous communes. One plausible explanation of this trend could be that these communes have lower rates of emigration. Relating these trends to the issue of poverty, it is worthy pointing out that the mountainous communes of Vlora district, presently the poorest in the Region, have sufficient human potential to support development.

Table 4. Regional population by district (INSTAT 2009)

District Delvina Saranda Vlora Total

Population 11.983 48.465 151.286 211.734

% on total region 5,6 22,9 71,5 100

According to the data from the regional authorities, 27% of the families have at least one emigrant member. It is apparent that emigration is an important issue for Vlora Region. Saranda has the largest scale of emigration. Mesopotam Commune has the largest proportion of emigrants in the Region with 39% on total population, followed by Himara with a ratio of 38%.

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The Region of Vlora is the least poor in Albania with only 18% of the population living below the poverty line. Saranda and Delvina are the least poor towns in the country with 14% of the population being poor (according to the Map of Poverty and Inequality in Albania, INSTAT 2004). At the same time, Vlora is the region with the largest disparities according to the distribution of expenditures. The Region displays visible contrasts and poverty is more prominent in rural areas, especially in the mountain areas of Vlora district such as Hore-Vranisht, Brataj, Sevaster, Kote, Armen and Shushice.

According to the 2002 data from the State Social Services, Vlora Region has the lowest percentage of families in receipt of social assistance, about 4%. Social assistance distribution differs within the Region, from one district to another and within the district itself. Delvina has the lowest percentage within the Region because there are no families in receipt in the Communes of Mesopotam and Finiq.

Table 5. Distribution of population by age groups (Population and Housing Census 2001, INSTAT)

Commune (Municipality)

0-14 %

15 - 64 %

65+ %

Seaside municipalities have higher living standards due to incomes generated from tourism, often combined with a high level of remittances. These incomes are the main source of investments in tourism, especially family or community based tourism.

Delvina

26

63

11

Finiq

14

61

25

Mesopotan

10

57

33

Vergo

23

64

14

Dhiver

10

54

36

Konispol

27

64

9

The Municipality of Selenica is the poorest of the Region. The town of Selenica was built close to a mine and it is currently at a turning point. The mine employs individuals from 150 families whereas many of the town’s inhabitants are unemployed.

Livadhja

28

64

9

Lukove

20

61

18

Saranda

27

65

9

Xara

28

60

13

Aliko

28

64

8

Markat

27

61

11

The Municipality unemployment rate is as high as 38%. Many individuals and families were forced to emigrate due to the absence of jobs. 30% of these families have emigrant members and remittances constitute the basis of the household economy, while 14% of families live on social assistance.

Ksamil

28

65

7

Brataj

30

60

9

Himara

18

53

29

Kote

31

61

8

Novosele

29

63

8

Orikum

31

59

10

Qender

28

63

10

Selenice

26

59

10

Sevaster

30

63

8

Shushice

30

64

8

Vllahine

31

62

7

Vlora

27

65

8

Hore Vranisht

26

61

13

Armen

31

62

7

Total

27

63

10

Social assistance Social assistance is an economic support for the poorest segment of the population. It has been operational in Albania since 1993. According to the law, households in the situation of total absence of, or with insufficient incomes, have the recognised right to social assistance.

Figure 5. Families on social assistance by kind of social assistance (INSTAT 2007)

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Figure 5a. Families on social assistance by kind of social assistance (INSTAT 2007)

Young people are generally unemployed, which constitutes the main problem in the Region. The impossibility to find reasonably well-paid employment that would enable them to earn their living is one of the main reasons they turn to emigration or informal economy.

Employment The age group between 15-64 years old represents the labour force population, and includes also individuals not seeking employment who have a sort of economic dependency from their migrant relatives. Gender disparities are evident when analysing the labour market from the perspective of the involvement of men and women in economic activities. Women’s participation in the labour market experienced a decline in the years after the fall of Communism. While in 1989 the participation of women in the labour market was 77,5%, in 1998 it fell to 43,8% and in 2003 it declined even further to 39,1%, compared with the men’s employment level which in 2003 reached 62,6%. The limited access of women to employment opportunities is more obvious in the private sector and slightly less in the public one. According to the data from the Population Census of 2001, the unemployment rate in the Region of Vlora is 25,5%. The district of Vlora has the highest unemployment rate at 27%. Delvina unemployment rate is at 21% whereas in Saranda at 19,5%.

Table 6. District/gender disaggregated unemployment in Vlora Region (Population of Albania, Vlora 2001, INSTAT)

Male (%)

Female (%)

Vlora District

21

38

Saranda District

16

26

Delvina District

15

30

Region

20

35

Table 7. Unenmployment by age groups (Population of Albania, Vlora 2001, INSTAT)

15-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

Male

44,5%

36,2%

8,6%

2%

2%

Female

36,8%

46,5%

40,8%

20%

19%*

Total

41,5%

41,2%

20,3%

10%

4%

* The calculation of women in this case has been made for the 55-59 age group due to the age retirement of 60 years

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In terms of employment sectors, agriculture is the most important one in the Region of Vlora employing about 34% of the entire number of working people in the Region. Employment in trade, hotels, restorations, follows with 25%. Tourism is considered one of the main economic and employment drives in the Region because it creates the opportunities for income generation for a considerable number of families. It is an industry based on the human capital and offers a multitude of jobs for different professional categories. The diagram in figure 6 shows that the private sector occupies 75% of the working force, while only 25% of it is employed in the public sector. The majority of the labour force, about 45%, is employed in the agricultural sector. This is an indication of the predominance of the agricultural sector in the Region.

Figure 6. Employment by economic activities (INSTAT 2007)

Education The Albanian pre-university education system consists of primary education (“9-year school”), secondary education (general and professional high school) and tertiary education (Universities and higher). It operates under the joint responsibilities of local and central governments. The enrolment rate in primary education for the whole Region has been 99.86% whereas for the secondary education is 74% for the Region, 87% for the district of Saranda and much lower for the district of Delvina (between 66–68%). In Vlora Region, the geographical distribution of schools in the primary and secondary education level is balanced hence providing students with very good opportunities for inclusion in the educational system. For the primary level, the indicators are better because of the more equal distribution of 9-year schools and the positive impact of combined classes especially in rural areas. In the secondary education the situation is more problematic, because middle schools are mainly concentrated in the cities of Vlora and Saranda, and in many cases students have to attend classes in schools located far away from their homes. The situation is worse in some rural and mountain areas where infrastructure is a serious impediment, especially during the winter season. In all educational levels, Vlora Region has good indicators of school attendance and education completion. The scale of illiteracy in the Region is lower than the country average (1,5%). Illiteracy rates are higher for women (63,1% of the total number of illiterate people) and rural and remote areas, particularly mountainous ones. Statistics reveal that the largest scale of illiteracy is in the age groups 6-19 (35,4% of total) and 60-75 (40.4%). About 14,7% of the population has not completed elementary education, although they are able to read and write, thus literate. During the last 10 years, regional authorities have paid attention to the physical state of the schools improving their conditions. Almost all the elementary schools have been fully or partially reconstructed as well as all the secondary schools in the city of Vlora.

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1.7. Environmental aspects

Physical context Vlora Region is predominantly hilly and mountainous, while the farthest north-western part and the Shushica valley area are predominantly flat. A wide mountainous area lays south of Vlora city to Qeparo and Borsh. The highest peak in this area is the Cika mountain (2.045 m), located approximately on the same latitude of the Commune of Vranisht. Novosela plain, Delvina district and other hill areas and river valleys are generally characterised by fertile soil and good agricultural lands. The Region is very rich in underground water reserves. One of the most remarkable springs is the Blue Eye spring, with a capacity of 14 m3/sec, located in the Delvina district. The seashore of the Region is part of the Vlora and Saranda districts, whilst Delvina district has no access to the sea.

to this valuable naturalistic and cultural area is difficult and its conservation state is not good, due to the presence of abandoned military b u i l d i n g s . M o r e o v e r, t h e i n c r e a s e o f Mediterranean crabs and the change of alga communities could be interpreted as effects of the eutrophization of the whole lagoon system. Many rivers of the Region have a seasonal regime and, in the past, in their flood time, they flooded the areas around their beds. Nowadays, through the building of adequate dams, their flows are more controlled. However, rivers are now threatened by the lack of waste management systems. Large intervals of river banks are polluted by uncollected and burned garbage. The existence of dumping grounds that burn, especially at night, both in urban peripheral and in wild areas, also makes the presence of air pollution by dioxin very likely.

From Vjosa river to Vlora city, the shore is constituted by a sedimentation area with very interesting ecosystems such as the dunes around the outfall of Vjosa and the wetlands of Narta Lagoon. From the south of Vlora downtown to the border with Greece, the shore is constituted by a rugged erosion line on the whole, with gulfs, bays, beautiful beaches and rocky landscape underwater. In front of big and small built-up areas, the quality of the sea water is often low because of the pollution mainly due to the lack of urban wastewater treatment. The Region is rich in lagoons: Narta Lagoon in the north and Butrint Lagoon in the south are both protected areas, while Orikum Lagoon, near the homonym town, is the only wetland area not included in the Albanian protected areas network. Its protection is due to its accession to the Albanian Navy base of Pasha Liman and, since it is also planned to be a archaeological park, it is also managed by Albanian Culture Ministry. However, the access

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Ecosystems The SP incorporated the results of the surveys conducted by one of ILS LEDA experts, regarding the productive resources of the regional territory. This survey identified 13 ecosystems in the Region, and classified them according to one of the most important characteristics of an ecosystem: its productivity. This reveals to a large extent the condition of a particular ecosystem and different systems can be compared directly on the basis of their productivity. The process of building an organic matter in an ecosystem depends closely on the availability and movement of energy through the system and the movement is ultimately driven by solar energy.

Therefore, ecosystems have been considered as biological communities and classified on the basis of their Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) The GPP of a biological community is the amount of energy produced through photosynthesis, per unit area and time, by the plants, since they are the primary producers. The following table divides the ecosystems per category of GPP: negative, low, medium, high and very high productivity. The table shows that the ecosystems with a negative GPP represent urban areas and those with a positive GPP are naturalistic areas. The ecosystems of low, medium, high and very high GPP have to be protected, preserved and expanded with the intent to maintain and/or increase their productivity capacities.

Table 8. Identified ecosystems of AGA2 Area of Vlora (G. Di Stefano, Valorisation of endogenous territorial potentials for the ART GOLD Albania 2 Program - Survey of the resources of Vlora)

GPP (x 103) (kcal/m2)

Typology

Negative GPP (GPP < 0)

Urban areas

Low GPP (0 < GPP < 0.5)

High mountain areas

Medium GPP (0.5 < GPP < 3.0)

Mountain forests

Mediterranean maquis Dunes Sea coastal waters High GPP (3.0 < GPP < 10.0)

Forests

Agricultural lands (small production)

Not very deep lakes Rivers

Lagoons

Very high GPP (10.0 < GPP < 25.0)

Agricultural lands (industrial production) River outfalls

Sites • Downtown Vlora • Downtown Saranda • Çika Mountain (Llogara National Park, higher than 1.500 m a.s.l.) • Llogara National Park (from 500 m to 1,500 m a.s.l.) • Cape Karaburun (more than 500 m a.s.l.) • Southern Shushice Valley (more than 500 m a.s.l.) • Northern Delvina district (more than 500 m a.s.l.) • Northern Saranda district (more than 500 m a.s.l.) • Generally spread • Area of Vjosa River outfall • Vlora coast • Saranda coast • Generally spread in eastern side of Vlora district (up to 500 m a.s.l.) • Cape Karaburun (up to 500 m a.s.l.) • Southern Shushice Valley (up to 500 m a.s.l.) • Northern Delvina district (up to 500 m a.s.l.) • Northern Saranda district (up to 500 m a.s.l.) • Plain of Novoselë • Southern Delvina district • Other hill areas • Other fluvial plans and valleys • Bistrica artificial basin • Other artificial lakes • Vjosa River • Shushice River • Bistrica River • Narta Lagoon • Orikum Lagoon • Butrint Lagoon • South Delvina • Vjosa River outfall • Bistrica River outfall

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Competitiveness evaluation According to ILS LEDA methodology, the territorial competitiveness is intended as “the steady capacity owned by a territorial system in order to sustain, promote and propose the change and the innovations through an adequate use of its resources. Therefore, the territorial competitiveness measures the “capacity of evolution” of a

territory, that is its capacity for durably being visible in global context, through giving adequate answers to frequent and quick changes of the latter, and without compromising its peculiarities, that must be considered its main reasons of strength”. The following table, taken from ILS LEDA survey, synthesises the current and potential reasons of competitiveness and detractor elements characterising the regional territory.

Table 9. Competitiveness evaluation of Environment System of Vlora Region (G. Di Stefano, Valorisation of endogenous territorial potentials for the ART GOLD Albania 2 Program - Survey of the resources of Vlora)

Actual

Potential

Reasons of competitiveness

• Good morphological diversity (high mountains, valleys, plains, sea, lagoons, rivers, springs, urban and anthropized sites), characterised by a high level of diversity (and biodiversity). • Good quality landscapes. • Fertile lands in plains, fluvial valleys and on average altitudes. • Fields of good quality clay. • Temperate climate. • Good climatic diversity.

• Possible existence of agricultural areas dedicated to production at industrial level (mainly in Delvina district).

Detractor elements

• Encroachment of building activities that until now determined the devastation of Saranda downtown, and now threatening all the district. • Modifications of lagoon ecosystems in progress. • Lack of organised systems of waste and water management, causing land, water and air pollution.

• Irreparable loss of territorial competitiveness due to landscape destruction because of building activities. • Dioxin air and ground pollution. • Sea, rivers and lagoons pollution. • Ecosystems biodiversity of the wetlands fatally endangered.

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1.8. Landscape and cultural heritage

Landscapes and protected areas Vlora Region is rich in natural resources: its territory is characterised by an interesting variety of ecosystems and landscapes, ranging from mountain areas to valleys, wetlands, sandy beaches and rocky coasts. Some of these environmentally valuable areas are protected by Albanian law as National Parks, Natural Monuments and Natural Reserves. A list of protected areas is provided in table 8.

Table 8. List of protected areas in Vlora Region

National Parks Llogara

VKM nr. 96, datë 21.11.1966

Butrint

VKM nr. 693, datë 10.11.2005

Karaburun-Sazan

VKM nr. 289, datë 28.04.2010

Natural Monuments Blue eye

VKM nr. 102, datë 15.01.1996

Natural Reserves Karaburun

Urdhër MB, 22.02.1968, 1977

Rrezome

VKM nr. 102, datë 15.01.1996

Vjose-Narte

VKM nr. 680, datë 22.10.2004

Above: A beach in Karaburun Right, from top to bottom: Views of Llogara National Park, of Butrint lagoon, of the Blue Eye and of Narta lagoon

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Figure 7. Existing Protected Areas in Albania (Ministry of Environment, Forest & Water Management)

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Figure 8. Proposed Protected Areas in Albania (Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan)

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Natural Parks Llogora National Park This park is situated approximately 40 kilometres southeast of Vlora city, between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The trees in this area have distinctive crowns, shaped by the winds. A peculiar tree is "The Flag Pine", which is a rare natural monument with relevant scientific value, visited by many tourists. From the pass of Llogora, about 3 kilometres west, the Ionian Sea can be clearly seen. This park has indisputable values and its climate is a good combination of fresh mountain and sea air. Llogora National Park is also a very suitable location for air sports.

Grama and Dafina beaches, that are all well known for their deep and high quality waters. Near Grama beach there is the Cave of Slaves. On the walls of Grama's beach there are ancient graffiti. The western part of Karaburun is one of the most attractive points of Albanian coast for the diving fans.

Butrint National Park This park is located about 25 kilometres south of the city of Saranda. It has high scientific, touristic, archaeological, social and recreational values, also combined with significant biodiversity. The area of the park is 2500 hectares. It is an area of particular importance for Albanian tourism: it is known primarily for cultural tourism in the ancient city of Butrint, protected by UNESCO, but also for beachrelated tourism in the region of Ksamil, and ecotourism in Butrint lake.

Sazan Sazan is the largest island in Albania, located on the northwest side of the peninsula of Karaburun, about 12 miles from Vlora harbour. It has an area of 5.7 km, 4.5 km length and 2 km maximal width. In ancient times it was called Sason. The island has the shape of a rocky block with sharp coasts especially in its the western part. In the southeast part is located the sandy Admiral beach, which is known for its very clean water. Both Sazani and Karaburun are particularly renowned for diving.

Karaburun The peninsula of Karaburun is located in the western side of Vlora bay. It is the largest peninsula in Albania, about 16 km long and 4.5 km wide. In the north of Karaburun is found the cave of Haxhi Ali, the largest cave of the country. It is 30 meters deep, 18 meters high and 12 meters wide. These sizes allow the entrance of boats. The cave was named after a sailor from Ulqin, who sailed in these waters during the XVII century. The peninsula hosts many small beaches such as Arusha bay,

Natural Monuments Blue Eye The Blue Eye (in Albanian: Syri i kaltër) is a water spring complex located 25 km away from Saranda, on the road to Gjirokastër, amid a forest of hazelnuts, walnuts, cherries, pines and fir trees. It is a geological phenomenon and a popular tourist attraction: the clear blue water springs from a karst hole more than fifty-meterdeep. The spring provides water to Bistrica river and, passing through an artificial channel built in 1958, its waters flow into the Ionian Sea.

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Natural Reserves Narta Lagoon In the southern part of Vlora Region lies the Lagoon of Narta, which has an area of 4.180 ha and is the second biggest lagoon in Albania. Narta Lagoon is another natural ecosystem with possibilities for development of eco-tourism, bird watching, fishing etc. The environmental value of the area is high, since it includes several different habitats: sandy dunes, Mediterranean pine forests, old fluvial beds, small coastal wetlands, brackish basins, saltworks and not cultivated salted lands, cultivated lands. The lagoon is included in the IBAs (Important Bird Areas) and represents the second area in Albania for seabirds. In Narta there are 195 kinds of birds. During the winter, about 23% of the birds that come to Albania nest there. Several types of fish live in Narta Lagoon waters, but the most typical are the eel and the Narta's bass.

Butrint Lagoon Butrint Lagoon is a lake of tectonic origins with a natural ecosystem with great environmental and touristic values. It has a total surface of 16 sq. km and is connected with the canal of Vivar which is 3.6 kilometres long. The lake has a

depth of 20 meters. It is a very suitable place for practicing sailing sport, due to the favourable wind direction. The whole Lagoon area is protected thanks to the constitution of a National Park. The protected area was increased to 86 km2 in 2005. Since 2002, this territory has the status of Protected Wetland according to Ramsar Convention. As for the fauna, drakes, black neck ducks, eagles, falcon, bats, etc live here. Here we can find a number of reptilian and amphibian that proliferated in the canebrake area, in the northeast shore of the lake. It is worth mentioning the Epirote frog, the only kind in Albania. The eco-system is also very suitable for bird watching: in the forest of Butrint archaeological area, near the side of lake, live 90 different kinds of birds.

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Cultural heritage Vlora Region is a repository of interesting cultural traditions, which are the expression of a remarkable ethno-cultural area, called “Laberi”. These traditions can be found in many fields: architecture, folklore, music, handicraft, gastronomy, etc. The Region maintains the tradition of IsoPolyphony, classified by UNESCO in 2005 as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. Iso-polyphony is a sophisticated form of group singing, derived from Byzantine church music, and performed mostly by men. Nowadays, this tradition is adversely affected by poverty, absence of legal protection, lack of financial support for practitioners, and emigration of young people from rural areas. The Region is also well known for its crafts, including traditional costumes of the different communes, handmade carpets and tapestries, woollen covers, knitting, embroidery, felt

processing, work tools, and musical instruments. Traditionally, brides prepared their own handmade dowry and in some villages this tradition is still practised. For this reason in most village houses original and handmade traditional costumes, carpets, and embroidery can be found. Presently, there are very few places where tourists can view or purchase such handicrafts. There is great potential for reviving a few ethnographic museums and developing commercial activities where tourists can both observe the process of producing handicraft and purchase the products. In the city of Vlora, there are three functioning museums, the Museum of National Independence, the Museum of Historic Relics (or History Museum) and the Ethnographic Museum. Each of the latter presents different aspects of the regional history. The fourth museum in the Region is the Archaeological Museum of Butrint, which contains the archaeological material discovered in the site.

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Archaeological heritage Amantia Amantia was the historical capital of the Illyrian tribe of Armantes and was founded around the 5th century, BC. It is located in the modern city of Plloca in the Vlora River Valley. In its peak years, Amantia featured an acropolis and a Doric style temple dedicated to Aphrodite. Most notable among the preserved buildings is the stadium, which is 60 metres long and 12.5 meters wide. A significant sculpture, the relief of the God of Fertility, can bee seen at the National Historic Museum. Other finds from Amantia are on display at the Archaeological Museum in Tirana.

population and significance. Butrint then entered a turbulent period of fighting for control by the Byzantine, Norman and Venetian states. Venetians, the Ottoman Turks and briefly, the French disputed later ownership. By the time it became a part of Albania in 1912, it was virtually deserted. Various archaeological efforts began in the 1920s, and continue to date. Butrint was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and declared a National Archaeological Park, by the Council of Ministers, on 02/03/2000.

Declared an Archaeological Park, by the Council of Ministers, on 31/03/2005.

Aulon Behind the Independence Monument Square in Vlora, the remains of a rectangular castle have been excavated. The castle comprised a portion of the ancient city of Aulon and was built in the 4th century A.D. to withstand Gothic invasions. Other findings in the area indicate that it was first settled around the 4th century, B.C. The bestknown finding of this period is a sculpture known as "The Vlora Girl", depicting a girl wearing an Illyrian dress. Historical sources mention Aulon in the 2nd century A.D, in relation to Roman efforts to improve roads in this part of the western Balkans. Late in the 6th century, A.D, Slavs invaded the city, causing widespread damage and evacuation of many citizens to the island of Sazan, where traces of this settlement have been discovered. The city may never have regained its status, and appears to have diminished significantly in size and importance by the time it is mentioned again in Byzantine documents, around 1100 A.D.

Butrint Butrint is located on the southwest coast of Albania, just south of the modern city of Saranda. The site had been inhabited since at least the 8th century B.C. By the 4th century B.C. a walled settlement had been established and the city began to grow through trade. Augustus founded a colony at Butrint and the town remained a relatively small Roman port until the 6th century A.D. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the city shrank in

From top to bottom: The ruins of Amantia; a statue in Butrint archaeological museum

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Finiq/Phoenice Phoenice is located near the modern city of Saranda. In antiquity the territory around the site belonged to Chaonia, part of the Epirus kingdom. It is rich in objects from the Classical to the Byzantine periods. Ancient sources mention the wealth of the city, especially during the Hellenistic period, between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C, when Phoenice was a prominent city in the Epirote League. The city of Phoenice hosted the historically significant signing of the treaty ending the first Macedonian War. The document became known as "The Peace of Phoenice". The city's prosperity continued throughout the Roman imperial and Byzantine periods. The Ottoman occupation appears to have caused the population and trade of Phoenice to dwindle.

area as a troop encampment for several months, until they were taken by Pompeius Magnus. Declared an Archaeological Park, by the Council of Ministers, on 31/03/2005.

Declared an Archaeological Park, by the Council of Ministers, on 31/03/2005.

Onchesmos (Saranda) The name of the ancient town derives from Anchises, the Trojan, whose mythological union with the goddess Aphrodite resulted in a son named Aeneas. In the late Republic and early Empire the city is mentioned in connection to seafaring and the harbour. Sometime in the 6th century A.D the town's name changes to Hagia Saranda or "Forty Saints." The circumstances of this name change are unclear, but may be related to the construction of a great basilica overlooking the modern city of Saranda. Various monuments and archaeological findings from the city have been excavated. Among the more impressive there are the synagogue/ basilica, a portion of a Roman Imperial archway, and an example of a late antique house. Other noteworthy finds are: an apsidal building, an Odeon, a cemetery, and an elaborate mosaic, widely known as the Dolphin Pavement.

Oricum Oricum is located in southwestern Albania, south of Vlora, near the present city of Orikum. According to Pliny, colonists from Colchis established the city of Oricum. Its geographical position made it an important harbour and trade centre on the Adriatic coast. Oricum was important to military strategists, as well. It was used by the Romans as a defensive base in the wars against the Illyrians as well as in the 3rd century B.C against the Macedonians, who later occupied it in 214 B.C. Julius Caesar used the

From top to bottom: The ruins of Finiq; a view of Butrint archaeological park; remains of the Roman pier in Oricum; the stairway to Oricum acropolis

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Castles and monasteries Vlora Region is rich in historical buildings, such as castles, fortresses and monasteries, often neglected and underrated. The main ones are described below.

Castles • Porto Palermo Castle is situated on a peninsula in the bay of Porto Palermo, about 60 km south of Vlora, near Himara. The castle was built in the early 19th century by an Ottoman ruler, Ali Pasha of Tepelena, in honor of his wife Vasiliqi, on the foundations of an older fortress. The castle has a triangular shape of 150 x 400 meters with the walls reaching as high as 20 meters. It is located amid evergreen Mediterranean bushes and from its walls one can enjoy the view of the bay. Along the connection to the mainland lies the church of Agios Nikolaos. • Kanina Castle was built in the homonym village, about 6 km south-east of Vlora. The castle rises on the side of the Shushica Mountain, about 380 meters above sea level. It was built on the site of an ancient settlement, inhabited since the 7th or 6th century B.C. and fortified since the 2nd half of the 4th century B.C. It was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in the 5th century B.C. The castle was also of great importance in late antiquity

and in the Middle Ages. The defensive circuit is about 1,000 m long and encloses an area of about 3.5 hectares. • Lëkurës Castle (Saranda) is located on a strategic hill point overlooking the town of Saranda and was probably built in 1537 on the ruins of Lëkurës village by Sultan Suleyman, who attacked Corfu and used the castle to control the harbour of Saranda and the road that connected it with Butrint. The castle has a square shape with two round towers on its north-western and south-eastern corners. It now hosts a panoramic restaurant. • Borsh Castle, also known as Castle of Sopot by the name of the hill on which it stands, has a surface of 5 hectares and a basement made of stone-blocks. It was built on the 4th century B.C., by Epirote-Illyrian tribes. The castle was heavily damaged during the barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., and was rebuilt in the Middle Ages. It was then invaded by the Ottomans during 1417, and by the Arber Prince on 1441. The Ottomans regained control of the castle on 1848. • Castle of Gjon Bocari, in the village of Tragjas, dates back to the 16th-17th centuries. • Himara Castle was fortified by the Kaon tribe and is mentioned in Byzantine documents. It was repaired in the 6th century. Emperor Justinian had it rebuilt to defend against the attacks of the Gots and the Hus.

From top to bottom, clockwise: Porto Palermo Castle, Borsh Castle, Old Trajas remains and Himara Castle

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Monasteries and places of worship • Zvërnec Monastery (on the right) - Situated on the homonym island in the Narta lagoon, it was built in the 13th century in Byzantine style and was dedicated to Saint Mary. Every August 15th, there is an Orthodox celebration to remember St. Mary’s birth. • Church of St. Stephan, Monastery and Church of Panajia (Dhërmi) - The village of Dhërmi (bottom) dates back at least to the 1st century B.C. It used to have 31 churches and some of them are still worth visiting. The most notable one is the Church of St. Stephen from the Byzantine period, a place of pilgrimage every mid-August when religious rites are performed on the day of St. Mary. One can also visit the Monastery of Panajia with its 14th century church.

(from which the town takes its name); the traditional village of Qeparo, with the Kukum Castle (built in the 2nd century B.C.) and the St. Dimitri Monastery; a number of ancient churches, monasteries and mosques in Delvina district, such as St. Nicholas Monastery in Mesopotam (probably built in the 11th century A.D.), St. Athanasios Church in Peca (a small church dating back to 1525, whose interiors are d e c o r a t e d w i t h f r e s c o e s ) , S t . Tr i a d a Monastery in Kardhikaq (17th century), St. Mary Monastery in Kameno (16th century) and the Mosque of Gjin Aleksi (17th century) in Rusan village.

• Muradia Mosque, built in the Ottoman style in the second half of the 16th century and designed by the Albanian architect Sinani, one of the most important mosques designers in the period of the Ottoman Empire, who designed the Great Mosque "Sulejman" (the Blue Mosque) in Istanbul. Also worth mentioning are: the ruins of the Byzantine Forty Saints Monastery in Saranda

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42

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B

Orikum

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Brataj

Vllahine

Armen

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Selenice

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Kote

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Shushice

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Vlore

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Qender

Novosele

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Himare

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Vranisht

Sevaster

Figure 9. Map of regional cultural heritage

18 22

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Xare

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Aliko

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31 Delvine

Finiq

Ksamil

Sarande

Vergo

HISTORIC MONUMENT

TYPICAL HOUSE

RUINS

ANCIENT TEMPLE

ANCIENT WALL

CAVERN

NATURAL MONUMENT

NATURAL RESERVE

NATIONAL PARK

ANCIENT BRIDGE

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Dhiver

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Konispol

HISTORIC ELEMENTS

SHENGJIN CASTLE ANCIENT CITY OF PALEOMANASTER

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-VERGO

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porto palermo castle

ancient city of orik

SHEN THODHRI’S CHURCH GJON THEOLOGU’S MONASTERY

SAINT GEORGE’S CHURCH

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SHEN THANAS MONASTERY SAINT MARY’S CHURCH

SAINT MARY OF KRIMAROVA’S MONASTERY

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SAINT MARY OF KAKOME’S MONASTERY

SAINT MARY’S MONASTERY SHENKOLL’S MONASTERY SAINT GEORGE’S CAVERN

ANCIENT TEMPLE

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AQUEDUCT RUINS - XARRE

SAINT MARY OF KORZI‘S MONASTERY SHAN VASILI’S CHURCH

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ANCIENT WALLS - HUNDECOVE SHEN THODHRI’ CHURCH

DELVINA CASTLE

ALI PASHA CASTLE -VRINE

MALLATHRE CASTLE

QESARAT CASTLE

ALI PASHA CASTLE -MEHALLE

KARALIBEJ CASTLE

KALIVO CASTLE

BORSHI CASTLE

CUKA SKLLAPUAS CASTLE

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CUKA OF AJTOI CASTLE -CIFLIG

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ANCIENT CITY BUTRINT

LEKURESI CASTLE

SHEN MARENA CAVERN VAGALATI CASTLE

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Markat

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Livadhja

Mesopotam

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MONUMENT OF WORSHIP

CASTLE

ANCIENT CITY

BLUE EYE SPRING

NATIONAL PARK OF BUTRINT

Lukove

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PROTECTED AREAS NATIONAL PARK OF LLOGARA

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ancient city foinike

lekuresi castle

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SAINT MARY’S MONASTERY ANCIENT CITY OF RIPESI

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MURADIE’S MOSQUE MEMORIAL TABLET OF ISMAIL QEMALI SEAT OF I.QEMALI’GOVERMENT

SHENKOLLI’S CHURCH

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SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH

ANCIENT CITY AMANTIA

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MAVROVA’S CASTLE

KANINA’S CASTLE

ANCIENT CITY ORIK MARMIROI’S CHURCH

ANCIENT BRIDGE CERIS’S CASTLE

SHEN JANI’S CHURCH SHEN MEHILLI’S CHURCH SAINT MARY’S CHURCH

PANAI’S MONASTERY SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH IPAPANDI’S CHURCH SHEN STEFAN’S CHURCH SHEN MITRI MONASTERY

ANCIENT BRIDGE

PORTO PALERMO CASTLE

VRANISHTI CASTLE

DUKATI AND TRAGHASI’S CAVERN GJON BOCARI’S CASTLE

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SPILE CAVERN HIMARA CASTLE SAINT MARY OF ATHALI’S CHURCH SAINT SERGIU AND BAKU’S CHURCH

VELCA CAVERN

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CHURCH IN SHENKOLL’S MONASTERY

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GJIN ALEKSI’S MOSQUE

SHENEPREMTE’S CHURCH

SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH

ANCIENT CITY AT ILJAZ MOUNTAIN

SAINT MARY’S CHURCH

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ancient walls

ancient city amantia

natural monument in llogara

Blue eye

Butrinti lake

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historic monument

monastery in dhermi

narta lagoon

zvernec island

Butrinti archeological site

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Main potentials and problems Surveys of the main natural and cultural heritage sites reveal some major problems, which negatively affect their tourist fruition. Except Butrint, archaeological and historical sites are difficult to access, due to the lack of signage and the poor road network. Even local communities are sometimes unaware of the sites value and exact location. In the case of Oricum, accessibility is more difficult due to the presence of a military base: in order to enter the site, a special authorisation is required. The site requires extensive excavations, to bring to the light the urban structure of the ancient city, currently hidden. Moreover, the presence of abandoned military buildings and equipment spoils the landscape value of the site and represents a potential threat to health and safety. A similar situation characterises the bay of Porto Palermo, where abandoned buildings surround the beautifully preserved Ali Pasha Castle. The castle itself is not furnished for tourist fruition and, being not guarded constantly, is exposed to

acts of vandalism and decay. Cultural heritage sites in the hinterland are the most neglected, due to the concentration of tourism activity on the coast. If persisting, this neglect could lead to the complete destruction of the monuments and to the irreversible loss of cultural tourism attractors in internal areas. Natural areas, on the other hand, are constantly threatened by illegal dumps and informal construction activities. An effective control on these sites, aimed to preserve their environmental values and tourist attractiveness, is a priority issue. In general, the whole environmental and cultural heritage of Vlora Region lacks coordinated tourist marketing policies, integrated with effective preservation and sustainable management actions. Tourist services and infrastructure such as tourist guides, signage, transports, etc. are either non-existent or inadequate. Available information, especially on the internet, is often fragmented and inconsistent.

Top left and left: Abandoned military buildings inside Oricum archaeological park; Top right: Pashaliman military base at Orikum; Above: Abandoned buildings surrounding Ali Pasha Castle in Porto Palermo.

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1.9. Value Chains

Potentialities of Vlora Region Significant potentialities have been identified in t h e f r a m e w o r k o f U N D P A RT G O L D 2 Programme by ILS LEDA specialist (“Survey of the resources of Vlora” updated to November 2010) such as: ‣ Natural areas with high biodiversity, belonging to various ecosystems, that represent a resource for sustainable tourism and rural development. ‣ Several agricultural and agro-food value chains that represent “resources of excellence” (according to ILS LEDA methodology: endogenous competitive resources that can be considered rare, unique or owning primary qualities, and, therefore, are comparable or even preferable to similar resources expressed by other territories), such as: • products of the bee value chain, such as mono-flowers honeys, royal jelly, propolis

• many species of fish • all kind of herbs • kalinjot olive variety and extra virgin oil. ‣ Basic resources (endogenous resources of “ordinary” nature that can used in order to reduce primary needs of the territory: these resources must be considered competitive because they are necessary for the economic steadiness of the territory) such as: • feta cheese or “hard white cheese”, kackavall cheese, yogurt • Kallmet, Shesh and Vlosh wines • meat • alcoholic liquors (rakì of grape and cornel). ‣ Other types of resources of excellence such as: • cultural resources, for instance, the musical heritage based on traditional iso-polyphonic music and new tendencies, or the artistic vitality that can be nowadays identified • products of the handicraft activities such as silver filigree, wooden and wicker furniture, decors and trinkets, and wool carpets.

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Food products

Food products include the following value chains:

yet been identified.

Bee

Fish

Bee value chain goes from the biodiversity of different ecosystems to the marketing of the products (fresh, raw and processed) of bees, which here are: multi–flower honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, bee wax. Production is quite low, mainly because of the obsolete instruments used to collect royal jelly and pollen. Propolis is the only product to be processed, in a very simple and traditional way, in order to produce propolis tincture.

Sea fishing activities are mainly carried out by the important fishing fleets of Vlora and Saranda, however smaller fishing fleets can be found in coastal villages. Fish vessels and drift nets are also used. Sea fish breeding activities are carried out mainly in the area of Qeparo and Porto Palermo, while in the lagoon of Butrint mussel breeding is carried out.

The competitive advantage is high for the multi– flower honey, characterised by good organoleptic characteristics and good levels of territorial representativeness and recognisability, being typically representative of Mediterranean region because of its provenience from pollen of oregano, thyme and sage. As for marketing, all the products of the Bee value chain are recognised and consumed on domestic market, so that all regional production is sold, and there is further space on the market for more producers; honey, royal jelly and propolis are, mostly, directly sold in stands on the road, while other products, having a high added value, as pollen and bee wax, are hardly sold on domestic market, because of the lack of adequate processing laboratories. The participation of Vlora Beekeepers Association “Nectari” in the Mediterranean Beekeeping Forum made Albanian products of the Bee value chain known and appreciated abroad, but, so far, international exporters of these products have not

Sea fish in this area can be considered of excellent quality and, due to the geographic position of the Region and of the streams of Ionian Sea, fishing can be done in large quantities. The variety of fished species is also relevant. Sardines, anchovies, and mackerels can be easily processed, and preserved naturally or in vegetable oil. Through artisanal processes, very valuable food preserves can be obtained. At the moment, sea fish is rarely locally processed. Until now, only some small plants for the production of oil preserved fish have been identified, and packaged and/or branded products have not been identified. The market of fresh sea fish produced in Vlora Region is, until now, exclusively domestic, but it is extended in the whole southern Albania. ILS LEDA surveys highlighted a sufficiently selfconscious relational capital related to the Fish value chain; in particular, the Associations of Vlora Fishermen, based in Triport, is considered a very relevant, representative and inclusive subject.

Forest products The forests of Vlora Region can be considered as a good context in order to obtain valuable organic products in an environmentally sustainable way. The Forest production system of the Region ideally goes from the biodiversity of the different ecosystems to the marketing of fresh, raw and processed products, related to soft fruits, mushrooms, chestnuts.

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Meat The Meat value chain ideally goes from the activities of breeding cattle, sheep, pigs and farmyard animals to the marketing of the products (fresh and processed meat), mainly related to the beef and to the sheep. A good competitive advantage of Vlora Region meat value chain derives from the traditional know how applied in producing beef meat preserves and from the traditional ways of breeding sheep. The current lack of organised and safe slaughterhouses is progressively going to be solved, also thanks to implemented association making projects (e.g. UNDP Project “Improving the performance of livestock sector in Albania”).

Milk The Milk value chain ideally goes from the biodiversity of different ecosystems to the marketing of the products that, here, are related to the following issues: milk, cheese, and yogurt. Breeding activities are very fragmented, milk production is not ensured regularly and the milk quality can not be controlled (water and maize amid are often added to milk by producers to fraudulently increase milk productions and gains). Therefore, the quality of most milk produced for “industrial” purposes is very scarce. Moreover, most dairy factories

use a cheap, low quality, industrial micro– biological rennet for cheese production. A production of Albanian feta cheese and kaçkavall cheese, if obtained according to traditional recipes and using natural rennet, could be considered competitive. Instead, “foreign-like” cheeses are characterised by a low quality level, and their production could endanger the future of regional dairy sector.

Olive The following cultivars of olives can be found in Vlora Region: • not-better identified common variety, producing table olives • kalinjot variety (Albanian endogenous) • frantoio variety (imported from Italy) • leccino variety (imported from Italy). Table olives are homemade by processing and preserving fresh olives in brine. Kalinjot olives can be considered a very valuable variety: extra virgin oil extracted from them, if well produced, is intrinsically excellent. Olive oil production is mainly carried out for family use. In some cases, extra virgin olive oil (kalinjot, frantoio, leccino) is sold bottled and branded. Small but good olive milling plants coexist in the Region, together with lowmedium level plants.

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Industrial plants and medicinal herbs Information collected by ILS LEDA expert suggests the existence of the production of cotton, forages (maize, alfalfa) and soy. In the region, the activities related to the industrial plants should be probably found in the plains, because those are the areas characterised by an artificial high GPP.

Wine and liquors In Vlora Region, the following varieties of wine are produced: • Kallmet (red and white wine) • Shesh (Shesh i bardhe and Shesh i zi, white and red wine, respectively) • Vlosh (red wine). Kallmet, Shesh and Vlosh can be considered good Albanian endogenous grape varieties, with significant properties of recognisability. The lack of producers associations shows a scarce quality of the relational capital related to the Wine value chain of Vlora Region. The products of the Liquors value chain can represent a real expression of the territory. In fact, they depend on the raw material that characterise the area in which they are produced. ILS LEDA surveys identified the following distillates: raki of grape and of plum (the traditional Albanian alcoholic product, obtained through the distillation of fermented fruit, strongly connected with Balkan identity), and alcoholic infusions (lemon and mint). Good quality distillates and alcoholic infusions are mainly homemade and their production is small, if compared to regional potentialities for sustainable production.

As for the herbs, the following varieties have been identified, until now, in the region: • mint (Mentha aquatica), collected and cultivated • mountain savory (Satureja Montana), collected • “mountain tea” or “shepherd’s tea” (Syderitis syriaca), collected • oregano (Origanum vulgare), collected • sage (Salvia Officinalis), collected and cultivated • thyme (Timus Serpillum), collected. All products of this value chain are recognised and appreciated mostly by national consumers, and bought for basic use (mainly for cooking). All regional production is sold, hence there is further space on the market for more regional producers. All kinds of herbs are sold neither branded nor packaged, and most fresh and dried products are directly sold to store owners and consumers. So far, no organic farming processes and no processing activity (apart from traditional dried products) have been identified. In consideration of the good and clean state of the ground and of the environment, both collected and cultivated herbs could receive certifications of quality and organicity (not achieved yet). However, wild herbs colonies (together with the production of some kinds of honey) are nowadays seriously endangered by the use of forbidden gathering techniques by herbs gatherers, willing to save time and obtain more product to sell without any care of the need of safeguarding natural cycles and reproduction chances of wild germplasms.

All products of the Liquors value chain are recognised and consumed on domestic market, and all regional production is sold, hence there is further space on the market for more regional producers. International exporters of artisanal product have not been identified yet. Considering the good quality of raw materials, all products of the value chain could achieve certifications of quality, safety and organic origin.

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Cultural, handicraft and tourism products These products include the following value chains:

Culture production system

from other rural activities. Local wool is not considered good for handicraft textiles production, and local production of cotton is lacking, so textile raw materials are all imported, mainly from abroad. No production of natural paints was identified. Handicraft Textiles products can be found on regional and domestic markets, in shops selling traditional products and handicraft, but have not been identified on foreign markets yet.

ILS LEDA surveys identified a rich cultural heritage in the Region, both tangible and non tangible. In Vlora, the production of knowledge (both in technical–scientific and humanities fields) and of human creativity (especially in the fields of figurative arts and music) can be considered good. Also the existence of good primary (in the same field) and “crossed” (among different fields) interactions among cultural and culturally oriented subjects, has to be highlighted. These interactions led to the creation, for instance, of the yearly Folk Festival. The main detractor elements of this system are the lack of information and communication subjects, of univocal shared information about cultural heritage of the Region, as well as their promotion on global networks. Emigration of youth and lack of preservation and enhancement policies for material heritage also threaten the survival of regional culture.

Handicraft production system Vlora wrought iron products, designed taking inspiration from very original pattern and pictures, have no similar foreign competing products, also in consideration of the strongly “contaminated” eastern–western context in which they are designed. The production of wrought iron doors of a relevant artistic value, also as a supply for building activities, has to be highlighted. Wrought iron objects are considered prestigious accessories for houses, and have a good market nationwide, whilst they are not present on foreign markets.

Tourism production system Vlora Region is very rich in potential tourist attractors, since many ecosystems and cultural attractions can be found in the region. Environmental quality of urbanised areas is very low and the presence of uncollected garbage in urban centres and in the countryside (especially along river banks and rural roads) is apparent. Rural areas of the region are characterised by a scarce presence of agro-tourism activities, bed & breakfast and organised camping areas. The quality of the accommodation is generally low. The scarce valorisation of local gastronomic heritage should be pointed out.

The Artisan Textiles value chain is related to the following products: wool (carpets and bags) and cotton (artisanal coats and embroidery). Textile artisans are often women skilled in the utilisation of looms. In some case, this activity is the chance for them to integrate the incomes

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Main potentials and problems

ILS LEDA survey highlighted different problems regarding the regional production system. They can be generally summarized as follows: • Productivity effectiveness: although most products have a potential for sustainable production increase, there is a lack of effectiveness of production due to scarce use of technologies, especially in the agricultural and livestock production. The lack of awareness on the value of the relational capital increases the fragmentation of productions and makes it difficult to enter new markets. Moreover, the lack of processing activities and of local production of high added value products in most sectors (mainly in the fish, bee and herbs value chains) hampers the potentials of local products. • Safety and quality: nowadays, more than ever, food quality and safety are a constant concern for consumers and public authorities. Although most local products in Vlora Region usually have good quality and organoleptic properties, they do not have safe and quality certification hence they are unable to attract foreign consumers. Certifications of food security, quality and organicity represent a potential reason for the increase of competitiveness. • Vitality of the cultural and tourism systems: cultural and tourist assets are not adequately enhanced by promoting activities

and events to increase the livableness and the vitality of the areas for tourist interest. • Marketing: most local products have the potentiality to acquire larger and more steadier space in domestic markets (also in connection with tourist activities such as hotels and restaurants), and to achieve new spaces in foreign markets. Nevertheless, the lack of structured marketing activities (including branding and packaging) in most value chains, the small and uneven quantities produced, and, most of all, the lack of safety and quality certifications cause a lack of export activities towards foreign markets. Moreover, the ecosystems’ biodiversity and good environmental conditions that ensure the good quality of agro-food products are heavily endangered by the lack of organised systems of waste and water management, causing land, water and air pollution and threatening animals health. The lack of training also represents a detractor element for the identified value chains: not only specialised capacity building for farmers, breeders and gatherers is needed, but also training activities aimed at raising and maintaining awareness on the importance (also for tourism development) of typical and recognisable quality products, in order to avoid their irreversible deterioration or disappearance in favour of “foreign-like” products.

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1.10. Territorial programming

A view of the Albanian Riviera

Analysis of planning and programming instruments Adopted methodology The analysis of planning and programming instruments at municipal, inter-municipal, regional and interregional levels contributes to build a reference frame for territorial development strategies of Vlora Region, focusing on the ongoing projects in the area. The analysis was conducted taking into consideration various kinds of instruments: general and sectorial plans and programmes, development plans/programmes, environmental plans/programmes, city planning and feasibility studies. Several data sheets were developed, in which every document was analysed separately, listing also its main goals. In this chapter, therefore, we seek to provide an overview of the ongoing programming, highlighting the necessary elements for the construction of possible regional development scenarios and the strategy required for their realization. The synthesis process has followed a path divided into 3 phases:

type of instrument and its field of interest (see table 1). • Identification of common goals in different instruments, to point out the objectives shared by the analysed instruments (see table 2) and identify the main directions they trace for territorial development. Goals are grouped in four thematic categories: “Environment protection and infrastructure network”, “Cultural heritage”, “Agro-food production and rural tourism”, and “Social issues”. • Analysis of the compatibility among the various instruments goals, to provide an overview of the consistency of the current programming and to verify the possibility for coordination and synergy among the ongoing programmes (see table 3).

• Summary of the main goals emerged from the instruments analysis: starting from the information collected in the data sheets, a list of the main objectives for each document was synthesised, taking into consideration also the

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Survey, analysis and comparison of existing plans and programs

14 planning and programming instruments were collected and analysed:

Municipal Area

Regional Area

Planning Instruments

Programming Instruments

City planning • Structural plan of Vlora (2009)

Development programmes • Vlora regional strategy for the achievement of the MDGs (2005) • Waste management plan (2005) • Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan (2007-2010) • RDS/NPA - Monitoring and implementation of DevInfo in Vlora region (2006)

Programming Instruments Development Plans • Development plan - Xarre (2005) • Strategic plan for tourism development - Qender Commune (2009) • Development plan – Orikum (2009) • Study Lumi Vlora (2008) • Project Lumi Vlora - “A territorial partnership in progress” (2009)

Inter-municipal Area

Sectorial programmes • Development of special pedagogy section at the university of Vlora (2007)

NOVOSELE Shushice Selenice

QENDER

Programming Instruments Management plans • Management plan: Vjosa – Narta landscape protected area (2005) • Management plan: Complex Llogora, Rreza e Kanalit, Dukat, Orikum, Tragjas, Radhime, Karaburun (2005)

Armen

Vllahine

VLORE

Kote

ORIKUM

Sevaster

Brataj

Vranisht

Himare

Inter-regional Area

Vergo

Lukove

Programming Instruments

Delvine

Mesopotam Finiq Sarande Dhiver

Sectorial plans • Corridor VIII: Pre-feasibility study on the development of the railway axis (2007)

Aliko

Livadhja Ksamil

Xarre

Markat

Konispol

Plans and programmes were then placed on a map, which is shown in the next page.

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Fig. 10. Survey of plans and programmes in progress in Vlora Region

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Table 1. Summary of the main goals emerged from the instruments analysis (*) Reference document STRUCTURAL PLAN VLORA

Implemented by: HYDEA Funded by: WB-LAMP Project STRATEGIC PLAN FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT QENDER COMMUNE

Implemented by: Urban research institute Funded by: Albanian Development Fund - ADF DEVELOPMENT PLAN ORIKUM

Implemented by: Orikum Municipality Funded by: Albanian Development Fund - ADF DEVELOPMENT PLAN XARRE

Implemented by: Urban research institute Funded by: Albanian Development Fund - ADF STUDY LUMI VLORA

Implemented by: AULEDA Funded by: ART GOLD ALBANIA-UNDP PROJECT LUMI VLORA “A TERRITORIAL PARTNERSHIP IN PROGRESS” Implemented by: Maurizio Del Bufalo, UNDP

Instrument

Main goals

City planning -

Define transport strategies and urban projects Restructure the passenger Intermodal Station Create a new urban hub at the old airport area Create a new Agro-food Centre Create the Vlora City Ring Re-naturalize part of the promontory (Qafa and Topit) to avoid further erosion

Development - Develop/consolidate participatory planning - Improve tax policies and management capabilities plan - Improve the quality of municipal services - Establish a new Office for Tourism Development within the organic structure of municipal administration - Create an Agency for Touristic Information - Prepare a package of project proposals for the development of tourism in the municipality - Prepare a study for an efficient use of resources for tourism development Development - Establish a new Office for Tourism Development - Develop product specifications plan - Apply national environmental labels - Encourage farmers to crate/join associations Organise fairs for agricultural & livestock products - Increase the farmers’ management and communication capacities - Improve methods to obtain residents’ and tourists’ opinions to improve municipal services & investments Development - Maximum use of agricultural land through improving irrigation and drainage system plan - Credit and support to agricultural mechanics for the implementation of services in agriculture - Establish a tourist village in Psimeno - Establish customs and tax facilities - Pre-feasibility of a municipal market in Saranda - Build collective points for waste collection - Establish a cultural centre in Mursi village Development - Consider the valley as a high environment protection area plan - Protect all natural resources - Experiment with innovative forms of territorial governance and territorial marketing strategy to attract investments - Certificate local products and create and strengthen agro-production enterprises - Protect traditional craftsmanship, crafts and local traditions Development - Provide support for the consolidation of local economic development agency and consultancy plan - Propose enhancement of local resources to promote social cohesion to the communities of the valley

Funded by: UNDP ART GOLD Albania MANAGEMENT PLAN: VJOSA-NARTA LANDSCAPE PROTECTED AREA Implemented by: Vlora Region Funded by: MedWetCoast, GEF

Management - Preserve, manage & restore habitats and species - Soil preservation and anti-erosion measures plan - Preserve and manage water resources - Establish administration bodies and regulations to improve the management of visitors, infrastructure and engineering works - Improve the organization of local communities (in associations, cooperatives etc.)

(*) Colours in the table refer to the colours assigned to each category of plan/programme in the map in the previous page

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Reference document VLORA REGIONAL STRATEGY FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MDGs

Instrument

Main goals

Development programme

- Improve education level (support vocational education focusing on market demands) - Improve health services, reduce child and maternal deaths, improve mothers’ health, increase breastfeeding practice - Ensure environmental sustainability, improve life quality in the region

Development programme

- Preserve, enhance and restore key ecosystems, species and landscapes through the creation and effective management of the Pan-European Ecological Network - Sustainable management and use of positive potential biological and landscape diversity - Integrate biological and landscape diversity conservation and sustainable use objectives into all sectors - Improve information on, and awareness of, biological and landscape diversity issues, and increase public participation in actions to conserve and enhance such diversity - Improve understanding of the state of PanEuropean biological & landscape diversity and of the processes to make it sustainable - Ensure adequate financial means

Development programme

- Establish development control principles and procedures for Albania Southern Coastal Zone - Promote economic growth and job creation within the context of sustainable development - Adequate infrastructure to meet the existing and forecast residential and tourist demand - Revitalize traditional primary industries such as agriculture and fisheries, and support local arts and crafts and low-impact industries

Sectorial programme

- Establish the SPS unit at the University of Vlora and introduce a national 3+2 years academic course according to the Bologna standards for pedagogues in collaboration with the University of Lausanne - Prepare five full time professors responsible for the course for the training of the specialised pedagogues

Development programme

- Form a technical steering group with representatives from UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNDP/UNCT - Provide overall direction and technical expertise on the project activities

Sectorial programme

- Bring about a real change in the Common Transport Policy - Restore the balance between modes of transport and develop intermodality - Promotion of rail freight corridors - Removal of technical barriers to interoperability in rail transport - Monitoring of the rail market

Implemented by: Mynyr Gjika et al. for Vlora Region Funded by: UN, Oxfam WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN IN VLORA REGION

Implemented by: Insarema Cioni, Vladimir Haxhi Funded by: UNOPS, Regione Marche ALBANIAN SOUTHERN COAST DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Implemented by: TBU-HBA-P&P joint venture Funded by: Ministry of Public Works, Transport & Telecommunications, World Bank DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIAL PEDAGOGY SECTION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VLORA Implemented by: Swiss Cooperation Office Albania Funded by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) RDS/NPA MONITORING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVINFO IN VLORA REGION Implemented by: UN ALBANIA Funded by: United Nations PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RAILWAY AXIS Implemented by: Railway Working Group for the Corridor VIII Secretariat Funded by: Italian Ministry of International Trade MANAGEMENT PLAN COMPLEX – LLOGORA , RREZE KANALIT, DUKAT, ORIKUM, TRAGJAS, RRADHIME, KARABURUN

Implemented by: Vlora Region Funded by: MEDWETCOAST/ GEF/UNDP

Management - Assess the implications of extending the Llogara National Park, in light of new legislation plan concerning protected areas in Albania - Develop a clear vision of the site to pass on to future generations and provide a framework of policies & actions to support the vision - Improve collaboration with a wide range of national and international agencies and organisations who deal with protected areas - Conservation of biodiversity as a whole

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Table 2. Identification of common goals in different programmes SECTOR 1: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORKS Main goals

Reference documents

Waste Management: locate landfills for urban waste storage and treatment, purchase waste management machinery, promote education on urban waste, rehabilitate existing illegal dumpsites, organize seperate waste collection.

- Waste Management Plan in Vlora Region - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development Qender Commune - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan

Water supply and sewage system: water supply technical rehabilitation, tecnical rehabilitation and extension of the sewage system, new systems for sewage and water supply, connection of every household to the sewage system.

- Structural Plan - Vlora - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum

Environment and natural resources protection: increase population environmental awareness, conservation and management of natural resources, soil conservation and anti-erosion measures, build up local capacities in planning, management and monitoring of natural and biological resources, capacity building on environment assessment, preparation of promotion materials.

- Management Plan Vjosa-Narta Landscape Protected Area - Management Plan Complex Llogora - Study Lumi Vlora - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Infrastructure: definition of transport strategies, improve accessibility in different villages, arrangement of all road networks.

- Structural Plan - Vlora - Pre-Feasibility Study on the Development of the Railway Axis - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development Qender Commune - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan

SECTOR 2: CULTURAL HERITAGE Main goals

Reference documents

Preservation of cultural heritage: restoration and conservation of historical, cultural buildings and typical houses.

- Structural Plan Vlora

SECTOR 3: AGRO-FOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Main goals

Reference documents

Agriculture development: efficient use of agricultural land by improving irrigation and drainage system, credit and support for agricultural specialists for the implementation of services in agriculture, pre-feasibility study for a market in Saranda, creation and strengthening of agro-production enterprises, encouranging farmers in creating and joining associations or groups, protection of traditional craftsmanship, crafts and local traditions.

- Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Study Lumi Vlora

Agro-food production: certifications of products, promotion of local poducts, organization of fairs with agriculture and livestock products, creation of a brand for productions. Rural tourism: construction of new touristic villages (Psimeno).

- Development Plan - Xarre

SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Main goals

Reference documents

Social inclusion of disadvantaged groups, education and health care services: improve the quality of life of the people with disabilities, improve the level of education, improve health care services.

- Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals - Development of Special Pedagogy Section at the University of Vlora

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Table 3. Coherence among instruments SECTOR 1: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK Main goals of ongoing plans and programmes

Reference documents

Coherence among instruments

Natural environment: Management of natural resources through compatible and sustainable use, environment protection, soil conservation and anti-erosion measures

- Management Plan Vjosa-Narta Landscape Protected Area - Management Plan Complex Llogora - Study Lumi Vlora - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement of the MDGoals

There is a good coherence on environment issues. Different instruments share the same goals even though they provide various type of actions/ interventions.

Infrastructure: Improve the road and railway network through: interventions on existing urban and rural roads, new connections between villages, rehabilitate and upgrade the existing railway axis.

- Structural Plan - Vlora - Pre Feasibility Study on the Development of the Railway Axis - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - Qender Commune - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan

All plans and programmes are coherent with each other about the different actions/ interventions on the road and railway network.

SECTOR 2: CULTURAL HERITAGE Main goals of ongoing plans and programmes Preservation of cultural heritage: Restoration and conservation of historical buildings and typical houses.

Reference documents

Coherence among instruments

- Structural Plan - Vlora

SECTOR 3: AGRO-FOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Main goals of ongoing plans and programmes

Reference documents

- Development Plan - Xarre Agriculture and agro-food production: - Development Plan - Orikum Improve credit access for farmers, - Study Lumi Vlora promote quality products, credit and support for agricultural techniques for the implementation of services in agriculture. Rural tourism: Development of ecotourism in Lumi Vlore, promote local products

Coherence among instruments All the ongoing plans and programmes share the same objectives regarding to the promotion of agriculture product, support and training for farmers, use of biologic agriculture and improvement of credit access and infrastructure network.

- Study Lumi Vlora

SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Main goals of ongoing plans and programmes

Reference documents

- Vlora Regional Strategy for the Social inclusion of achievement of the MDGoals disadvantaged groups, education and health care services: - Development of Special Increase access to health services, Pedagogy Section at the improve the level of education also University of Vlora of the people with disabilities

Coherence among instruments There are only 2 programmes regarding social issues at regional or local level. They are coherent with each other as of improving quality and level of education but refer to different categories of persons.

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Conclusions on the programmes analysis Fragmentation and coherence

As the tables in the previous pages clearly show, the plans and programs involving Vlora Region are relatively few.

has started to analyse the development potentials for the creation of a protected rural area.

At regional level, the only existing comprehensive program is the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan, showing how the management of the coastal areas represents the main concern for the territorial governance authorities.

An urban planning instrument can only be found in the regional capital, while for other Municipalities and Communes the main issues addressed by programming instrument are tourism and rural development consistently with the main economic activities in the Region. The lack of programming instruments in the majority of the Municipalities and Communes of the Region is probably a hint of the local authorities’ lack of capacities to manage territorial governance and to design and implement development projects to achieve common interest goals. However, this lack of overall “visioning” and planning leads to fragmentation of interventions and waste of financial resources.

This predominance is reasonable, because it reflects the authorities’ willingness to control, in some way, the negative effects of beach tourism development: illegal and uncontrolled construction, destruction of landscapes and natural resources, etc. The same necessity of preserving natural assets probably guided the drafting of the management plans for the two protected areas of Llogara and Narta. It is worth noticing that no similar plan has been produced so far for the other existing protected areas, and there seem to be no projects for the enhancement of cultural heritage sites, though quite numerous in the Region. Internal areas have not developed any sort of development plan or programme; the only exception is the Shushica Valley, where UNDP

One positive aspect is the general coherence among all the programming instruments in the crucial sectors: it is worth noticing that programmes do not obstruct each other and do not envisage contradictory interventions. In this framework, the SP can represent the tool to coordinate ongoing and scheduled projects (consistent with existing instruments) and to optimise investments.

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1.11. S.W.O.T. analysis of the regional territory An SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats) analysis was carried out to assess development potentials and critical aspects of the regional territory. The main findings are synthesised in these pages.

Weaknesses • Uncontrolled construction activity, especially on the coast (Vlora, Saranda and Ksamil) • Neglected or undiscovered cultural and archaeological heritage, poor tourist information available, lack of coordinate promotion

Strengths • Unspoilt landscapes, natural sites and coastal areas (Shushica valley, Llogara national park, Karaburun peninsula, Orikum and Butrint lagoons, Albanian Riviera, etc.) • Potentially attractive cultural heritage sites (Zvernec Monastery, Ali Pasha Castle in Porto Palermo, Butrint and Orikum archaeological parks, Amantia, Narta saltworks, etc.) • Distinctive intangible cultural heritage (e.g. the iso-polyphonic music, recognised by UNESCO) • Regional cultural and natural heritage already mapped within the INTERREG III.A Project ‘I&A’ • Presence of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in the countryside (traditional houses, farms, state factories, military buildings, pedestrian bridges, etc.), which could represent a resource for tourism • Richness of typical agro-food and handicraft products - 11 value chains (4 of which expressing resources of excellence: Kalinjot olive oil, herbs, sea fish, bees products) and 3 production systems (culture, handicraft, tourism) identified • Organic farming experiences in the Shushica river valley • Strong sense of belonging and identity • Existing projects, showing willingness to balance environmental protection and economic development needs; growing attention to environmental protection, traditional architecture preservation and building control • Tourism development initiatives • Presence of tourist information signage in the archaeological areas of Orikum and Butrint • Innovative projects implemented in the health sector • Important presence of associations working in the cultural and social sectors • Existence of public and private Universities

• Lack and scarce quality of tourist services, lack of professional training in the tourism sector, disproportionate quality/price ratio in tourist accommodation structures • Low awareness on the importance of cultural heritage and traditional architecture for development • General lack of urban quality, both in villages and in larger towns • Presence of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in the countryside • Absence of solid waste management systems, causing environmental and landscape damages, threatening natural resources and the health of people and animals, hampering tourism development • Lack of water and wastewater management system, lack of a monitoring and management system for rivers • Bad state of existing road network, scarce road accessibility to some areas (i.e. to the Shushica river valley) • Presence of activities having a strong impact on the environment, like gravel pits along the Shushica river • Incomplete value chains, lack of processing activities • Lack of data and surveys on socioeconomic trends in the Region • Lack of collective infrastructure for farmers (slaughterhouses, dairy factories, warehouses) • Land fragmentation and small dimension of farming businesses, causing low production levels, difficult access to technological innovations, credit, services and markets • Uncertain land property rights • Lack of quality in olive oil and milk production, food security to increase • Producers’ resistance to associate • Difficulty to conciliate industrial development and environmental protection • Difficult tourist fruition of some archaeological areas (Orikum, Porto Palermo) due to the presence of military posts, also not in use

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Opportunities

Threats

• Transformation of AULEDA from LEDA to a regional development agency through ART GOLD 2 programme

• Poor capacities to design projects complying to EU standards could prevent access to international funds

• Development projects already implemented by AULEDA in the Shushica Valley, in Narta area and in Orikum Municipality

• Scarce capacity to manage international funds

• Existence of the Albanian Development Fund, programming interventions for infrastructure enhancement in the region

• Abandoned buildings in the countryside, in the absence of a restoration and reuse program, will diminish the attractiveness of the area for tourists

• UN and Italian Cooperation programmes and projects implemented and under realisation in the region

• Tendency for uncontrolled construction, if persistent, will irreversibly deteriorate natural landscapes and destroy traditional buildings and local identity

• Opportunities offered by decentralised cooperation and by EU funds addressed to local development, enhancement of cultural heritage, environmental protection, etc.

• Lack of job opportunities can cause depopulation of rural villages, deterioration of environment and landscape, loss of cultural heritage and identity

• Albania as a potential candidate country to enter European Union - IPA Programmes • EU funds for cross-border programmes and projects among Vlora Region and Greek regions • Growing interest in Albania as a tourist destination • Growing global interest in quality agro-food products - development and enhancement of organic farming, quality and food security certifications

• Persistent absence of a waste management system can irreversibly damage natural resources and human health, negatively affecting farming activities and hampering tourism development • Military bases on the coast, limiting the access to several sites of cultural and environmental value, can discourage tourism development • Competition of tourist destinations that can better balance development and environmental protection

• Women empowerment

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1.12. General development goal and keywords of the Strategic Plan The general development goal

This goal derives from a widespread awareness of the damages so far caused to the valuable natural resources of the Region. It also expresses the necessity to remedy (when possible) and preserve the remaining in order to maintain and increase tourist attractiveness and ensure a safe environment and better living conditions for the regional population.

The SP general goal was identified based on the results of the surveys in the regional territory, the analysis of programmes operating in the Region, the meetings held with the Regional government and other representative stakeholders as well as the inventory of cultural and landscape heritage and of value chains.

Environmental sustainability can be the key to trigger economic growth (especially in the The general goal of the Strategic Plan is: tourism sector) without compromising natural “Enhance sustainability to support assets, but rather using environment as an opportunity to pursue an innovative economic development STRATEGIC and social PLANNING development model. inclusion”. OF VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

Sea & beaches

Cultural heritage

The general development goal of the Strategic Plan as a result of the territorial resources Defining the shared general goal of the strategic plansurvey

‘TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’ Natural landscapes

Rural landscape & typical products

UNDP ARTGOLD 2 ALBANIA Programme www.undp.org.al

Therefore, the regional Strategic Planning process indentifies a sustainable development model in 3 fundamental and interconnected aspects: environment, economy and society (Rio de Janiero, 1992). This model is attainable through actions directed towards territorial eco-management, anthropogenic activities and promotion of climate change reduction (Kyoto Protocol).

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AULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency www.auleda.org

The Strategic Plan is an instrument to: • define goals of environmental sustainability • investigate the main environmental aspects and synthesize the critical factors • analyse potential environmental aspects by evaluating SP’s objectives and actions through sustainability criteria • identify possible actions connected to environmental indicators.

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The keywords As a next step, 13 keywords were identified: they synthesize issues and needs (emerged during the meetings), which the territorial actors consider crucial for the development of Vlora Region. The keywords represent the foundation to build the Vision and Strategy for the coming years.

Surveys of the regional territory

Analysis of plans and programmes operating in the Region

Meetings with representative stakeholders

Inventory of territorial resources

The 13 keywords of Vlora Region 1.

Sustainable tourism

7.

Producers associations

2.

Identity and cultural heritage

8.

Health and social care services

3.

Environment and landscape protection

9.

Urban quality

4.

Waste and water management

5.

High-quality agro-food products

6.

Short production & distribution chains

10. Sustainable mobility 11. Innovative vocational training 12. Better job opportunities for youth 13. Destination management

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Keywords were then shared with territorial actors and grouped into 7 categories (see the diagram below) to better focus the main themes for regional development.

Categories of keywords and themes for regional development Category A • Sustainable tourism • Destination management

Category B • Identity & cultural heritage

Category C • Environment and landscape protection • Waste and water management

Category D • High-quality agro-food products • Short production & distribution chains • Producers’ associations

Category E • Health and social care services

Category F • Urban quality • Sustainable mobility

Cross-cutting issues • Innovative vocational training • Better job opportunities for youth

Tourism is recognised as the main opportunity for regional development; the challenge is to make it sustainable and integrated, in order to preserve the regional identity and resources.

Cultural heritage is recognised as a major issue for regional development, and its preservation and transmission to the next generations are crucial to maintain the cultural uniqueness of the Region.

Environmental protection emerges as one of the main critical aspects of the Region, and as an essential assumption to make it a tourist destination suitable for the global market.

Agro-food sector is very important in the regional economy, but it is not competitive enough: products quality should be improved, value chains developed and small producers should form a “critical mass” to compete on national and foreign markets.

Social issues are central to territorial actors, not only regarding health and social care services, but also social inclusion of disadvantaged groups and gender equality.

Infrastructure is one of the most critical issues in the Region: transportation systems are poor and inadequate, though they are a basic assumption for development.

Training is a cross-cutting issue and a need expressed by most territorial actors. It is crucial for professional growth and job opportunities creation thus reducing emigration and “brain drain”.

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1.13. Scenarios for Regional Development

The Scenarios represent possible future configurations of a territory, based on present conditions, trends outlined by the current operating programmes and policies (at national, regional and local level) and on the possible variables that the SP can introduce to trigger sustainable and endogenous development.

In the case of Vlora Region, the desk analyses conducted and the participation activities performed led to the definition of 3 possible Scenarios: 1. Tourism development 2. Rural development and agro-business 3. Services, networks and light industry

The 3 possible development Scenarios for Vlora Region

These Scenarios are not exclusive but strongly interconnected as are the different features of a territory and its economic sectors. Hence Scenarios can be developed simultaneously, in an integrated and complementary manner, to achieve a more diversified development. In order to review and share Scenarios with local actors, presentations were held during public consultation meetings (the Open Days held in November 2010), highlighting possible directions that the territory can undertake based on each possible development Scenario.

Given the territorial features, each Scenario can take at least two different directions or development models: a sustainable one and an unsustainable one. The three Scenarios identified and their implications are described in the following fiches, together with: • the ongoing plans and programmes that support the Scenario • the analyses results and the specific territorial aspects that led to the Scenario identification.

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Scenario 1 Tourism development

Present situation: potentials, problems and opportunities for tourism development

• Rich, diversified and close proximity natural landscape assets, including mountains (i.e. the Llogara National Park), valleys (i.e. the Shushica Valley), sea and wetlands (i.e. Butrint, Orikum, Narta)

Vlora Region has chosen tourism as the leading sector of its economy and the principal catalyst of economic growth.

• Genuine agro-food products (olive oil, cheese, etc.) and traditional cuisine

This choice is supported by a high number of private investments in tourism activities, mainly accommodation structures (also incentivised by the 1993 Tourism Law), by the increased tourist inflows and by carious international, national and regional policies and programmes dedicated to tourism:

In spite of its great potentials, thus far, the Region has predominantly made use of its beautiful, unspoilt coast to develop tourism. Flows of Albanian visitors have steadily increased, particularly during the summer season. These are mainly Albanians from Kosovo and Albanian emigrants visiting their home country during the holidays. Nonetheless, this type of tourism has had a negative impact on the territory, causing massive and irregular expansions of many coastal towns and villages (i.e. in Vlora, Saranda, Ksamil), increased human spoiling of the coastal areas, spoiled natural landscapes and consumed natural r e s o u r c e s ( w a t e r, s o i l ) , a n d s t r o n g socioeconomic unbalances between the coast and hinterland.

• Over the years, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports has prepared a number of tourism strategies, i.e. the the Strategy and Action Plan for the Development of the Albanian Tourism Sector Based on Cultural and Environmental Tourism (2005) and the Tourism Strategy (2007). • Around 30% of ongoing plans and programmes in the Region list tourism development among the priorities for territorial growth, i.e. the Regional Strategy for the Achievement of the MDGs, the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan, the city of Vlora Structural Plan, the Lumi Vlore project, the Development Plans of Qender and Orikum Communes. • Several ongoing programmes and projects promote international partnerships among countries on the Adriatic sea, to foster integrated tourism development (Regione Turistica Adriatico-Jonica, Adriatic Ionian Touristic Routes, etc.). The regional territory has a variety of potential tourist attractors: • Rich cultural heritage, tangible (archaeological sites of Illyrian, Greek and Roman period; Christian and Muslim worship sites; castles; traditional villages) and non tangible (traditional music and dance, craftsmanship, etc.)

• Hospitable people and safe environment.

The analyses and surveys conducted in the Region during the strategic planning process highlighted some major problems, most of which are strongly connected with the tourist exploitation of the territory: • lack of solid waste, water and wastewater management systems • inadequate transport network (especially roads and railway) • uncontrolled construction activities, especially on the coast; numerous informal buildings, mostly unfinished or partly demolished • uncontrolled use of natural resources • lack of attention to public spaces and low urban quality in towns and villages • marginal rural communities • widespread poverty, especially in remote areas • inadequacy of tourist accommodation & services, not in line with European standards.

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Possible developments of the present situation If the above mentioned problems remain unsolved, the consequences on air, water and soil pollution (implying high health risks for people and animals and affecting breeding activities), hydro-geological instability, and lower quality of life levels could become serious. If the concentration of investments on the coast persists, this will probably increase the marginalization of rural communities of the inland, already affected by inadequate infrastructure and transportation systems. More marginalization causes lack of job opportunities, emigration, depopulation of rural villages, loss of cultural heritage and identity, and deterioration of rural landscape. These problems are likely to have a negative impact in the long run, not only on local communities, but also on tourist resources, causing irreversible deterioration of natural attractors and a loss of tourist attractiveness: wastes will continue to spoil the landscape and to pollute water and soil; coasts, completely covered with buildings, will completely loose their appeal and become subject to landslides, collapses, and floods. If the current situation continues, the territory will soon enough enter a regression process and loose competitiveness, hence becoming a degraded place to live and work. Tourists both local and foreign will probably choose other destinations, where landscapes are still intact

and tourist services and accommodation are of higher quality. Alternatively, the Region has the opportunity to choose a different development model, moving towards sustainable tourism that is both ecologically and culturally sensitive having a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping generate income, employment, and preserve local ecosystems. According to the World Tourism Organisation, sustainable tourism is the one that leads to the management of all resources in a manner that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. The 2007 National Tourism Strategy underlines that “Culture, adventure and ‘ecotourism’ are considered to be the fastest growing tourism markets worldwide (…). Tourism focused on independent tourists visiting local communities and participating actively in nature and culture activities has been shown to yield 5 to 10 times more development benefit than large-scale sun and sand tourism per dollar of tourist spending”.

“Despite its large potential, the development of the tourism sector is conditioned by weak infrastructure in some areas, the lack of efficient systems of solid waste treatment, the lack of strict controls over informal construction, low funding for the protection and maintenance of zones with environmental and cultural interest, insufficiently trained human resources [...], lack of cooperation between the public and private sectors and lack of a single private sector umbrella organisation.” 2007-2013 National Strategy for Development and Integration

The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 1 UNSUSTAINABLE

SUSTAINABLE

 Uncontrolled construction activity  Air, water & soil pollution from wastes, involving health risks for people and animals  Hydro-geological instability and safety risks  Low life quality levels  Low accommodation standards  “Monoculture” development of Sun, sea & sand tourism, growing marginalization of the hinterland  Deterioration of landscape as tourist attractor  Loss of tourist attractiveness

 Construction activity under control, effective soil management and territorial planning  Effective waste management  Quality network of tourist resources  Integration between coast and hinterland  Integration between tourism and other sectors  Protection of the environmental assets  Competitive “Vlora Region” tourist product  Increase of tourist attractiveness

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Scenario 2 Rural development & agro-business

Present situation: potentials, problems and opportunities for rural development Albania has an old and valuable tradition in agriculture, which is still the main income and employment generating sector for the largest part of the population. In that respect, Vlora Region reflects the same tendency. Rural activities represent an important part of regional culture and identity. They also are sustainable means to preserve traditional landscapes. The rural areas are also a repository of natural assets, traditions, crafts and tastes that can be powerful attractors for tourists. The main strengths of the regional territory in this area are: • Genuine agro-food products, traditional cuisine; • Potential value chains already identified and mapped: olive oil, sea-fishing and aquaculture, herbs, honey, fruits and vegetables, milk, wine and distillates • Unspoilt natural and rural landscapes • Strong sense of identity and belonging. Besides these positive aspects, the regional rural sector displays some major problems such as the following: • Lack of basic infrastructure (water supply, sanitation systems, solid waste management systems) • Uncontrolled use of natural resources • Inadequacy and/or poor condition of road network, increasing the marginality of rural communities • Widespread poverty, especially in remote areas, often the cause of migration • Small and fragmented family farms, impeding the development of credit market for farmers, of agricultural and agro-processing marketing, as well as of foreign direct investment in agriculture • Unclear property rights • Lack of food quality standards (especially in olive oil and milk production) and of food security • Lack of collective infrastructure for farmers (slaughterhouses, warehouses...)

• Incomplete value chains and lack of food processing • Producers resistance to create and/or join associations. In order to address these structural problems, the Albanian Government included rural development as a key area of intervention in the 2007-2013 National Strategy for Development and Integration and prepared two specific strategies: the Agriculture and Food Strategy (AFSS) and the Inter-Sectoral Rural Development Strategy of Albania (ISRDSA). Priorities and objectives of these thematic strategies can be summarised as follows: • Increase financial support for farms, agriculture and agro-processing • Improve marketing of agricultural and processed products • Increase competitiveness of agriculture, agribusiness and forestry through: modernisation of agriculture, to increase productivity; increase the value added and quality in production and processing, to ensure higher food safety standards and product quality; sustainable, efficient forest management; increase of competence level • Preservation of cultural landscape and environmental protection, also through environment-friendly agricultural practices and sustainable land management • Improve the quality of life in rural areas and promote diversification of economic activities to increase employment, income and living standards, through: creation of employment opportunities in activities complementary to farming such as tourism, processing, and crafts; improvement of the quality of life (villages renewal, basic services etc.) • Develop capacities of local institutions to manage rural development programmes, through participatory rural development. The sector will benefit from the government programme on rural roads, from planned investments in irrigation and drainage, and from the support to development to be offered by the European integration process.

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“A single-sector economy based on tourism is a vulnerable economic development strategy; as such it is not envisaged. To this end, the revitalization of traditional primary industries such as agriculture (...) and fisheries (...), together with programmes to support local arts and crafts and low-impact industries is envisaged. Albania Southern Coast Development Plan

Possible developments of the present situation Environmental issues related to the rural sector such as lack of water, wastewater and solid waste management systems and uncontrolled use of natural resources should be addressed immediately or else their persistence could cause water and soil pollution and high health risks for people and animals, also affecting breeding and farming activities. Additionally it could cause irreversible damages to the environment, which is a potential source of income for rural areas, through the impact it has both on food products quality and on tourism attractiveness. Another risk in the development of the Scenario is “uncontrolled modernisation”, that could lead to a massive use of pesticides and other chemical products to increase agricultural productivity (thus causing further pollution problems) or to the introduction of nonindigenous varieties of agricultural products, that

can cause the loss of typicality in local productions and reduce territorial attractiveness. The challenge is, therefore, to mainstream overall environmental sustainability in regional rural activities, balancing innovation and tradition and enhancing the quality and the security of typical local products. This could allow to recover/improve an harmonic relationship between rural activities and environment, which can represent the regional brand and a powerful resource for tourism development, too. Sustainable rural development, properly integrated with other productive sectors such as tourism and craftsmanship, and supported by infrastructure upgrade and specific policies to boost producers’ association, can make regional products appropriate for regional, national and even international markets. The “sustainable side” of the Scenario can find fertile ground in the Region: this is demonstrated by realities such as the Shushica Valley, where biological agriculture is already widespread and the authenticity of local products is a source of pride for the population. “Markets and food quality standards are still not developed in Albania and increased production needs to be supported by improved marketing, in order to be sustainable. Therefore, support for farm modernisation and market development will be of great importance.” ISRDSA 2007-2013

The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 2 UNSUSTAINABLE

SUSTAINABLE

 Investments in rural tourism without addressing waste & water management problems: air, water and soil pollution from uncollected wastes, health risks for people and animals, hydro-geological instability (landslides and floods)  Use of pesticides and other chemical products  Depopulation of rural communities, emigration  Irreversible deterioration of rural landscapes as tourist attractors and identity marks  Technology and innovation for a few entrepreneurs  Products with no bearing on the local context

 Qualifying typical local products (brands)  Associating producers to enhance competitiveness  Protecting land from pollution & erosion  Organic agriculture  Environment protection to prevent health risks  Differentiation of rural activities - tourist hospitality, renewable energy production, food processing  Connecting with markets - rational and upgraded road network, ICT  Preservation of rural landscape and identity  Balancing innovation and tradition  Integration with tourism and handicraft sectors

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Scenario 3 Services, networks & light industry

Present situation: potentials, problems and opportunities for infrastructure and services development This Scenario deals with a number of issues: tangible and non tangible networks (basic services, energy supply, transports, ICT), health and social care services and light industry (mainly regarding small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector). These aspects are strongly interconnected, because networks and public services represent the basic supply for a territory to be a fertile ground for entrepreneurial development. The transportation and ICT networks provide a mean to move people, goods and information, whilst energy and basic services networks allow enterprises to efficiently use natural resources. Additionally, efficient social care services and effective social inclusion policies are essential to ensure equal opportunities to enter the labour market. Vlora Region experiences a lack of basic services networks: water supply and wastewater management systems, waste management systems, energy supply networks, ICT networks, roads and railroads are either nonexisting or in very poor conditions, hence negatively affecting living and working conditions. Infrastructure problems have a strong negative effect on economic activities, which can not develop without adequate energy supplies and reliable communication networks.

ensure equal access to them, especially in rural and remote areas. The main priorities in that regards are already included in the 2007-2013 National Strategy for Development and Integration and in national thematic strategies, such as the 2008-2013 Sectorial Strategy of Transport, for instance: • Transports - Complete major investments on the national road network, including the North-South corridor, the East-West corridor (Corridor VIII), tourism roads (e.g. the Dhermi-Saranda road, the access road to Butrint) and border crossing points roads (e.g. the Saranda-Konispol); improve local and rural road network in cooperation with local governments; establish the intercity and international bus terminals in the most important Albanian cities; develop ports on the basis of master plans for their functional specialisation and harmonised development; develop domestic air transport. • ICT - Development of information technology in urban centres and subsequently in rural areas, and distribution of telecommunications and internet services across all regions. • Energy - Encourage the efficient use of energy, also by promoting the use of modern technologies in industry, services and agriculture for efficient energy supply; increase energy supply based on the concepts of least cost planning and lowest environmental impact; diversify energy sources and increase the use of renewable energy.

Furthermore other public facilities such as social and health care are still distant from European standards. In spite of this situation, Albania aims to join the EU. In this prospect, Vlora Region will play an important role in the Corridor VIII project – a multimodal axis connecting Southern Italy to the Black Sea, including the port of Vlora (currently subject of an enlargement project funded by Italian Cooperation). Therefore, both the country and the Region must commit to the effort of upgrading infrastructure and services and

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• Water - Increase the coverage of water supply, sewerage and wastewater treatment services. • Environment - Improve solid waste management (i.e. by creating landfills that comply with EU standards and rehabilitating contaminated land); foster industries technological improvement. • Health & social care services - Decentralise social care services; institutionalise relations with NGOs; transform residential services into mobile and community based services; increase social inclusion of disadvantaged groups. • Economic activities - Define an industrial policy aimed to increase competitiveness, modernisation, diversification and specialisation; promote foreign investment and exports; strengthen SMEs: develop entrepreneurial culture; improve training; support business development through onestop shops; improve business services quality; facilitate technology transfer; improve financial support; support internationalisation.

Possible developments of the present situation Ongoing policies acknowledge the necessity to upgrade the infrastructure and services networks on the national territory, with a constant focus on environmental sustainability. The risk is that the lack of financial resources causes delays in the

implementation of strategies and concentration on short-term outlooks, losing sight of the overall sustainability and coordination of interventions. In particular from an environmental point of view, delays and lack of coordination and of a longterm vision can cause considerable damages. The impact of uncontrolled economic growth could increase air, water and soil pollution resulting from uncollected waste, untreated wastewater, industrial activities and traditional energy production, thus irreversibly deteriorating natural attractors. Also, the improvement of the road network can worsen hydro-geological instability, and create socio-economic unbalance when not accompanied by the creation of job opportunities in remote areas. The best way to keep this development Scenario under control is to keep all its components constantly coordinated, so that all sector policies converge on the same objectives and are consistent.

“Infrastructure must be designed to minimise negative environmental impacts and be prioritised and phased to facilitate development objectives, consistent with available resources.” Albania Southern Coast Development Plan “Increasing the opportunities of the Albanian economy, in order to adapt to the logic of internationalisation and integration into the world markets, requires diversification of existing products and services and production of output with high added value.” 2007-2013 National Strategy for Development and Integration

The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 3 UNSUSTAINABLE

SUSTAINABLE

 Pollution from uncollected wastes, industrial activities and traditional energy production  Growing competition from developing Countries in traditional manufacturing sectors  Industrial development, causing growing energy supply problems  Internal migration and depopulation of remote areas  Landslide risks if the road network is poorly designed and built  Out-of-control building activity with no attention to urban quality, causing low quality of life in towns and villages  Deterioration of the environment as a tourist attractor

 Pollution control and renewable energy production  Quality productions with more added value  Business innovation and internationalization  Integration among all productive sectors  “Green economy”  Sustainable mobility and ICT development  Equal access to resources for development  Control of the territory and improvement of urban quality in towns and villages  Environment as a resource for development

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CHAPTER 2

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

A view of the coast in Ksamil

2.1. Methodological introduction The Vision for the future development of Vlora Region, and the Strategy proposed to achieve it was drafted starting from and according to: • the survey of plans and programmes currently operating in the regional territory, with a special focus on the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan • the survey of researches and sector analyses conducted so far • the information collected during the territorial surveys • the results of the meetings (with national, regional and local authorities, County Partnership Council, international cooperation bodies) and participation events (Kick-Off of the strategic planning initiative, Open Days in Vlora and Saranda, public debates) organised in the framework of the strategic planning process.

Therefore, the Vision conveys the local actors desires and needs, directly or indirectly expressed during the meetings and participatory events, and harmonises them with the current situation of the territory, ongoing programs and national policies and goals. The result of this processing activity is an image of a possible, desirable future for Vlora Region – an image that can direct all future development initiatives. Both Vision and Strategy were discussed with regional and local actors during two meetings held in December 2010: a restricted meeting with a panel of experts chosen by the Regional Council staff and a public consultation, where the draft versions of Vision and Strategy were presented, debated and reviewed with local stakeholders. Therefore, the following Vision and Strategy should be considered as fully shared and agreed upon by the whole regional community.

The Vision and the Strategy for regional development VISION Future image of the Region, directing development policies

STRATEGIC GUIDELINES

ACTIONS

Directions to follow to achieve the Vision

To fill the gap between present & future

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2.2. Participation in the strategy definition Open Days and Public Debates In order to outline a regional development strategy shared by most territorial actors, this phase of the participation process included two steps: • the Open Days, aimed to identify critical territorial issues and start the joint definition of Vlora Region development strategy • the Public Debates, where the draft Vision and Strategy for regional development (prepared by Strategic Planning experts based on the Open Days results) were shared with all territorial actors.

Open Days 17-19 November 2010 After the Kick-Off events, the Open Days represented the second step to foster democratic discussion on development issues and outline shared sustainable development strategies in Vlora Region. In order to improve the involvement of all regional actors in the process, two Open Days were held in November, one in Vlora and one in Saranda. The specific objectives of these public discussion events were to: • Bring together and foster collaboration among territorial actors • Stimulate democratic discussions on topics considered crucial for regional development • Identify priorities and proposals for the discussion topics proposed • Discuss the possible development Scenarios for the Region • Outline a draft development strategy using a participatory approach.

4. Rural development and diversification of rural activities Each workshop started with a brief explanation of the objectives of the debate and a presentation of a photographic SWOT analysis and of possible development Scenarios, aimed to introduce the talking point and support and stimulate discussions. It was then followed by public debates, which were led using a variation of the participative methodology EASW (European Awareness Scenario Workshop). At the end of the meetings, conclusions were drawn, identifying the keywords of the debate and the main results achieved. The debates involved more than 100 participants. The Open Days were also important to rediscover and confirm the importance of traditional culture in the Region. The meetings were enlivened by short iso-polyphony concerts, held by groups of local musicians and singers, which were highly appreciated by the participants. In addition to that, traditional costumes were displayed. Boards explaining the main discussion topics (in English and in Albanian) were prepared for each workshop, and a sheet containing the rules to observe during the debates was distributed to participants in order to regulate discussions, together with a glossary explaining the main technical terms used in the strategic planning process.

Each Open Day was subdivided into four thematic workshops, based on crucial issues for sustainable regional development. 1. Environment and infrastructure networks for sustainability 2. Cultural heritage and tourism 3. Social issues

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The Open Days Thematic Workshops Main discussion topics THEMATIC WORKSHOP 1

THEMATIC WORKSHOP 4

Environment and infrastructure networks for sustainability

Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities

• • • •

• High quality agro-food products: certification and brands • Short production and distribution chains • Producers' associations • Sustainable rural tourism • Innovative vocational training and job opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, breeding, food processing, marketing and rural tourism • Environmental awareness of producers • Infrastructure for production

Environment and landscape protection Waste management Water and wastewater management Innovative vocational training and job opportunities in the sectors of "clean" energy and environmental services • Environmental awareness • Energy production and industrial activities • Sustainable mobility: road network and public transportation • Urban quality: public spaces, green areas, sport facilities, urban decorum

THEMATIC WORKSHOP 2 Cultural heritage and tourism • Identity and cultural heritage: preservation and enhancement • Sustainable tourism based on cultural assets • Innovative vocational training and job opportunities in the sectors of cultural assets' management, high-quality hospitality and tourist services • Destination management

THEMATIC WORKSHOP 3 Social issues • Health services • Social care services • Social inclusion • Innovative vocational training and job opportunities in the social sector

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Open Days Outputs and achieved results

Vlora 17 November 2010 During the meeting, moderated by SP experts and by AULEDA, were presented the current status of the strategic planning process, the main discussion topics and the possible regional development scenarios. Participation to the workshops was satisfactory (about 50 registered participants) whilst all actors proved to be interested and willing to highlight critical aspects of the regional territory to be addressed by the Strategic Plan. The main issues and objectives discussed, which will represent the “skeleton” of the regional development strategy, were the following.

Workshop 1 Environment protection and infrastructure networks for sustainability • Solid waste management – Development of separate collection of solid waste and fast creation of a waste management system (i.e. by creating landfills in suitable territories). • Preservation of natural areas, which represent a resource for tourism development. • Effective urban planning and control, especially in coastal areas. • Promotion of environment-friendly industrial development. • Drinking water sources, water and wastewater management, sewage system. The many sources of drinking water in the region are subject to high pollution risks and purification plants are urgently needed, to preserve seawater and foster tourism. • Connections between the port of Vlora and the urban asset of the city: the project for the renewal of the port (funded by the Italian Cooperation and scheduled to start within next year) envisages 2 distinct zones, a commercial zone and a marina, with 2 separate accesses,

which need to be properly connected with urban road and services networks. • Potential role of the strategic plan as a multilevel platform where local and national development policies can meet and coordinate. • Preservation/creation of green areas in the city. • Reorganisation of the road network in Vlora for more effective traffic control.

Workshop 2 Cultural heritage and tourism • Accessibility of cultural heritage: training of tourist guides, tour organisation, reorganisation of the management of museums and cultural heritage sites, enhancement of networks (roads, lighting, etc.). • Maintenance, restoration and management of monuments and sites. • Craftsmanship development: many crafts are slowly disappearing because of the competition with other developing countries, emigration, taxation system that does not support artisans. Some proposals: outline national tax breaks policies; foster craftsmen associations; boost handicraft quality and promote a register for artisans; identify spaces to sell craftsmanship products, especially in tourist areas; encourage the development of art galleries, also to support local artists. • Integration of cultural tourism, ecotourism, sport tourism, in order to differentiate the tourist product and make tourism less seasonal; integration among different economic sectors. • Enhance quality (of environment, of accommodation facilities, of services) to satisfy foreign tourists and enter international tourism market. • Vocational training and university education in the culture and tourism sectors; integration between education and business world. • Valorisation of iso-polyphony as a resource to preserve and transmit to young generations. It is a mark of local identity and can represent an attractor for cultural tourism.

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www.artgold.undp.org.al

Workshop 3 Social issues • Increase structures to deliver social care services, especially for children, people with disabilities, and elderly; implementation of the Social Plan funded by Regione Emilia Romagna. • “Child-friendly strategic plan”. • Encourage donations and investments in social projects from private sector. • Social integration of disadvantaged groups (people with mental disabilities, ethnic minorities, women, etc.) through social housing, vocational training and appropriate employment programmes. • Assistance to graduates in search of employment. • Collaboration among associations, municipal offices and regional labour office. • Integration between education and training policies and the business sphere.

Workshop 4 Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities • Improve water management and canalisation systems to irrigate fields. • Encourage producers associations to overcome the problems of land property fragmentation and scarce productivity. • Improve export agricultural products quality through brands creation, marketing and certification; improve consumers awareness and food security. • Enhance food processing for fruits, honey, etc. • Development of agro-tourism. • Match production and market demand, giving producers the opportunity to access market analyses. • Economic and financial support to farmers. • Coordinate with the national policies in the rural development sector. At the end of the meetings conclusions were drawn by identifying the keywords of the debate: fragmentation (of productions, land, policies, etc.); training and capacity building; coordination and association (among producers, institutions, government levels, etc.). Uncertain land property rights resulted a major issue that can hamper development in all sectors.

AGA2

www.auleda.org

HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

Ali Pasha Caste in Porto Palermo management

CULTURAL HERITAGE Narta

Zvernec monastery salt-works

LANDSCAPE

CULTURAL HERITAGE

POLYPHONY Shushica Valley

TRADITIONS

HANDICRAFTCulture & identity

ceramics tradition

folklore

Textile

KNOW-HOW

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

history tourism

IDENTITY

BUTRINT

ARCHAEOLOGY

accessibility

excavations

ORIKUM Tourist information AMANTIA Above: An extract of the poster displaying a protographic SWOT analysis prepared for Workshop 1

MILITARY AREAS submarines

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accessibility

mines

pollution DECAY

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Saranda 19 November 2010

• Sustainability of tourism, also in respect to the residents quality of life.

In order to empower local actors, during the Open Day in Saranda, the SP experts supported AULEDA staff and board members in moderating activities, thus training them onthe-job in managing participation processes. Therefore, workshops 1 and 2 were moderated by the Director of AULEDA, while Workshops 3 and 4 were moderated by the President of AULEDA board. Participation was satisfactory (more than 60 people in total) and participants were willing to highlight critical aspects of the regional territory, and propose concrete initiatives to address them. The debate on Social Issues was especially heated and productive. The main issues discussed were the following.

Workshop 1 Environment protection and infrastructure networks for sustainability • River system as a resource for local economy - Need for monitoring to avoid floods. • Fight hydro-geological instability - Need for monitoring and specific interventions to prevent landslides and fight erosion. • Develop services networks to preserve natural resources: waste management system, sewage systems, water treatment plants. • Plan urban development in Saranda. • Preserve forests (especially in Butrint area). • Valorise healing waters in the Butrint lake area. • Increase harbours for fishing boats. • Enhance connections with Greece and other regions, as an opportunity for development. • Coordination with national policies.

Workshop 2 Cultural heritage and tourism • Training tourist guides specialised in cultural heritage and cultural tourism. • Improve transport networks and services. • Effective waste management as a crucial issue for tourism development. • Foster investments in cultural tourism and qualify infrastructure and services for the improvement of “sun, sea & sand” tourism. • Valorisation of monasteries and archaeological sites (still to be fully excavated).

Workshop 3 Social issues • Women empowerment - Project proposals to increase women occupation: create a handicraft enterprise in Saranda, to produce artistic souvenirs for tourists; recover past experiences in food processing businesses (fruits, bakery, etc.) carried out in rural areas; define employment programmes in the sector of the maintenance of public spaces; foster familiar tourism projects; create a help centre for women (victims of violence, disadvantaged, returnees from emigration, etc.). • Mental health care – Project proposal: creation of a rehabilitation centre. • Services for the elderly – Project proposals: enhancement of home care; improvement of professional training; creation of “tradition schools” or “crafts schools” to valorise the elder’s knowledge and skills in order to pass them to young generations and to encourage the creation of handicraft enterprises, to be supported by AULEDA. • Child protection – Project proposals: transform the residential centre for children in Saranda into a temporary guest house to take care of children whose mothers are employed in the tourism or agribusiness sectors; creation of playgrounds; “Childfriendly strategic plan”. • Social integration of Roma ethnic minority – Project proposal: school integration of Roma children and sensitisation of their families. • Health services – Project proposals: upgrade Saranda hospital and purchase new equipments; create a maternity hospital; training of young specialists; adaptation to EU standards for health services; increase community health centres in small communes.

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Workshop 4 Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities

• Improve differentiation, packaging and marketing of local products.

• Water monitoring and management to prevent floods. • Increase of specialised personnel and infrastructure in the veterinary sector. • Direct productions towards quality standards to make them fit for export. • Qualify the mussels-farming sector and create the related food processing plants. • Development of the fishing sector.

At the end of the day, a plenary discussion was held, to draw conclusions of the meetings: the keywords identified in the first two workshops were “capacity building and training”, “coordination”, “road network”, “rivers”, “territory” and “waste management”, while in the other two the focus was on the social integration of disadvantaged people, and on the orientation of local productions towards quality standards to foster international export.

STRATEGIC PLANNING OF VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

DITE E HAPUR OPEN DAYS Nentor 2010 November 2010

SEMINARE TEMATIKE Prodhimet bujqesore dhe diversifikimi i aktiviteteve rurale Prodhime agro-ushqimore të cilësisë së lartë: certifikimi, markat Mungesë prodhimi dhe rrjete shpërndarjesh Shoqatat e prodhuesve Turizmi rural I qëndrueshëm Kurse kualifikimi dhe mundësi punësimi në sektorët e bujqësisë, marketimit, përpunimit ushqimor, marketingut dhe turizmit rural Infrastruktura prodhuese

One of the boards prepared for the Open Days, listing the discussion topics of Workshop 4

UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania www.artgold.undp.org.al

AGA2

THEMATIC WORKSHOP Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities High-quality agro-food products: certification and brands Short production & distribution chains Producers' associations Sustainable rural tourism Innovative vocational training and job opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, breeding, food processing, marketing, rural tourism Infrastructure for production

AULEDA www.auleda.org

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Above: The event card prepared for the Open Days Below: Two moments of the Round table with the experts and an image of the Public Debates in Vlora

Public Debates 14-15 December 2010 The results of the Open Days guided the preparation of a draft Vision and Strategy for regional development. The public debate organised in December and the previous round table with a panel of experts and intellectuals chosen by the Regional Council, were the occasions to present the draft and to discuss and review it with the territorial actors, gathering, at the same time, opinions and proposals useful for the process prosecution. Both meetings included the presentation of the current status of the strategic planning process and the display of the draft Vision, Strategic Guidelines and Actions for regional development. The objective was to encourage participants to provide comments and remarks about Vision, Strategic Guidelines and Actions.

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gjik i fëmijëve doleshentëve

fshirja sociale

te materiale e e dhe energjia

i dhe ruajtja e timi i peisazhit

trashëgimisë urore rajonale

i dhe trajnimi

e akuakulturë

et tipike rurale dhe artizanati

uar tek turizmi

tegjike:

lores si Territor"

qellim ndarjen e nje hipoteze villimin rajonal

DOSUR EGJINE

odh tani:

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the Education & brochure Training Enhancement of regional to prepared Cultural Heritage support Environment and landscape preservation discussion and rehabilitation the Material and within nonmaterial networks and energy Public Social inclusion debates in The strategic plan of December children and teens

sides of Fishing & Aquaculture

Typical rural products and handicraftThe two

Community based tourism

9 Strategic Guidelines:

1 Vision: Vlora Region as a “Zero Emission Territory”

Discussion aims to share and review an hypothesis of regional development strategy:

DEFINING THE STRATEGY

what happens now:

The strategic plan of children and teens

Social inclusion

AULEDA

tel./fax +355 33 222664 e-mail: auledavlore@yahoo.com website: www.auleda.org

tel./fax +355 4 2373913 website: www.artgold.undp.org.al

CONTACTS

UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania

KONTAKTE

UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania www.artgold.undp.org.al

AGA2

Dhjetor 2010

per diskutimin e strategjise se zhvillimit rajonal

AULEDA www.auleda.org

December 2010

to discuss the regional development strategy

DEBAT PUBLIK PUBLIC DEBATE

“Towards Sustainabe Development”

STRATEGIC PLANNING

QARKU VLORE VLORA REGION

“Drejt një Zhvillimi të Qëndrueshëm”

PLANIFIKIMI STRATEGJIK

2. Typical rural products and handicraft

2. Produktet tipike rurale dhe artizanati

4.5. Fuqizimin e Arsimit dhe trajnimit në sektorët kyc te zhvillimit rajonal

4.4. Edukimi dhe trajnimi i personelit ekspert në planifikim dhe krijimin e shoqatave

5. Rritja e trashëgimisë kulturore rajonale

9.1. Promovimi i autonomise se fëmijëve 9.2. Promovimi i pjesmarrjes aktive te fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve ne planifikimin urban dhe menaxhimin 9.3. Rritja e përfshirjes së fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve në aktivitete sociale dhe kulturore dhe në zbulimin e trashëgimisë kulturore 9.4. Përmirësimi i qëndrueshmërisë së mjedisit dhe i cilësisë urbane në qytete dhe fshatra

9. Plani strategjik i fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve

8.1. Forcimi i integrimit social dhe lufta ndaj varfërisë përmes programeve të nxitjes se punësimit 8.2. Përmirësimi dhe sherbime te reja per kujdesin social 8.3. Përmirësimi i shërbimeve publike shëndetësore 8.4. Rritja e pjesëmarrjes së komunitetit lokal në politikat e zhvillimit rajonal

8. Përfshirja sociale

7.1. Rritja e rrjeteve të transportit për të përmirësuar aksesin territorial dhe konkurrencën, në kuadër të projektit të Korridorit VIII 7.2. Teknologjitë e Informacionit dhe Komunikimit (TIK) 7.3. Promovimi i energjisë së rinovueshme dhe i kursimit të energjisë

9.1. Promoting children autonomy 9.2. Promoting children and teens active participation to urban planning and management 9.3. Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage 9.4. Improving environmental sustainability & urban quality in towns and villages

9. The strategic plan of children and teens

8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work placement programs 8.2. Improving and innovating social care services 8.3. Improving public health services 8.4. Increasing participation of local communities in regional development policies

8. Social inclusion

7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility and competitiveness, in the framework of the Corridor VIII project 7.2. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 7.3. Promotion of renewable energy and energy saving

7. Material and nonmaterial networks and energy

6.1. Protection and sustainable development of natural areas and landscapes and preservation of biodiversity 6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management 6.3. Eco-sustainable solid waste management 6.4. Protection of the territory from hydrogeological risk

7. Rrjete materiale e jomateriale dhe energjia

6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation 6. Mjedisi dhe ruajtja e rehabilitimi i peisazhit

5.2. Empowerment of the value chains connected with cultural production and heritage, including artistic craftsmanship, traditional music & contemporary art

5.1. Knowledge, preservation, restoration and qualification of historical assets, through innovative management and the creation of integrated networks

5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage

SCENARIO 3. SERVICES, NETWORKS AND LIGHT INDUSTRY

SCENARIO 2. RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND AGRO-BUSINESS

SCENARIO 1. TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Analyses conducted and meetings held in the framework of the strategic planning process allowed to identify 3 possible scenarios for regional development:

SCENARIOS

what happened so far:

6.1. Mbrojtja dhe zhvillimi i qëndrueshëm i zonave natyrore dhe peisazheve si dhe ruajtjen e biodiversitetit 6.2. Ruajtja e burimeve te ujit dhe menaxhimi i ciklit të ujit 6.3. Menaxhim i eko-qendrueshem i mbeturinave të ngurta 6.4. Mbrojtja e territorit nga rreziku hidrogjeologjik

5.1. Njohje, ruajtje, restaurimin dhe kualifikimin e aseteve historike, nëpërmjet menaxhimit inovativ dhe krijimin e rrjeteve të integruara 5.2. Fuqizimi i zinxhirëve te vlerës te lidhur me produktet kulturore dhe te trashegimise, duke përfshirë zejtari artistike, muzikë tradicionale dhe artin bashkëkohor

SKENARI 3. SHEBIME, RRJETE DHE INDUSTRI E LEHTE

SKENARI 2. ZHVILLIMI RURAL DHE AGRO BIZNESI

SKENARI 1. ZHVILLIMI I TURIZMIT

Analizat e kryera takimet e mbajtura ne kuader te procesit te planifikimit strategjik kane mundesuar identifikimin e 3 skenareve te mundshem per zhvillimin rajonal:

SKENARE

cfarë është bërë deri tani:

VISION: V L O R A R E G I O N A S A “ Z E R O E M I S S I O N S T E R R I T O R Y ” - Z E T

4.5. Education & training empowerment in regional development key sectors

4.4. Education & training of experts in planning and association creation

4.2. Empowerment of accessibility to education & training (funding, scholarships...) 4.3. Empowerment and promotion of international exchange training programs

4.2. Fuqizimi i qasjes në arsim dhe trajnim përmes financimit dhe bursave

4.3. Fuqizimi dhe promovimi i programeve ndërkombëtare të trajnimit dhe shkëmbimit

4.1. Valorisation of existing education & training activities, strengthening their links with national and international enterprises

4. Education and training

3.3. Empowerment of land ports & development of moorings integrated services 3.4. Rationalization & empowerment of production supporting infrastructure system in an integrated vision

3.2. Lagoon ecosystems conservation

3.1. Finalization and valorisation of fish products value chains

3. Fishing and aquaculture

2.3. Incentivize & support enterprises credit accessibility for farmers, breeders, and craftsmen

2.2. Encourage producers’ grouping

4.1. Vlerësim të arsimit ekzistues dhe aktiviteteve trajnuese duke forcuar lidhjet e tyre me sipermarjet kombetare dhe nderkombetare

4. Arsimi & trajnimi

3.4. Racionalizimin dhe fuqizimin e prodhimit duke mbështetur sistemin e infrastrukturës në një vizion të integruar

3.3. Fuqizimi i porteve tokësore dhe zhvillimin e shërbimeve të integruara te ankorimit

3.2. Ruajtja e ekosistemeve te lagunave

3.1. Finalizimi dhe vlerësimi i zinxhirit te vleres se produkteve të peshkut

3. Peshkim & akuakulturë

2.3. Stimulim dhe mbështetje ne aksesin e kredive të ndermarrjeve per fermerët, blegtorët, artizanët

2.2. Inkurajimi i grupimit te prodhuesve

2.1. Promovimi i produkteve tipike dhe fuqizimi i konkurrencës të bazuara ne cilësi për eksport

1.4. Përmirësimi i infrastrukturës dhe i shërbimeve për turizmin

2.1. Promotion of typical products and empowerment of competitiveness based on quality for exportation

1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structures 1.3. Valorisation and integration of cultural identities and landscape and environmental resources for tourist development and differentiation 1.4. Improving infrastructure and services for tourism

1.3. Vlerësimi dhe integrimi i identiteteve kulturore dhe i burimeve peizazhike dhe mjedisore për zhvillimin e turizmit dhe diferencimin e tij

1.2. Kualifikimi dhe diversifikimi i strukturave të akomodimit

1.1. Tourist communication and marketing empowerment

1. Community based tourism

1. Komuniteti bazuar tek turizmi

1.1. Komunikimi turistik dhe fuqizimi i marketingut

STRATEGY:

STRATEGIC GUIDELINES & ACTIONS

STRATEGJI:

UDHËZIME STRATEGJIKE DHE VEPRIME

VIZIONI: Q A R K U I V L O R E S S I N J E " Z E R O E M I S I O N T E R R I T O R " - Z E T

Plani strategjik i fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve

Përfshirja sociale

Material and nonmaterial networks and energy

Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation

Mjedisi dhe ruajtja e rehabilitimi i peisazhit

Rrjete materiale e jomateriale dhe energjia

Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage

Education & Training

Rritja e trashëgimisë kulturore rajonale

Fishing & Aquaculture

Arsimi dhe trajnimi

Typical rural products and handicraft

Peshkim dhe akuakulturë

Produktet tipike rurale dhe artizanati

Community based tourism

9 Strategic Guidelines:

9 Udhëzime Strategjike:

Komuniteti bazuar tek turizmi

1 Vision: Vlora Region as a “Zero Emission Territory”

1 Vizioni: Qarku i Vlores si nje "Zero Emision Territor"

Discussion aims to share and review an hypothesis of regional development strategy:

Diskutimet kane si qellim ndarjen dhe rishikimin e nje hipoteze strategjie per zhvillimin rajonal

DEFINING THE STRATEGY

what happens now:

cfare ndodh tani:

DUKE VENDOSUR STRATEGJINE

VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

e-

w

U

KO


VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Public Debates Outputs and achieved results

The round table with intellectuals and experts and the following public consultation meeting involved nearly 100 persons (36 for the round table with experts, 61 for the public consultation). During the meetings, the proposed regional development Vision and Strategy were widely shared and approved. The strategic planning process received a very positive feedback: all territorial actors appreciated the fact that the draft development strategy considered and incorporated all suggestions and proposals coming from the local community and discussed during the previous meetings. The Regional staff showed increased ownership of the SP, and the consistency between the proposed Strategy and the National Government objectives was emphasized. The need of recognition of the draft strategy by all regional municipalities was one of the issues emerged from the discussion: every Municipality should have a designed group to contribute to the draft Strategy with studies and projects. Approval of regional laws in line with the SP would be a logical flow of such a process.

the creation of a University centre for the protection and sustainable development of sea and wetlands, or through the empowerment of University education in the cultural heritage sector) • social issues deserve more attention, and a focus on the elderly, children, and the increase of day care centres and cultural centres is needed • more opportunities for industrial development should be identified • urbanisation control in rural areas should be promoted • protected natural areas should be increased, to get closer to EU models • special attention should be paid to the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage sites in the hinterland, which are the most neglected • the creation of a health care centres network should be included in the SP.

The meetings in Vlora also highlighted some issues to be included and/or taken more into account in reviewing the regional development Strategy: • a focus on the Port of Vlora and on other regional ports is advisable • a stronger involvement of the public University of Vlora is requested (i.e. through

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

2.3. Vision for regional development

The Vision for regional development is:

Vlora Region 2020: “Zero Emissions Territory - ZET” By 2020, Vlora Region should become a territory where sustainability is on focus in all sectors of human activity and where all development policies and initiatives are coordinated and synergic, thus positively affecting the whole regional community. In this Vision, the strong potentials of the Region as a tourist destination (cultural heritage, natural sites, hospitable people, traditional cuisine, typical agro-food products...) are fully taken advantage of and enhanced as a network. The Vision represents a complete overturning of the current trends, because it is based on the idea that, in order to be really attractive (to tourists, but also to residents and entrepreneurs), a territory has to offer well-preserved cultural and natural assets, a strong and peculiar identity, qualified human resources, efficient services and social cohesion. The development model followed so far should be completely transformed: the Region should

reject “mass tourism” and choose to meet the growing global demand of culture tourism ecotourism and rural tourism. Moreover, in order to promote more sustainable kinds of tourism, environmental sustainability and quality criteria should be applied to all aspects of the territory: tourist accommodation, transports, solid waste management, water and wastewater management, productive activities, building activities, etc. In this way, the Region can become a “Zero Emissions Territory” (ZET), where environmental protection is not a limit but an opportunity to foster innovation, socio-economic development and professional growth. In the long run, this leads to an increase in qualified employment and to the preservation of the main attractors of the Region, thus maintaining and increasing tourist flows. By adequately enhancing all its potentials, the Region can become an integral part of the tourist product “Albania to discover” outlined by the National Tourism Strategy; it can improve and coordinate its offer of nature, traditional and biologic products, cultural and sports activities, in order to entice tourists to spend more days in the region and to fully experience local lifestyles.

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

From the Scenarios to the Vision Towards the ZET

As for the transition from the Scenarios to the Vision, the “Zero Emissions Territory” represents the evolution of the possible development scenarios the regional actors wish for. The strategic planning process pondered on the kind of development model the Region envisaged for its own future, and public debates

highlighted the regional actors willingness to choose the “sustainable side” of each Scenario. In this sense, the Vision provides an answer to the question, expressing the Region choice for sustainable development. The diagram below synthesises the path covered from the Scenarios to the Vision.

The transition from the Scenarios to the Vision

SCENARIO 1.

Sustainable

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Unsustainable

SCENARIO 2. RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND AGROBUSINESS

SCENARIO 3. SERVICES, NETWORKS AND LIGHT INDUSTRY

Sustainable Unsustainable

Sustainable Unsustainable

• Building activity under control, soil management and territorial planning • Effective waste management • Quality network of tourist resources • Coast-hinterland integration • Integration between tourism and other sectors • Protection of environmental assets • Competitive “Vlora region” tourist product • Increase of tourist attractiveness • Qualify typical local products (brands) • Associate producers • Protect land from pollution and erosion • Biological agriculture • Environment protection • Differentiation of rural activities • Connecting with markets rational road network, ICT • Preservation of rural landscape and identity • Balance innovation and tradition • Integration with tourism sector

Vlora as a Zero Emissions Territory (ZET)

• Pollution control, promotion of renewable energy • Quality productions - more added value • Business innovation & internationalization • Integration among all productive sectors • “Green economy” • Sustainable mobility and ICT • Equal access to resources for development • Territory control, improved urban quality • Environment as a resource for development

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

2.4. Strategic Guidelines and Actions

The Strategy for regional development consists of: • 9 Strategic Guidelines (SG), addressing the main critical aspects of the Region. Each Guideline is subdivided into Actions, for a total of • 33 Actions, each of them including a number of categories of intervention, which specify and explain the Action scope. Guidelines and Actions were prepared also using the programmes for the allocation of EU

structural funds in the Italian regions as a reference model. This was done to ensure that the development programme for Vlora Region fits European Union standards. In this way, the SP shall work as a shared basis and a model to prepare structural funds programmes when Albania becomes a EU member. The 9 Strategic Guidelines are listed below. Issues such as gender equality, legality, social and environmental sustainability, etc. should be considered as cross-cutting issues and general goals for all Strategic Guidelines.

The 9 Strategic Guidelines SG1. Community based tourism SG2. Typical rural products and handicraft SG3. Fishing and Aquaculture SG4. Education and Training SG5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage SG6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation SG7. Material and nonmaterial networks and energy SG8. Social inclusion SG9. The strategic plan of children and teens

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

Strategic Guideline 1 Community based tourism

Background: The data and information collected through analysis and surveys emphasized the high tourist potential of Vlora Region and political willingness, at all levels, to take advantage of it. Tourism development was pointed out as one of the most likely scenarios for regional development. Nevertheless, to preserve environmental and cultural heritage (which are the main tourist attractors in the region) and attract international tourists (who expect high quality standards from a Country aspiring to join EU) it is necessary to change the tourism development model followed so far and direct it towards environmental and social sustainability. This implies creating a more diversified tourist offer, integrating coast and hinterland through thematic itineraries including well-preserved attractors and high quality accommodation and services. Additionally, an effective communication and marketing activity will be crucial for the success of “Vlora Region” tourist product.

Objective: Development of a diversified regional tourist product that fulfils European quality standards.

Actions: 1.1. Tourist information services, effective territorial communication and marketing • •

Marketing plan for the regional territory Tourist communication campaigns

1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structures • • • •

Accommodation structures qualification through stars certification Assistance packages for accommodation structure aimed to quality certification Incentive to B&B and farm holiday creation in a territorial sustainability perspective Extension of rural hospitality offers to different realities as socially responsible tourism

1.3. Valorisation and integration of cultural identities and landscape and environmental resources for tourist development and differentiation • • • • • •

Construction of sporting routes and facilities for different tourist offers development Valorisation and promotion of typical local handicraft Creation of naturalistic footpaths and facilities Creation of “wine and food” itineraries Creation of integrated tourism packages: accommodation structures and typical products to promote the quality of rural life through territorial and cultural marketing Valorisation of social and therapeutic function of environment and rhythms of rural living for social uneasiness

1.4. Improving infrastructure and services for tourism • • •

Tourist resort accessibility improvement through tourist transport association creation Creation of land ports and development of quayside integrated services in coastal villages Former state buildings recovery and restoration to be converted into tourist structures

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Strategic Guideline 2 Typical rural products and handicraft

Background: Analyses and surveys conducted highlighted the relevance of the agro-food sector in the Region, as well as the existence of local products and value chains with competitive potential (olive oil, herbs, textile handicraft, etc.). The enhancement of these resources is crucial for the sustainable development of rural areas, which for the most part are poor, isolated and subject to emigration and depopulation. The Strategic Guideline 2 intervenes on the main critical aspects of the regional primary sector, also highlighted during the public consultations: incomplete value chains, lack of quality certification policies and small dimension of enterprises, causing difficult access to credit, markets and technology.

Objective: Strengthen the agro-food sector by differentiating the sources of income, fostering the creation of producers’ associations, developing value chains and increasing quality of products.

Actions: 2.1. Promotion of typical products and increase of quality products for export purpose • Integration of typical products in tourist packages for a territorial valorisation • • • • • • • • • • •

Promotion of brand policies and incentive to farmers participation in food quality systems for quality certification achievement Support the modernisation of farms, production techniques and systems Finalization and valorisation of value chains Enhancement and valorisation of typical products Recovery of traditional production techniques Incentivize and support craftsmen associations and development of crafts markets where craftsmen reproduce traditional craft production techniques Facilities for enterprises association to participate in national and international exhibitions and fairs Mainstream quality control, safety and security food certification system (HACCP) Recovery of traditional agricultural landscape and cultural elements Communication and promotion of agricultural typical products Creation of a typical products pannier representative of local tradition

2.2. Encourage producers grouping • •

Realization and improvement of necessary infrastructures for typical agricultural production managed by enterprises association Incentivize enterprises association through information, assistance and training packages

2.3. Incentivize and support enterprises credit accessibility for farmers, breeders and craftsmen

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Strategic Guideline 3 Fishing and aquaculture

Background: The extension of the coastal area and the existence of three lagoons (Narta, Orikum and Butrint), together with their related natural habitats and economic activities (mostly sea fishing and shellfish farming) are important resources that are not yet fully used for the development of Vlora Region. The Strategy includes therefore not only the protection and conservation of these natural environments or the enhancement of seaside and natural tourism, but also the sustainable development of coastal and wetlands resources to implement aquaculture systems or to develop moorings integrated services, to support tourism.

Objective: Strengthen the sector of fishing and aquaculture, through the development of infrastructure and the qualification of products in an environmental sustainable perspective.

Actions: 3.1. Finalization and valorisation of fish products value chains • • • •

Incentivize fish preservation enterprises association through information, assistance and training packages Support the achievement of safety and security food certification Creation, valorisation and promotion of those brands with high added value in terms of environment protection and energy conservation Development of local shellfish farming and improvement of product safety and typicality promotion aimed to exportation

3.2. Lagoon ecosystems conservation • •

Protection, maintenance and sustainable development of wetlands Enhance environmental awareness of people living and working in wetlands

3.3. Renovation of land ports and development of moorings integrated services • •

Infrastructure development to ease fishing activities Development of facilities and services to enhance fishing tourism and marine ecotourism

3.4. Rationalization and strengthening of production-support infrastructure system in an integrated vision • •

Realisation of infrastructure to support fishing and shellfish farming, managed by fishermen and producers associations Development of selling and marketing facilities

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Strategic Guideline 4 Education & training

Background: The participatory process pointed out a strong demand for improved, more innovative education and vocational training, and for a tighter connection between training experiences and the working world needs. Education and training are the basis for any field of development. It is necessary to be professionally competitive through the acquisition of new skills and professional qualification to increase customer satisfaction and face international competition. Moreover, in a global context, it is important to incentivize student mobility and international training exchanges, which are essential for the actual economic growth model, through the strengthening of funding and scholarships and their access.

Objective: Improve education and training in all sectors to create more and better job opportunities and effectively enhance territorial resources.

Actions: 4.1. Valorisation of existing education and training activities strengthening their links with national and international enterprises 4.2. Increasing access to education and training by funding low-income students with scholarships and grants 4.3. Enrichment and promotion of international exchange training programs 4.4. Education and training aimed at creating expert personnel in planning and association creation 4.5. Education and training regarding key sectors for regional development • • • •

Education and training aimed at creating expert personnel in social and intercultural section and development of cooperation policies between social workers Education and training aimed at creating expert personnel in information and communication new technologies Education and training aimed at creating expert personnel in agricultural technologies for farmers’ professional qualification enhancement Promotion and development of education and training for tourism personnel

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Strategic Guideline 5 Enhancement of regional cultural heritage Background: Based on the analyses, surveys and participation outcomes, Vlora Region is rich in tangible and non tangible cultural heritage, representing both a powerful tourist attractor and an expression of regional identity and history, to preserve and pass down to next generations. Nevertheless, this heritage often suffers from neglect and oblivion: coordinated monuments maintenance, restoration, management and promotion policies are lacking (often because of insufficient funding), especially in remote and hinterland areas, and traditional building techniques and crafts are slowly disappearing. The Strategic Guideline 5 intervenes to recover and re-build a common regional identity, grounded in history and tradition, to strengthen the sense of community and to attract cultural tourism.

Objective: Enhance tangible and non tangible cultural heritage to increase territorial attractiveness, strengthen social cohesion and improve life quality of local communities.

Actions: 5.1. Knowledge, preservation, restoration and qualification of historical assets, through innovative management and the creation of integrated networks •

• •

• •

Survey, maintenance, restoration and promotion of historical heritage sites (archaeological areas, castles, monasteries and places of worship, historical houses) in the region, paying special attention to their accessibility, fruition and innovative management Preservation and restoration of traditional architecture and traditional building techniques in urban and rural areas Support the enhancement of places and institutions devoted to the preservation and transmission of cultural heritage (public libraries, museums, archives, theatres, etc.), also through the development of public-private partnerships Support research and innovation in the restoration of monuments and in the sector of cultural heritage study, dissemination and promotion Enhancement of university education in the cultural heritage sector

5.2. Improvement of the value chains connected with cultural production and cultural heritage, including artistic craftsmanship, traditional music and contemporary art • •

• •

• •

Support enterprises and associations working in the cultural sector, also through the promotion of coordination networks Support the creation of business networks connected to the preservation, restoration, promotion and enhancement of the cultural heritage (including craftsmanship for restoration, quality artistic handicraft, production of traditional music instruments, cultural services, etc.) Promote the recovery and transmission of traditional know how and folklore, with special attention to the involvement of young generations Support the development and dissemination of innovative technologies, in the fields of cultural heritage preservation and management and the promotion and dissemination of knowledge Promotion and creation of a network of creativity centres and laboratories to boost quality artistic and handicraft production and to increase its promotion and marketing Support cultural events to promote artistic expressions, both traditional and contemporary (iso-polyphony, contemporary music, theatre, etc.)

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Strategic Guideline 6 Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Background: Vlora Region is home to unspoilt and diversified landscapes (sea, wetlands, mountains, canyons, etc.), which represent powerful tourist attractors. On the other hand, uncontrolled and illegal building, uncollected litter, untreated wastewater and other unrestrained human activities have spoiled several areas and are now threatening uncontaminated ones. The Strategic Guideline intervenes on the most critical environmental aspects of the regional territory: natural areas and resources to preserve, solid waste and wastewater management, geological instability, polluted and degraded areas.

Objective: Protection, enhancement and sustainable use of natural resources.

Actions: 6.1. Protection and sustainable development of natural areas and landscapes and preservation of biodiversity • • • • • • • •

Rehabilitation of areas of high natural and landscape value Creation, management and maintenance of natural parks at regional level Increasing environmental awareness in local communities Support enterprises and associations working in the fields of environmental protection and enhancement, also to increase awareness around environmental issues Consulting, technical assistance and services to business associations aimed to increase their environmental sustainability (ISO14000 certifications, etc.) Promotion of sustainable development Reclamation & environmental rehabilitation of polluted and degraded areas Environmental rehabilitation of informal settlements and buildings

6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management • •

Development of water supply systems to ensure the availability of drinking water in all cities and villages of the region Development of sewage disposal systems and water treatment plants, also through the promotion of innovative, eco-friendly technologies

6.3. Eco-sustainable solid waste management • • • •

Development of infrastructure and plants for waste collection and treatment, with priority to innovative and eco-friendly systems Promoting and supporting separate garbage collection Reclamation and environmental clean up of areas contaminated by wastes Supporting the development of value chains in the waste recycling sector, also by stimulating the creation of enterprises processing materials from separate collection

6.4. Protection of the territory from hydrogeological risk • •

Increase safety in areas subject to geological instability Creation of a research and monitoring system, aimed at the preservation, protection and reclaim of the territory

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Strategic Guideline 7 Material and nonmaterial networks and energy Background: The enhancement of the transport networks is recognised by most territorial actors as the prior action to any type of regional development. Improving territorial accessibility is the necessary condition for the enhancement of goods and people mobility, while the development of the information and communication technologies (in particular a fast internet connection) represents an unavoidable instrument to develop and internationalize business. Strategic Guideline 7 also addresses the necessary development of energy supply networks, with special attention to renewable energies, which represent an essential innovation and a contemporary trend to preserve environmental resources.

Objective: Empowerment of infrastructure and services for people, goods, information and energy transport.

Actions: 7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility and competitiveness, in the framework of the Corridor VIII project • • • • • •

Completion and enhancement of the road network, including rural roads Improving connections among road and railroad networks, ports and airports Improving external access to the region, also through the empowerment of infrastructure nodes (ports, airports, etc.) Improvement of public transport services, also to foster tourism development Promotion of mobility planning Development of infrastructure and services for sustainable mobility (cycle tracks, etc.)

7.2. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) • • • •

Development of wireless broad band networks to mitigate isolation of rural and remote areas Enhancing the efficiency of the existing ICT networks Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion in local communities, with special attention to rural villages and remote areas Promoting the diffusion of ICT among local enterprises to enhance their competitiveness and internationalisation

7.3. Promotion of renewable energy and energy saving • • • •

Upgrade and monitoring of power plants and energy supply networks Promotion of renewable energy production, also through the development of value chains in the renewable energy sources sector Promoting and supporting the increase of energy efficiency and the reduction of climate emissions, especially in the industry, transport and building sectors Promotion of green building and incentives to the adaptation of existing buildings to ecofriendly building criteria.

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Strategic Guideline 8 Social inclusion Background: The analyses carried out in the territory highlighted the presence of a large segment of the population victim of social exclusion and showed a lack of assistance services and insufficient gender equality. In order to support regional economic development, it is crucial to encourage the fight against unemployment through professional training, re-qualification and replacement and to boost young people and women integration into the job market. The information gathered through public meetings also highlighted the need for enhancement of services for elderly people. Moreover, the Strategic Guideline 8 tackles the lack of public health services and the difficult access to primary health assistance, also due to the inaccessibility of some parts of the territory.

Objective: Enhance infrastructure and services to strengthen social cohesion and increase the inclusion of disadvantaged population.

Actions: 8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work placement programmes • • •

Promoting work placement programmes Promoting gender equality policies and women empowerment to better integrate women in the working world Experimentation of integrated programmes for the orientation, support and work placement for disadvantaged groups (women victims of violence, people with disabilities, etc.)

8.2. Improving and innovating social care services •

• • • • •

Development of partnerships and multi-level agreements among social actors aimed to improve employment opportunities and social care services, i.e. through the creation of permanent coordination bodies Promote non-profit associations and reinforce employability in the social economic sector Creation of structures to provide social care services to disadvantaged groups (people with disabilities, elderly, children, women, etc.) Supply services to support working women (increase of day care centres, etc.) Promotion of social housing programs for disadvantaged people, in coordination with work placement programmes Enhancement of Senior Citizens Centres and creation of “Tradition & Crafts schools” to valorise the elderly know how and foster inter-generation relationships

8.3. Improving public health services • • •

Improvement of regional medical centres, also through services qualification and equipment supply Increase the number of community health centres, to ensure access to primary health assistance to the whole regional population Creation of a health care centres network

8.4. Increasing participation of local communities in regional development policies • •

Mainstream participatory practices in the construction of development programs and projects Implementation and optimisation of plans, programmes and projects prepared through participation, and dissemination of results achieved

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Strategic Guideline 9 The Strategic Plan of children and teens Background: During public debates, territorial actors emphasized the lack of public spaces where children and teens can socialise, such as safe playgrounds, green areas or public sport facilities. This Strategic Guideline is based on the concept that children and teens represent the future of the regional community, therefore it is important to take care of their well-being, safety and education, and encourage them to participate in community life to prepare them for future responsibilities. Therefore, Strategic Guideline 9 focuses on improving the quality of life of young people, with a special attention to their education, in order to rise their environmental awareness and encourage them to discover the cultural heritage of their homeland.

Objective: Enhance the role of children and teens in regional governance and social life, as parameters and guarantors of all citizens needs.

Actions: 9.1. Promoting children autonomy • • • • •

Optimisation of education buildings and areas, to increase their accessibility also outside school time Creation and maintenance of safe playgrounds Preparing urban traffic and mobility plans, encompassing the creation of networks of protected pedestrian areas and paths and the use of road signs for children Enhancement of public transportation for schools Removal of architectural barriers in public-use buildings, in sidewalks and pedestrian areas and in public transport means

9.2. Promoting children & teens active participation in urban planning and management •

Promoting forms of participation, consultation and discussion as those of the Children Council or of the Direct Involvement Planning (also to assess needs and demands), and disseminating achieved results Increasing awareness of children’s rights in the regional population

9.3. Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage • • • •

Promoting, in urban districts and villages, the use of public spaces for socialisation, also through the creation of multipurpose buildings Promoting interventions aimed to adapt public services and structures to fit the children needs Promotion of social and cultural initiatives addressed to children and/or teens Creation and/or empowerment of public libraries

9.4. Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and villages • • •

Promoting activities to rise environmental awareness, disseminate knowledge about sustainable development and encourage eco-friendly behaviours Rehabilitation of schools according to environmental sustainability criteria Increase supply & quality of public sport facilities, green areas, public spaces

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2.5. Synergies among Strategic Guidelines Internal coherence of the Strategic Plan The identified Strategic Guidelines are strongly synergic among them. The matrix in the next page contains a qualitative evaluation of their synergy level, while the following tables provide, for each Strategic Guideline, an extensive explanation of the reasons that led to this evaluation. As for the synergy level (high, medium, low) that can be developed among the Strategic Guidelines, its evaluation was made considering three kinds of growing interrelation: •

low synergy: the Strategic Guidelines only share the same general objective (for instance, the increase of tourist attractiveness of the Region);

medium synergy: the Strategic Guidelines share the same general objectives and at least one Action/category of intervention of a Strategic Guideline can be implemented in coordination with the other Strategic Guideline.

high synergy: the Strategic Guidelines are tightly interdependent and materially connected, because they share the same area of intervention, involved activity or beneficiary group.

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      

SG3 Fishing & aquaculture

SG4 Education & training

SG5 Enhancement of regional cultural heritage

SG6 Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

SG7 Material and nonmaterial networks & energy

SG8 Social inclusion

SG9

Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

The strategic plan of children & teens



SG1

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











SG2













SG3

















SG4















SG5

















SG6

















SG7

















SG8

Environment Enhancement & landscape Material & Community Typical rural of regional Social based products & Fishing & Education preservation nonmaterial aquaculture & training cultural networks and inclusion tourism handicraft and heritage energy rehabilitation

SG2 Typical rural products & handicraft

SG1 Community based tourism

Synergy matrix of the Strategic Guidelines for the development of Vlora region













SG9

The strategic plan of children and teens

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Strategic Guideline 1 Community based tourism Synergic SGs

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

3. Fishing & aquaculture

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage 6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion 9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks

•••

One of SG1 objectives is the diversification of tourism offer, also through the promotion of rural tourism, the creation of accommodation structures in rural areas (Action 1.2) and of tourist routes based on agro-food products (Action 1.3). The enhancement of typical agro-food and craftsmanship productions is an essential part of the valorisation of local identity and culture, which are powerful attractors for tourists, especially for those who are willing to discover all aspects of a territory, learning about local cuisine, buying typical products, etc. The development of synergies among tourism, agriculture, and handicraft could help creating a real “hospitality system”, according to European principles and ILS LEDA methodology. Most of all, handicraft and tourism-related activities (including accommodation structures management, services supply, etc.) offer an important opportunity to diversify rural activities and to ensure other sources of income to farmers, thus reducing poverty and marginalisation.

•••

Community based tourism can represent an opportunity to diversify productive activities connected to sea and wetlands; these ecosystems, if well-preserved and valorised in a sustainable way, can become attractors for ecotourism, and local communities can offer expertise (knowledge of the territory, fishing skills...), services (boat trips...) and typical products (fresh and preserved fish & mussels) to tourists to increase incomes.

•••

The development of a community based tourism must be accompanied by an adequate training of human resources, in order to offer EU-standard performances as tourist guides, tour operators, personnel in accommodation structures, bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, etc. Also capacity building in the business sector is important to develop enterprises in the tourism sector. The education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections with enterprises in order to match their training demands as much as possible.

•••

Cultural heritage is one of the main tourist attractors in Vlora Region, so its enhancement is crucial to develop a sustainable tourism based on local assets. Valorisation and innovative management of regional monuments can boost cultural tourism development, thus helping the tourism offer diversification. Moreover, abandoned or dilapidated historical buildings can be restored to host accommodation structures, tourist services, etc.

•••

Environment and landscape represent one of the main tourist attractors in Vlora Region. Therefore, their preservation is essential to maintain and increase tourist flows, and to ensure safety from pollution, landslides, and floods. It is also important to rehabilitate polluted and/or degraded areas, so that they do not persist in threatening health and in spoiling natural landscape, thus becoming a drawback for tourism development.

•••

SG1 and SG7 can develop very strong synergies with each other, because networks are vital to tourism development: a tourist-attractive territory must be clean and well preserved, and offer basic comforts – so, efficient water and energy supply systems, wastewater treatment and solid waste management are essential to meet the tourists basic needs without spoiling the environment and polluting tourist attractors; tourists should have the possibility to move around safely – that is why the transport infrastructure are also essential; finally, developing ICT networks is very important, both for tourists (who can gather information about their destination also during their trip) and for tourism workers (who can promote their activity on the internet and reach a global market).

••

SG8 aims to improve social care and health services: tourists will also benefit from improved health services; and a region with growing social cohesion & life quality will be more attractive and safe, for tourists as well.

••

SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help to enhance the overall urban quality and to make towns and villages more attractive to tourists. Moreover, tourists travelling with children and teens will find in Vlora Region a territory that satisfies their needs.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 2 Typical rural products and handicraft Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

3. Fishing & aquaculture

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage

6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion 9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks

•••

One of SG1 objectives is the diversification of tourism offer, also through the promotion of rural tourism, the creation of accommodation structures in rural areas (Action 1.2) and the creation of tourist routes based on agro-food products (Action 1.3). The enhancement of typical agro-food and craftsmanship productions is an essential part of the valorisation of local identity and culture, which are powerful attractors for tourists, especially for those who are willing to discover all aspects of a territory, getting in touch with local cuisine, buying typical products, etc. The development of synergies among tourism, agriculture, and handicraft could help creating a real “hospitality system”, according to European principles and ILS LEDA methodology. Most of all, handicraft and tourism-related activities (including accommodation structures management, services supply...) offer an important opportunity to diversify rural activities and to ensure other sources of income to farmers, thus reducing poverty and marginalisation.

•••

Fishing and aquaculture have a lot in common with rural activities: they are strongly connected with local culture, traditions, and cuisine, they are all interrelated with natural landscape (and have a leading role in its maintenance, preservation and sustainable valorisation) and all sectors share similar problems and needs: they all have to deal with food security and quality, small business dimension, the difficult access to credits and markets, etc. That is why SG2 and SG3 can develop high-level synergies, especially in the areas of territorial brands, of business services and of producers associations.

•••

SG2 aims to improve the quality of rural products – this must be accompanied by an adequate training of farmers and breeders, to make them able to modernize and diversify productions, introducing quality systems, develop their enterprises, etc. The education system shall have a leading role in this regard, also by developing connections with the rural world in order to match its training demands as much as possible.

•••

Typical rural activities, with their related “know-how”, crafts and traditional products, are strongly interconnected with the regional community culture, so their enhancement, like that of cultural heritage, increases the Region attractiveness and helps to recover and reinforce the regional community sense of identity and belonging. That is why both SGs include the support to artistic handicraft and the recovery of traditional know-how, and encompass interventions on rural areas (SG5, Action 5.1: preservation and restoration of traditional architecture and traditional building techniques; SG2, Action 2.1: recovery of traditional cultural elements).

••

Agriculture has an important role in the maintenance of traditional rural landscape. Rural activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a negative impact on the environment, polluting water and soil with wastes and pesticides and reducing biodiversity with inadequate culture selections. It is crucial to develop strong synergies between the 2 Strategic Guidelines, and to make environment protection and rural development go hand in hand, to ensure overall sustainability.

•••

The networks empowerment is crucial for rural development because: − the access of local products to markets depends a lot on the extension and quality of the road network; − an efficient basic services network (water and energy supply, wastewater treatment, waste management) positively affects rural life quality and working conditions and reduces pollution caused by rural activities; − an efficient ICT system can help to reduce the isolation of rural communities and to open new markets for rural products.

••

Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can improve life quality in rural communities and effectively support farmers and their families in fighting isolation and poverty.

SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help to enhance the overall life quality in rural villages.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 3 Fishing and Aquaculture

Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage 6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion 9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks

•••

Community based tourism can represent an opportunity to diversify productive activities connected to sea and wetlands; these ecosystems, if well-preserved and valorised in a sustainable way, can become attractors for ecotourism, and local communities can offer expertise (knowledge of the territory, fishing skills...), services (boat trips...) and typical products (fresh and preserved fish and mussels) to tourists to increase their incomes.

•••

Fishing and aquaculture have many aspects in common with rural activities: they are strongly connected with local culture, traditions, and cuisine, they are all interrelated with natural landscape (and have a leading role in its maintenance, preservation and sustainable valorisation) and all sectors share similar problems and needs: they all have to deal with food security and quality, the small business dimension, the difficult access to credits and markets, etc. That is why SG2 and SG3 can develop high-level synergies, especially in the areas of territorial brands, of business services and of producers’ associations.

•••

SG3 aims to improve the quality of sea products – this must be accompanied by an adequate training of farmers and fishermen, to make them able to modernise and diversify productions, protecting the environment, introducing quality systems, develop their enterprises, etc. The education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections with the productive world in order to match its training demands as much as possible.

Fishing and aquaculture are typical activities in Vlora Region, and have a background of know-how, crafts and traditional products, that is strongly interconnected with the regional community culture. Therefore, enhancing these activities helps to recover and reinforce the regional community sense of identity and belonging, increasing the regional attractiveness.

•••

Fishing and aquaculture have an important role in the maintenance of sea and wetlands habitats, and these activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a negative impact on the environment, for example by reducing biodiversity. It is crucial to develop strong synergies between the 2 Strategic Guidelines, and to make development and environment protection go hand in hand, to ensure overall sustainability.

•••

The development of material and nonmaterial networks is crucial for fishing and aquaculture development because: − the access of local products to markets depends a lot on the extension and quality of the transport network (roads, ports); − an efficient basic services network (water and energy supply, wastewater treatment, waste management) positively affects life quality and working conditions in coastal villages and can reduce pollution caused by productive activities; − an efficient ICT system can help to open new markets for sea fish products.

••

Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can improve life quality in coastal villages and effectively support fishermen and farmers in fighting poverty.

SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help to enhance the overall life quality in coastal villages.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 4 Education and training Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

3. Fishing & aquaculture

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage 6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion

9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks



The development of community based tourism must be accompanied by an adequate training of human resources, to make them able to offer EU-standard services as tourist guides, tour operators, personnel in accommodation structures, bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, etc. Also capacity building in the business sector is important to develop enterprises in the tourism sector. The education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections with enterprises in order to match their training demands as much as possible.



SG2 aims to improve the quality of rural products – this must be accompanied by an adequate training of farmers and breeders, to enable them to modernise and diversify productions, introducing quality systems, develop their enterprises, etc. The education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections with the rural world in order to match its training demands as much as possible.



SG3 aims to improve the quality of sea products – this must be accompanied by an adequate training of farmers and fishermen, to enable them to modernise and diversify productions, protecting the environment, introducing quality systems, develop their enterprises, etc. The education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections with the productive world in order to match its training demands as much as possible.



SG4 can support the enhancement of regional cultural heritage, especially by: − Promoting research on cultural heritage − Promoting the development of high education on cultural heritage restoration, communication and management − Disseminating knowledge and awareness about regional cultural heritage, starting from schools.



Education and training can play an important role in the environment protection sector; in fact, they can: − Increase the population environmental awareness and encourage eco-friendly behaviours, starting from children in schools − Create researchers and professionals in the sector of eco-friendly technologies for waste management, energy production, architecture, engineering, etc. − Train human resources in the field of environmental certifications



Enhancement of education & training is interconnected with networks’ empowerment in the following respects: − Improvement of ICT is essential to develop internet-based education and training programmes and to make them available to a wider population − Education & training can help developing digital literacy, skills and inclusion, especially in rural and remote areas, and train ICT experts (see Action 7.2) − Transport networks improvement can be helpful to students who must move to other towns to attend school or university.



The 2 Strategic Guidelines can develop synergies in 3 areas: − Education and vocational training programmes aimed to increase social inclusion of disadvantaged groups by improving their autonomy and their capacity to earn their living − Vocational training of social workers, to enhance the quality and the amount of social care services in the Region − Education and vocational training in the health sector, to enhance the quality and the amount of health care services in the Region in a decentralisation perspective.



Education and training play a leading role in the everyday life of children and teenagers. The implementation of SG4 and SG9 should be coordinated, in order to: − Take into consideration the children and teens needs to enhance the education and vocational training system and the school infrastructure; − Develop education and vocational training programmes aimed to increase social inclusion of disabled children and teens, by improving their autonomy.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 5 Enhancement of regional cultural heritage Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

3. Fishing & aquaculture

4. Education & training 6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation 7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy 8. Social inclusion

9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks



Cultural heritage is one of the main tourist attractors in Vlora Region, and therefore, its enhancement is crucial to develop a sustainable tourism based on local assets. Valorisation and innovative management of regional monuments can boost the development of cultural tourism, thus helping tourism offer diversification. Moreover, abandoned and/or dilapidated historical buildings can be recovered to host accommodation structures or tourist services and facilities.



Typical rural activities, with their related “know-how”, crafts and traditional products, are strongly interconnected with the regional community culture, so their enhancement, like the enhancement of regional cultural heritage, increases the Region attractiveness and helps to recover and reinforce the regional community sense of identity and belonging. That is the reason why the 2 Strategic Guidelines partly overlap, e.g. SG5 includes the support to artistic handicraft and the recovery of traditional know-how, and both Strategic Guidelines encompass interventions on rural areas (SG5, Action 5.1: preservation and restoration of traditional architecture and traditional building techniques; SG2, Action 2.1: recovery of traditional cultural elements).

Fishing and aquaculture have an important role in the maintenance of sea and wetlands habitats, and these activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a negative impact on the environment, for example by reducing biodiversity. It is crucial to develop strong synergies between the 2 Strategic Guidelines, and balance development and environment protection to ensure overall sustainability.



SG4 can support the enhancement of regional cultural heritage, especially by: − Promoting research on cultural heritage; − Promoting the development of university-level education on cultural heritage restoration, communication and management; − Disseminating knowledge and awareness about regional cultural heritage, starting from schools.



Cultural and environmental heritage are essential parts of territorial identity and are both powerful tourist attractors. Therefore, they are strictly interconnected, and, for example, the protection of nature and the maintenance of the landscape surrounding an historic site should go hand in hand with restoration activities, archaeological excavations, etc., in order to keep the site’s attractiveness intact.



The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, in a tourism development perspective, requires a work of strengthening transport networks, to make historical sites and monuments more accessible. Moreover, cultural heritage can benefit from an improvement of ICT, which can provide innovative ways to disseminate and promote regional culture worldwide.



The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, and the related increase of visitors flows, can offer job opportunities to the whole population, who can be involved in the management of historical sites, or can use them as a “showcase” for rural and craftsmanship products, in coordination with the sites’ management. This could also give marginalised communities a source of income and help to alleviate poverty.



Children and teenagers represent Vlora Region future, and as they grow up they will have to deal with the preservation and management of cultural heritage in order to transmit them to future generations, therefore it is important to sensitise them right now. Therefore, possible synergies between the SG5 and SG9 can be developed through Action 9.3 ”Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage”.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 6 Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

3. Fishing & aquaculture

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion

9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks



Environment and landscape represent one of the main tourist attractors in Vlora Region. Therefore, their preservation is essential to maintain and increase tourist flows, and ensure safety from pollution, landslides, and floods. It is also important to rehabilitate polluted and/or degraded areas, so that they do not persist in threatening health and spoiling natural landscape, thus becoming a drawback for tourism development.



Agriculture has an important role in the maintenance of traditional rural landscape, and rural activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a negative impact on the environment, polluting water and soil with wastes and pesticides and reducing biodiversity with inadequate culture selections. It is crucial to develop strong synergies between the 2 Strategic Guidelines, and balance environment protection and rural development in order to ensure overall sustainability.



Fishing and aquaculture are typical activities in Vlora Region, and have a background of know-how, crafts and traditional products, that is strongly interconnected with the regional community culture. Therefore, enhancing these activities, like enhancing regional cultural heritage, helps to increase the regional attractiveness and to recover and reinforce the regional community sense of identity and belonging.



Education and training can play an important role in the environment protection sector; in fact, they can: − Increase the population environmental awareness and encourage eco-friendly behaviours, starting from children in schools; − Create researchers and professionals in the sector of eco-friendly technologies for waste management, energy production, architecture, engineering, etc. − Train human resources in the field of environmental certifications



Cultural and environmental heritage are essential parts of territorial identity and are both powerful tourist attractors. Therefore, they are strictly interconnected, and, for example, the protection of nature and the maintenance of the landscape surrounding an historic site should go hand in hand with restoration activities, archaeological excavations, etc., in order to keep the site attractiveness intact.



Networks development should be conducted in strong coordination with environment protection policies, with special attention to the balance between the efficiency and safety of transport infrastructure and the maintenance of unspoilt landscape as a tourist attractor. High-level synergies can be developed between the 2 SGs also through Action 7.3. “Promotion of renewable energy and energy saving” and Action 7.1, which includes the development of infrastructure and services for sustainable mobility. Moreover, ICT development could help disseminating environmental awareness and eco-friendly behaviours, as well as knowledge around sustainable technologies and renewable energies.



The implementation of SG6 can create new job opportunities in environmentrelated sectors, such as waste management, renewable energy production, maintenance, protection and management of natural parks, business services to increase enterprises sustainability, etc. This could help increasing social inclusion and fighting poverty and marginalisation.



In the sustainable development perspective, children and teenagers represent the future depositaries and managers of the environment; in order to make them suitable for this role, it is important to sensitise them on environmental issues. Synergies between SG6 and SG9 can therefore be developed through Action 9.4. “Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and villages”, which includes, among the categories of intervention, the promotion of “activities to rise environmental awareness, disseminate knowledge about sustainable development and encourage eco-friendly behaviours”.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 7 Material and nonmaterial networks and energy Synergic SGs

1. Community based tourism

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

3. Fishing & aquaculture

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage 6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation 8. Social inclusion 9. The strategic plan of children & teens

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks



SG1 and SG7 can develop very strong synergies, because networks are vital to tourism development: a tourist-attractive territory must offer basic comforts – efficient water and energy supply, wastewater treatment and solid waste management are essential to meet the tourists’ basic needs without spoiling the environment and polluting tourist attractors; tourists should have the possibility of moving around safely – that is why the transport infrastructure are essential, too; finally, developing ICT networks is very important, both for tourists (who can gather information about their destination also during their trip) and for tourism workers (who can promote their activity on the internet and reach a global market).



Improved networks are crucial for rural development because: − the access of local products to markets depends highly on the extension and quality of the road network; − an efficient basic services network positively affects rural life quality and working conditions and reduces pollution caused by rural activities; − an efficient ICT system can help to reduce the isolation of rural communities and to open new markets for rural products.



The development of material and nonmaterial networks is crucial for fishing and aquaculture development because: − the access of local products to markets depends a lot on the extension and quality of the transport network (roads, ports); − efficient basic services networks positively affects life quality and working conditions in coastal villages and can reduce pollution caused by productive activities; − an efficient ICT system can help to open new markets for sea fish products.



Enhancement of education and training is interconnected with networks empowerment in the following respects: − Improvement of ICT is essential to develop internet-based education and training programmes and to make them available to a wider population; − Education & training can help developing digital literacy, skills and inclusion, especially in rural and remote areas, and train ICT experts (see Action 7.2) − Transport networks improvement can be helpful to students who must move to other towns to attend school or university.



The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, in a tourism development perspective, requires a work of strengthening transportation systems, to make historical sites and monuments more accessible. Moreover, cultural heritage can benefit greatly from improved ICT, which can provide innovative ways to disseminate and promote regional culture worldwide.



Networks development should be conducted in strong coordination with environment protection policies, with special attention to the balance between the efficiency and safety of transport infrastructure and the maintenance of an unspoilt landscape as a tourist attractor. High-level synergies can be developed between the 2 SGs also through Actions 7.3. and Action 7.1, which includes the development of infrastructure and services for sustainable mobility. Moreover, ICT development could help disseminate environmental awareness and eco-friendly behaviours, as well as knowledge on sustainable technologies and renewable energies.



Networks development can help increase social inclusion: empowered road and ICT networks can give isolated communities the chance to reach workplaces, services, job opportunities and education facilities in a quicker and safer way, thus improving life quality.



Possible synergies between the two SGs can be developed through: − Action 7.1, including empowerment of public transport services, promotion of mobility planning and development of sustainable mobility, should be implemented with an eye to the children needs, in coherence with the Action 9.1 goals; − Action 7.2., which aims to enhance digital literacy, skills and inclusion in local communities and involves, first of all, the young generations.

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 8 Social inclusion

Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks

1. Community based tourism



SG8 aims to improve social care and health services: tourists will also benefit from improved health services; and a region with growing social cohesion & life quality will be more attractive and safe, for tourists as well.

2. Typical rural products & handicraft



Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can improve the quality of life in rural communities and effectively support farmers and their families in fighting isolation and poverty.

3. Fishing & aquaculture



Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can improve the quality of life in coastal villages and effectively support fishermen and farmers in fighting poverty.



The 2 Strategic Guidelines can develop synergies in 3 areas: − Education and vocational training programmes aimed to increase social inclusion of disadvantaged groups (e.g. disabled, mentally ill, etc.) by improving their autonomy and their capacity to earn their living; − Vocational training of social workers, to enhance the quality and the amount of social care services in the Region; − Education and vocational training in the health sector, to enhance the quality and the amount of health care services in the Region in a decentralisation perspective.



The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, and the related increase of visitors flows, can provide job opportunities to the whole population. The latter can be involved in the management of historical sites, or use them as a “showcase” for rural and craftsmanship products, in coordination with the sites’ management. This could also give marginalised communities a source of income and help alleviate poverty.

6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation



The implementation of SG6 can create new job opportunities in environmentrelated sectors, such as waste management, renewable energy production, maintenance, protection and management of natural parks, business services to increase enterprises’ sustainability, etc. This could help increasing social inclusion and fighting poverty and marginalisation.

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy



Networks development can help increase social inclusion: empowered road and ICT networks can give isolated communities the chance to reach workplaces, services, job opportunities and education facilities in a faster and safer way, thus improving their life quality.



The 2 Strategic Guidelines can develop synergies in 3 areas: − Social life: Action 9.3. promotes the use of public spaces for socialisation and helps social integration and inter-generation relationships; − Participation: Action 9.2. “Promoting children and teens active participation in urban planning and management” is directly connected with (and a part of) Action 8.4. “Increasing participation of local communities in regional development policies”; − Disabled-friendly environment: Action 9.1 encompasses the removal of architectural barriers, thus stressing the role of children as parameters and guarantors of the needs of all citizens, including disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities and elderly.

Synergic SGs

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage

9. The strategic plan of children & teens

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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Strategic Guideline 9 The Strategic Plan of children and teens Synergy level (*)

Justification and remarks



SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help enhance the overall urban quality and make towns and villages more attractive to tourists. Moreover, tourists travelling with children and teens will find in Vlora Region a territory that satisfies their needs.

2. Typical rural products & handicraft

SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help enhance the overall life quality in rural villages.

3. Fishing & aquaculture

SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help enhance the overall life quality in coastal villages.



Education and training play a leading role in the everyday life of children and teenagers. The implementation of SG4 and SG9 should be coordinated, in order to: − take into consideration the children and teens needs to enhance the education and vocational training system and the school infrastructure; − develop education and vocational training programmes aimed to increase social inclusion of children and teenagers with disabilities, by improving their autonomy.



Children and teenagers represent Vlora Region future, and as they grow up they will have to deal with the preservation and management of cultural heritage in order to transmit them to future generations, so it is important to sensitise them right now. Therefore, possible synergies between the SG5 and SG9 can be developed through Action 9.3 ”Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage”.



In the sustainable development perspective, children and teenagers represent the future depositaries and managers of the environment; in order to make them suitable for this role, it is important to sensitise them on environmental issues. Synergies between SG6 and SG9 can therefore be developed through Action 9.4. “Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and villages”, which includes, among the categories of intervention, the promotion of “activities to rise environmental awareness, disseminate knowledge about sustainable development and encourage eco-friendly behaviours”.



Possible synergies between the two SGs can be developed through: − Action 7.1, including the empowerment of public transport services, the promotion of mobility planning and the development of sustainable mobility, should be implemented with an eye to the children needs, in coherence with the goal of Action 9.1 to promote children autonomy; − Action 7.2. “Information and Communication Technologies”, which aims to enhance digital literacy, skills and inclusion in local communities and will involve, first of all, the young generations.



The 2 Strategic Guidelines can develop synergies in 3 areas: − Social life: Action 9.3. promotes the use of public spaces for socialisation, thus helping social integration and inter-generation relationships; − Participation: Action 9.2. “Promoting children and teens active participation in urban planning and management” is directly connected with (and a part of) Action 8.4. “Increasing participation of local communities in regional development policies”; − Disabled-friendly environment: Action 9.1 encompasses the removal of architectural barriers, thus stressing the role of children as parameters and guarantors of the needs of all citizens, including disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities and elderly.

Synergic SGs 1. Community based tourism

4. Education & training

5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage

6. Environment & landscape preservation and rehabilitation

7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy

8. Social inclusion

(*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

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2.6. Consistency of the strategy with regional development policies In order to maximize the results of the SP and make its implementation feasible, the consistency of the identified strategy with the ongoing development policies at regional level was verified, by comparing the main goals of the regional plans and programmes with the objectives and contents of the SP. The following tables synthesise the results of this activity, by identifying the relationships between the main goals shared by the regional

level programmes in the crucial regional development sectors, on one hand, and the Strategic Guidelines and Actions of the regional SP, on the other. The tables clearly show that the Strategic Guidelines and Actions of the regional Strategic Plan respond to the main objectives of the regional level programmes and are therefore consistent with the regional policies and goals.

SECTOR 1: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORKS Consistent Strategic Guidelines and Actions

Main goals

Reference regional programmes

Waste Management: Locate landfills for urban waste storage and treatment, purchase waste management machinery, promote education on urban waste, rehabilitate existing illegal dumpsites, organize separate waste collection.

- Waste Management Plan in Vlora Region - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - Qender Commune - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan

SG6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Action 6.3. Eco-sustainable solid waste management

Water supply and sewage system: Water supply technical rehabilitation, technical rehabilitation and extension of the sewage system, new systems for sewage and water supply, connection of every household to the sewage system.

- Structural Plan - Vlora - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum

SG6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Action 6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management

Environment and natural resources protection: Increase population environmental awareness, conservation and management of natural resources, soil conservation and anti-erosion measures, build up local capacities in planning, management and monitoring of natural and biological resources, capacity building on environment assessment, preparation of promotion materials.

- Management Plan Vjosa-Narta Landscape Protected Area - Management Plan Complex Llogara - Study Lumi Vlora - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement of the MDGoals

SG6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Action 6.1. Protection and sustainable development of natural areas and landscapes and preservation of biodiversity

- Structural Plan - Vlora Infrastructure: Definition of transport strategies, improve - Pre Feasibility Study on the development of the Railway Axis accessibility in different villages, arrangement of all road networks. - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - Qender Commune - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan

SG7. Material & nonmaterial networks and energy Action 7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility and competitiveness

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SECTOR 2: CULTURAL HERITAGE Main goals

Reference regional programmes

Preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage: Restoration and conservation of historical, cultural buildings and typical houses.

- Structural Plan - Vlora

Consistent Strategic Guidelines and Actions SG5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage Action 5.1. Knowledge, preservation, restoration and qualification of historical assets, through innovative management and the creation of integrated networks

SECTOR 3: AGROFOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Main goals

Reference regional programmes

Consistent Strategic Guidelines and Actions

- Development Plan - Xarre Agriculture development: - Development Plan - Orikum Efficient use of agricultural land by improving irrigation and drainage system, - Study Lumi Vlora credit and support to agricultural specialists for the implementation of services in agriculture, pre-feasibility study for a market in Saranda, creation and strengthening of agro-production enterprises, encouraging farmers in organizing themselves in associations or groups, protection of traditional craftsmanship, crafts and local traditions.

SG2. Typical rural products and handicraft Action 2.2. Encourage producers’ grouping Action 2.3. Incentivize and support enterprises credit accessibility for farmers, breeders and craftsmen

Agro-food production: Certifications of products, promotion of local products, organization of fairs with agriculture and livestock products, creation of a brand for productions.

SG2. Typical rural products and handicraft Action 2.1. Promotion of typical products and empowerment of competitiveness based on quality for exportation

Rural tourism: Construction of new touristic villages (Psimeno).

- Development Plan - Xarre

SG1. Community based tourism Action 1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structures

SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Main goals

Reference regional programmes

- Vlora Regional Strategy for the Social inclusion: achievement of the MDGoals Improve the quality of life of the disabled - Development of Special persons, improve level of education, Pedagogy Section at the improve health services. University of Vlora

Consistent Strategic Guidelines and Actions SG8. Social inclusion Action 8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work placement programs Action 8.2. Improving and innovating social care services Action 8.3. Improving public health services SG4. Education & Training Action 4.1. Valorisation of existing education and training activities strengthening their links with national and international enterprises Action 4.2. Empowerment of accessibility to education and training through funding and scholarships Action 4.3. Empowerment and promotion of international exchange training programs Action 4.5. Education and training empowerment in regional development key sectors

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2.7. Consistency of the strategy with national development policies The SP is a renewal platform that aims territorial growth involving the entire cultural, environmental, social and economic components of a region to attain a sustainable development by using participatory techniques. This platform also aims to connect and harmonise national level policies with local level programmes and interventions. This can be achieved by developing and transferring to local level the national goals and strategies, in order to guarantee coherence and compatibility between different levels of territorial governance. This passage, essential to maximize the strategic planning benefits and results, was carried out in three steps: • Step 1: identify and prepare a list of the main National Sectorial Strategies, the most

important and useful for the predisposition of the SP of Vlora Region. • Step 2: identify the main strategic goals for each National Strategy, to provide an overview of the current priorities of Albanian Government. • Step 3: confront the national strategies with the Strategic Guidelines for Vlora Region and verify their compatibility. This study is useful to demonstrate how the strategic planning can be an appropriate and valid instrument for the achievement of the National Government targets. This SP, once approved, can serve as a best practice for the development of other Albanian regions and of local development in general.

STEP 1 9 National strategies analysed: • Sectorial Strategy of Tourism 2007-2013 • National Environmental Strategy 2007 - 2020 • Inter-Sectorial Rural Development Strategy 2007 – 2013 • Agriculture and Food Sector Strategy 2007-2013 • Strategy for the Development of Fishing and Aquaculture 2007-2015 • National Strategy for Development and Integration 2007-2013 • Sectorial Strategy of Transport 2008-2013 • Sectorial Strategy of Social Care 2007 – 2013 • National Strategy of Children

STEP 2 Identification of the main strategic goals: SECTORIAL STRATEGY OF TOURISM 2007-2013 • Development of tourism and its products; • Capacity building and improvement of institutional facilities; • Funding and establishment of long term mechanisms for natural and cultural areas aimed to their safeguard and development; • Creation of a tourist system database for statistical collection and elaboration, also to make researches on tourist market; • Improvement of infrastructure for tourist needs; • Improvement of public-private-civil coordination. continued overleaf

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STEP 2 Identification of the main strategic goals: NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY 2007-2020 • Improve ambient air quality throughout Albania to levels compliant with National, EC and WHO standards; • Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone and depleting substances to contribute to the prevention of climate change; • Improve waste management so as to reduce risks to human health, environment and trade while meeting EC requirements; • Provide access to safe drinking water for the entire population; • Safeguard all surface and groundwater resources for current and future use; • Protect and improve soils to maximise fertility, minimise erosion and prevent contamination; • Protect and enhance biodiversity, protected areas and species to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Albanian environment, whilst complying with European and international commitments; • Develop an integrated and effective spatial and development planning system which takes into account economic, social and environmental objectives in a balanced way; • Reclaim and rehabilitation of areas subject to severe environmental damage to eradicate threats to public health and biodiversity arising from this damage; • Control the levels of noise, radiation and environmental stress to which the population are subjected to health safe levels. AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECTOR STRATEGY 2007-2013 • Sustainable land management, as a basic component of agriculture, and in full compliance with sustainable agricultural development; • Increase employment, income, and living standards of farmers and their households; • Increase economic efficiency of the agricultural and agro-processing sector, which is expressed through an increase in the productivity and the quality of products; • Assure higher food safety standards for the entire population; • Improve agricultural marketing; • Increase financial support for farmers, agriculture and agro-processing businesses; • Improve management, irrigation and drainage of agricultural land; • Improve level and quality of technologies, information and farmer knowledge. INTER-SECTORIAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 2007 – 2013 • Increase competitiveness of the agricultural and agro-food sector through farm modernisation measures, and support restructuring and development of value added activities; • Protect and enhance the environment through the sustainable management of natural resources in rural areas; • Improve the quality of life in rural areas and promoting diversification of economic activities; • Develop the capacities of local institutions to effectively manage community rural development programmes through participatory rural development. NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION 2007-2013 • Improve transport infrastructure, especially road transport, for the creation of an integrated economic space; • Develop energy systems based on market principles and the capacity to produce energy with the aim to cover the aggregate demand for energy at a minimal social and environmental cost; • Develop the water supply and sanitation system, according to EU standards, to improve living conditions and environment protection; • Protect the environment from pollution and degradation; • Create a favourable business climate for a dynamic development of private enterprise and the attraction of foreign investments; • Design a social policy legal framework to ensure the social protection of the citizens; • Improve education and education system to respond to the demands of market economy. continued overleaf

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STEP 2 Identification of the main strategic goals: SECTORIAL STRATEGY OF TRANSPORT 2008-2013 • Make tourist roads and border crossing points fully operational; • Improve the maintenance of the National Road Network through road asset management system, aiming at completely privatizing the services; • Create a flowing transport network to ensure development, increase the traffic of goods, make transport accessible to everyone and help domestic cooperation and national labour market; • Develop logistics and modern intelligent technologies in the transport sector; • Guarantee an effective maritime transport and protect the maritime environment and coastal areas; • Improve railway transport and improve standards and conditions in the public transport; • Increase Air Transport efficiency for the free movement of people and goods. SECTORIAL STRATEGY OF SOCIAL CARE 2007-2013 • Fight poverty; • Reform social care services; • Support the disadvantaged groups and guarantee social integration. NATIONAL STRATEGY OF CHILDREN • Children survival; • Children protection; • Children development; • Children participation (freedom of speech, involve children in decision making, childfriendly cities, training). STRATEGY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF FISHING AND AQUACULTURE 2007-2013 • Rapid and diversified development of sea fishing; • Rapid development of aquaculture, especially of marine aquaculture; • Support the development of fish processing industry; • Rapid development of port infrastructures and marketing.

STEP 3 Confronting strategies: SG1. Community based tourism This strategic guideline is clearly in line with the strategic goals of Sectorial Strategy of Tourism 2007-2013, regarding the development of tourism as a top priority and, in specific, the improvement of infrastructure, landscape and cultural safeguard for tourist needs. SG2. Typical rural products and handicraft This strategic guideline can make reference to the Agriculture and Food Sector Strategy 2007-2013 and to the Inter-Sectorial Rural Development Strategy 2007-2013 as per typical rural products and their development and certification of quality. There is a good coherence also among interventions foreseen for the achievement of the strategic goals, as modernization of technologies, training of farmers, quality control, etc. SG3. Fishing and aquaculture According to the Strategy for the Development of Fishing and Aquaculture 2007-2015, Albania has good premises for the development of fishing and aquaculture, and aims to re-dimension the value and give weight to the fishing sector in the national economy. The sectorial strategy shares the same goals with Strategic Guideline 3, concerning the valorisation and enhancement of fish products, improvement of port infrastructure. continued overleaf

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STEP 3 Confronting strategies: SG4. Education and training Education and training is a strategic goal of almost all of the national programmes analysed, even if regarding different sectors. The Strategies involved are the following: • Sectorial Strategy of Transport 2007-2013 • Agriculture and Food Sector Strategy 2007-2013 • Inter-Sectorial Rural Development Strategy 2007-2013 • National Strategy for Development and Integration 2007-2013 • National Strategy of Social Care Every national Strategy lists capacity building among the main goals in its specific sector, in full compliance with Strategic Guideline 4, which identifies the improvement of education and the development of capacities, also through training, as a major priority of the regional Strategic Plan. SG5. Enhancement of regional cultural heritage One of the strategic goals of the Sectorial Strategy of Tourism is to improve investments in culture to enhance tourism development, in specific to slow destruction of historic building, to enhance and publicize cultural events and folk festivals, to improve cultural access to museums. This goal supports completely the Strategic Guideline 5 of the regional Strategic Plan. SG6. Environment and landscape conservation and rehabilitation This Strategic Guideline is fully consistent with the National Strategy for the Development and Integration 2007-2013 and with the National Environment Strategy 2007-2020, which overall purpose is to improve the environment conditions and to ensure compliance with the obligations of the European Community. The protection and development of landscape and natural areas based on sustainability, the reduction of gases emissions, the improvement of waste management and the minimisation of erosion are only some of the goals the national strategies share with the regional Strategic Plan. SG7. Material and non-material networks and energy The national strategies this SG may refer to are the Sectorial Strategy of Transport 2007-2013 and the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2007-2013. There is a good coherence regarding the improvement of road and railway infrastructure, and the objectives to make tourist roads fully operational, develop energy systems and upgrade the capacity to produce energy. SG8. Social inclusion All the issues regarding social inclusions are part of the Sectorial Strategy of Social Care 2007-2013. This strategy shares several goals with the SG8, for example the strengthening of social integration, the improvement of social cares, the fight against poverty. SG9. The Strategic Plan of children and teens Participation of children in society is one of the principles of the UNICEF “Convention of the rights of the child”. Involving children in decision aims to ensure effective and responsible participation of children in decision making, in accordance with their abilities, families and all levels of education, at local and central level. Local governments and their authorities, through the strengthening of partnerships at all levels, must ensure that children come first in their development programs. This is the main goal of the National Strategy of Children, which is fully coherent with the strategic guideline.

RESULTS All of the Strategic Guidelines of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region are compatible with the corresponding sectorial strategies at national level for the approximate period 2007–2013.

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CHAPTER 3

ACTION PLAN

A view of the coast in Vlora

3.1. Methodological introduction The Action Plan is an integrated system of projects, proposed mainly by local actors and set in a consistent, vision-oriented frame, which must be implemented in order to attain the SP goals. The Action Plan aims to: • Achieve coordination and consistency among development initiatives at local, regional and national levels • Improve regional community leadership in the management of development policies • Identify resources and procedures to implement and manage development initiatives • Support the matching of specific needs and demands of the territory with the available financial resources, aiming at their optimization and efficient employment. The Action Plan for Vlora Region sustainable development was defined through the following activities: 1. Collection of project proposals from territorial actors at all levels, either directly (through project forms to be filled in by the proposers) or indirectly (by

processing the participative process outcomes and interpreting the regional community wishes). Subsequently, collected projects and ideas were appropriately connected to the Strategy and grouped in 10 “Project Boxes”. Methodologically, a Project Box is a sort of container for projects that are strongly interconnected because of the specific issues they address and/or of the areas of intervention. 2. Set up the Project Boxes pre-feasibility, by tracing possible procedures to implement the projects and proposing possible partnerships, with a special focus on the role of institutional and private actors in the implementation process. In that respect, efforts were made to realize whether projects were suitable to be implemented by public institutions alone, by publicprivate partnerships, or by private investors that can somehow be supported, also through AULEDA). The Action Plan was developed through the active participation of territorial actors during Focus Groups meetings. Therefore, the information that follows should be considered as fully shared and agreed upon by the regional community.

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3.2. Participative projects devising

Round of meetings with Local Authorities 9-12 March 2011 Meetings were held with representatives of 18 Municipalities and Communes of Vlora Region. These meetings aimed to present the SP and the draft of the Sustainable Regional Development Strategy, as well as carry out surveys on possible projects or project ideas to be included in the SP. The purpose was to increase participation of local governments and promote the leading role of the Regional government in the process. All meetings took place upon the Chairman of Region request and included an exhaustive presentation of the ongoing Strategic Planning process, with a focus on its final step that is, the definition of development projects. During the meetings, an SP expert was constantly accompanied and supported by the ART GOLD 2 Local Coordinator, by AULEDA staff and by two members of the Regional staff. All territorial actors who participated in the meetings expressed their approval and appreciation towards the Strategic Planning process and willingness to submit project proposals to implement it.

Focus Groups 18 and 19 April 2011 Following the Kick-Off event, the Open Days and the round of meetings with Municipalities and Communes, the Focus Groups (FGs)represented a further step towards fostering democratic discussions on the integrated development projects to implement and attain the Strategic Plan actions. Focus Groups were organised as small round tables and aimed to: • Analyse thoroughly the Actions and categories of projects included in the Regional Development Strategy previously

shared and agreed upon; • Collect and coordinate concrete projects (beyond the priority projects already proposed and drafted by the TSG) to implement the Actions, with a special focus on projects involving the creation of networks (among resources, places, institutions, etc.); • Encourage territorial actors to collaborate and implement development initiatives, i.e. by promoting the creation of public-public and public-private partnerships. Meetings were held in Vlora and in Saranda, in order to continue and enhance the involvement of all regional actors in the process. Six FGs (three in Vlora and three in Saranda) were organised, focused on the Strategic Guidelines (appropriately grouped), to underline the operative approach of the discussions. The FGs were named:  FG1: Actions for tourism, culture and environment, aimed at discussing and developing the Actions of the Strategic Guidelines 1, 4 (as per education and training on tourism, culture and environment), 5 and 6  FG2: Actions for productivity, regarding the Actions related to Strategic Guidelines 2, 3, 4(as per education and training related to agribusiness and fishing sectors), and 7  FG3: Actions for social development, focused on the Actions related to Strategic Guidelines 4 (as per education and training related to the social sector), 8 and 9. A brochure was created for the occasion explaining thoroughly the SP Actions and categories of projects (both in English and in Albanian) and was then handed out to participants, alongside with a project form (in Albanian), to be filled in with project proposals and ideas to be included in the Strategic Plan. As a result of the approaching administrative local elections, participation did not meet the expectations (32 participants in total), hence in each town the three planned groups were clustered into one. Nonetheless, the debates were extremely constructive, several concrete projects were proposed and the Regional authorities confirmed their willingness to

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Focus Groups Outputs and achieved results

Each Focus Groups meeting included a brief explanation of the objectives to achieve and talking points, with the purpose to support and stimulate discussion. All participants gave their contribution by proposing concrete initiatives to implement the Actions of the shared Regional Development Strategy. Following each debate, conclusions were drawn, summarising the main discussion points and results. At the end of the Focus Groups 15 completed project forms were collected.

• Preparation of Novosela Commune tourist •

• • • •

guide Application of Novosela Commune to take the status of Regional Park for the protected area of Pishe–Poro Creation of a sports centre in Novosele Commune, also to serve the new University campus Native olive cultivation Extension of the dock for fishing boats in the port of Vlora Promotion of the production of preserved fish (anchovies and mackerels).

Vlora 18 April 2011 The meeting was moderated by SP experts and produced a draft lists of shared projects to include in the Regional SP. The main proposals were as follows: • Establishment of a youth multipurpose centre in Orikum • Enhancement of the Orikum archaeological park that has lost its attractiveness due to its location inside the military area of Pashaliman • Definition of a regional tourism marketing policy • Creation of a professional school for tourism (a Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities project) • Establishment of a “Coordination table” together with National institutions for cultural monuments management • Establishment of a day-care centre for people with disabilities in Vlora, integrated with a system of teaching farms with the purpose to bring patients in touch with nature as a therapeutic method • Creation of a database of traditional music cultural associations, in order to coordinate their activities • Passing on traditional music to younger generations, i.e. through the coordination with youth centres activities

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19 April 2011 In Saranda, as in Vlora case, SP experts explained the strategic planning process current status and moderated debates, whilst participants contributed through their ideas and concrete projects.

• • •

traditional textile handicraft activities using sheep and goats wool Develop high education regarding monuments restoration Restore monuments Integrate the agenda of events with the organisation of festivals to promote typical food products and traditional cuisine; Create brands and improve standardisation of agro-food products for exports.

The main output of the meeting consisted in a draft list of shared projects to be included in the regional SP. The main proposals were as follows: • Enhance fishing activities by developing existing harbours for fishing boats, creating shipyards for boats maintenance and repair as well as increasing the quality and safety of aquaculture products from the Butrint Lagoon • Regulate fishing activities • Manage construction and demolition debris • Regulate gravel pits and other extractive activities that have high environmental impact • Create connections amidst shepherds, craftsmen and tourist markets to enhance

STRATEGIC PLANNING OF VLORA REGION

“TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu

PROPOZIM PROJEKTESH Në kuadër të proçesit të planifikimit strategjik, Fokus Grupet kanë si qëllim të identifikojnë propozime projektesh për të arritur objektivat e strategjisë për zhvillimit rajonal. Jeni i ftuar për të dhënë kontributin tuaj duke propozuar ndërhyrje konkrete që ju konsideroni të dobishme për zbatimin e Veprimeve të planit strategjik.

PROPOZIMI JUAJ Titulli i projektit: …………..………………………………………………… Veprimi referues: ……………………………………………………………. Përshkrim i shkurtër i Projektit:

Ju lutemi, plotësoni formularin me shkronja të mëdha duke shkruar emrin dhe kontaktin tuaj, titullin dhe karakteristikat kryesore të propozimit tuaj duke specifikuar Veprimit të cilit i referohet.

TE DHENAT TUAJA PERSONALE Emri: ……………………………………………………………………………

Titulli i projektit: …………..…………………………………………………

Mbiemri: ………………..………………………………………………………

Veprimi referues: …………………………………………………………….

Kontakti:

Përshkrim i shkurtër i Projektit:

Tel.: ………………..……………………………………………………. Fax: ……..………………………………………………………………. E-mail: ……………..…………………………………………………… UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania www.artgold.undp.org.al

AGA2

AULEDA www.auleda.org

FOKUS GRUPET PRILL 2011

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Saranda

Top: a moment of the Focus Groups in Saranda. Above: the Form to collect project proposals distributed to territorial actors during the Focus Groups.

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3.3. The 10 Project Boxes for regional development The territorial actors involved in the participatory process proposed a large number of project ideas for the implementation of the shared Regional Sustainable Development Strategy. Other ideas were suggested by SP experts based on the debates outcomes and meetings held with institutions at national level. Another group of project ideas came from the analyses conducted by one of ILS LEDA experts on the regional value chains. In order to give a wider perspective to these proposals and ideas, 10 Project Boxes were defined, addressing the main aspects and areas that territorial actors considered crucial for sustainable regional development. The 10 Project Boxes contain a total of 112 projects. As previously explained, Project Boxes are “containers” where projects addressing the same topics and/or the same parts of the regional territories are clustered around a single theme and integrated with each other, thus developing synergies and interactions. In this way, projects can contribute more effectively to the achievement of the Vision “Zero Emissions Territory” and to the redefinition of the role of the Region in national and international setting. The proposed Project Boxes are the following: 1. “THEMATIC TOURISM IN VLORA REGION” - Cultural heritage and natural areas in the Region lack coordinated enhancement policies, hence they are often neglected, underrated and hardly accessible. The Project Box proposes the creation of an integrated system of tourist circuits involving a network of archaeological sites, castles, monasteries, natural sites, accommodation structures, tourist facilities and services. Interventions could include: restoration of historical sites and of their surroundings, creation of appropriate infrastructure for tourist accessibility and fruition (paths, parking lots, public conveniences, ticket booths, souvenir shops, etc.), design and production of multilanguage promotion materials, establishment of tourist services (guides, transports, etc.), training of human resources, integrated tickets systems,

etc. The Project Box contains 53 projects. 2. “BRANDS FOR VLORA REGION FOOD PRODUCTS” - Even though regional food products are strongly representative of Albanian identity, have a great potential for development and good quality characteristics, they are only recognised and appreciated on local and national markets. Hence, the aim is to complete value chains (including processing and marketing), encourage and support producers associations, in order to foster quality improvement, introduce brands and certifications, and launch Vlora Region products on international markets. The Project Box contains 18 projects. 3. “WATER AND SOIL PROTECTION” - The regional territory is heavily threatened by the absence of a waste and wastewater management systems and by uncontrolled constructions, menacing the hydro-geological balance and causing landslides, erosion and floods. These problems constitute risks for people safety and also have a negative impact on tourist attractiveness. The Project Box therefore aims at preserving and protecting natural resources such as water, seawater and soil, by regulating and reducing the impact of human activities on them, and by programming and carrying out effective precautionary interventions. The Project Box contains 7 projects. 4. “SEAWAYS IN VLORA REGION” - The vast extension of the regional coastline and the forthcoming abolition of the powerboats ban in Albania makes it reasonable to devise the development of a network of ports more equitably distributed in the Region, specialised, integrated with the surrounding urban and nonurban areas (through the creation of attractive, lively waterfronts) and connected by an efficient maritime transport service. In this network, a leading role shall be played by tourist ports, which can help Vlora Region enter the tourism market of leisure boat owners travelling in the Mediterranean, from Greece to Croatia and vice versa. The Project Box contains 6 projects.

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5. “VLORA REGION HANDICRAFT” - Even though regional handicraft products are strongly representative of local identity and have a great potential for development, especially in relation to the tourism market, they are recognised and appreciated only on local and national markets. Furthermore they are threatened by emigration, internal migration and lack of promotion and communication. The Project Box aims to ensure sustainability to typical handicraft, by disseminating the “know how” to younger generations, increasing awareness on the role of craftsmanship in the creation of regional identity and defining a brand and coordinated marketing policies to launch Vlora Region handicraft on international markets. The Project Box contains 3 projects. 6. “BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE AND ICT FOR VLORA REGION” - Basic infrastructure, such as water supply networks, sanitation and sewage systems, power supply networks and reliable ICT networks, are either lacking or inadequate in Vlora Region. This problem affects especially the rural and remote areas, where the realisation of basic services networks is hardly feasible. The Project Box originates from the idea that basic facilities represent a fundamental requirement for the development of tourism and business. Moreover, the development of isolated areas requires the improvement of connections - not only “physical”, but also “virtual” - with the rest of the Region and of the world. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can represent the main tool for rural communities in remote areas to access information, services, education and job opportunities, to promote their territory and their activities and products worldwide and to encourage young people to stay and work in their own villages. The Project Box contains 4 projects. 7. “VLORA REGION SOCIAL CARE NETWORK” - The Project Box is focused on the idea (already shared by several territorial actors and by ADF) of renovating old abandoned buildings (often former state-owned buildings) and transforming them into social care facilities (for children, elderly, people with disabilities, etc.) and/ or into places for social and cultural activities. The purpose is to increase social cohesion, inclusion and inter-generational dialogue within local communities. The Project Box contains 9 projects.

to fight against social exclusion of ethnic minorities. This is the reason why the regional SP envisaged a Strategic Guidelines dedicated to children and teenagers. The Project Box therefore contains all proposals focused on children, considering children as the future of the Region and their wellbeing as a crucial issue to build a more cohesive and inclusive society. The Project Box contains 7 projects. 9. “HEALTH IN VLORA REGION” - The upgrade of health care facilities and the creation of a network of community health centres, to assist both residents and tourists travelling in non-urban areas, were the main needs emerged in this sector during public consultation meetings. The fulfilment of these needs is crucial to ensure safety and quality of life for both regional population and visitors. The Project Box contains 3 projects. 10. “WORKING WOMEN IN VLORA REGION” - The participatory process emphasized gender equality as a very important issue in the regional society. Women seem to be strongly engaged in non profit associations, however in line with national trends, their participation in the labour market remains insufficient. The Project Box aims to support women employment and entrepreneurship in sectors that are considered important for territorial enhancement and economic development of the Region. This Project Box is strictly connected with Project Boxes 8 and 9, because the creation of services and structures for children, elderly and people with disabilities can help women regain the time needed for employment or entrepreneurial activities. The Project Box contains 2 projects. The following diagram shows the relationships between the 10 Project Boxes and the Regional Development Strategy, whereas Table 1 highlights the SP Actions the Project Boxes refer to.

8. “CHILDREN OF VLORA REGION” Participation activities emphasized the importance of children education and care, also

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Table 1. The Project Boxes and their connections with the Strategic Plan Actions

Project Box

Reference Strategic Plan Actions

Thematic tourism in Vlora Region (53 projects)

1.1. Tourist information services, effective territorial communication and marketing 1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structures 1.3. Valorisation and integration of cultural identities and landscape and environmental resources for tourist development and differentiation 1.4. Improving infrastructure and services for tourism 3.2. Lagoon ecosystems conservation 4.5. Education and training regarding key sectors for regional development 5.1. Knowledge, preservation, restoration and qualification of historical assets 5.2. Improvement of value chains connected with cultural production & heritage 6.1. Protection and sustainable development of natural areas and landscapes and preservation of biodiversity 7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility and competitiveness

Brands for Vlora Region food products (18 projects)

2.1. Promotion of typical products and increase of quality products for export purpose 2.2. Encourage producers grouping 2.3. Incentivize and support enterprises credit accessibility for farmers, breeders and craftsmen 3.1. Finalisation and valorisation of fish products value chains 3.3. Renovation of land ports and development of moorings integrated services 3.4. Rationalisation and strengthening of production-support infrastructure system in an integrated vision 4.5. Education and training regarding key sectors for regional development

Water and soil protection (7 projects)

2.2. Encourage producers grouping 6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management 6.3. Eco-sustainable solid waste management 6.4. Protection of the territory from hydrogeological risk

Seaways in Vlora Region (6 projects)

3.3. Renovation of land ports and development of moorings integrated services 7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility and competitiveness 9.4. Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and villages

Vlora Region handicraft (3 projects)

4.5. Education and training regarding key sectors for regional development 5.2. Improvement of value chains connected with cultural production and heritage 8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work placement programs

Basic infrastructure and ICT for Vlora Region (4 projects)

4.5. Education and training regarding key sectors for regional development 6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management 7.2. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 7.3. Promotion of renewable energy and energy saving

Vlora Region Social care network (9 projects)

8.2. Improving and innovating social care services

Children of Vlora Region (7 projects)

8.2. Improving and innovating social care services 9.3. Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage 9.4. Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and villages

Health in Vlora Region (3 projects)

4.5. Education training regarding key sectors for regional development 8.3. Improving public health services

Working women 8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work placement in Vlora Region programmes (2 projects)

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Project Boxes data sheets

The following data sheets provide more details about each Project Box: they provide a brief description of the projects it contains, specify the source of the projects (whether the latter were proposed by local actors, experts, international cooperation actors, etc.) and include preliminary notes on the possible partners to involve and procedures needed for the projects implementation. Additionally, the data sheets show how the SP was able to include and coordinate the outputs of other UNOPS programmes such as ILS LEDA and IDEASS. In particular (see the diagram below): • The survey of the productive resources through action-research methodology, implemented by ILS LEDA in the region, led to the definition of

4 “modular”, participatory projects, strongly grounded in the regional socio-economic reality, which were included in the specific Project Boxes related to craftsmanship and agro-food production; other project ideas were suggested based on the actions and steps for local economic development in Vlora Region, proposed by ILS LEDA expert. • The IDEASS catalogue and website contain several innovative methodologies that can be easily applied in the regional territory; the Project Boxes data sheets explicitly quote the IDEASS experience that can be taken as a reference model (especially from the viewpoints of management and organisation) for the implementation of specific projects suggested by local actors.

The relationships among the Project Boxes and UNOPS programmes IDEASS and ILS LEDA

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4.5

5.1 4.5

1.1

Training of tourist guides specialised in regional cultural heritage and cultural tourism

“Tourism@Education”

Tourist guide and map of Vlora Region and creation of a regional tourist website

Natural excursions through Shushica Valley Guide (Hore-Vranisht Commune)

Tourist Guide (Chamber of Commerce)

4.5 1.4

An experienced company shall be contracted to prepare the software. Training activities will be implemented by ATA associated members and partners specialised in vocational training on tourism

Possible partners: Universities, ATA, Ministry of Tourism Partners: UNDP Albania, Ministries of Tourism, of Inovation and ICT, of Education and Science, Università del Molise, ICT CNR, Albanian Institute of monuments, University of Tourism (Tirana), Local institutions, Babelia & C. (training activities implementation) The project needs to be correlated and integrated with other projects that aim the preparation of tourist guides and maps (“Tourist guide and map of Vlora Region and creation of a regional tourist website”, “Natural excursions through Shushica Valle Guide”) Possible partners: Regional government (website management), Chamber of Commerce and Universities (contents creation); a web designer shall be contracted to create the website. The projects need to be correlated and integrated with national projects that aim the preparation of guides and maps of the touristic areas.

The lack of tourist guides is considered a serious problem by territorial actors. The project shall especially focus on the identification of the subject(s) who will deal with the management of human resources, once trained. The project is divided into 3 parts: • Creation of a digital interactive map of cultural heritage and tourism in Albania to support online tourist itineraries, including detailed bilingual information about Albanian cultural heritage sites (geographical position, history, description, current status and restoration interventions performed, bibliography, pictures), subdivided in categories and classified according to their time period. • Support training activities for tourism development. • Prepare a communication plan to increase cultural tourism visibility. The plan shall include the establishment of 4 pilot multimedia itineraries to be launched on the MTKRS website, and the organisation of promotional events.

Design and implement a website containing information about what to do in the Region, including virtual itineraries and digital information. The website shall allow tourists to download information materials - brochures, comprehensive maps of the itineraries, guides of significant areas and cultural heritage sites, etc. - with a modular and customized approach, according to current tourism market trends. The website content will form an easily updatable and modular virtual tourist guide, including a map of the Region and itineraries such as the tour of the National Park of Llogara, natural excursions through the Shushica Valley, cultural circuits, etc.

Notes on the implementation

53 Projects

The project includes 3 main activities: • Development of a software for on-line hotel booking in the Region. • Three 3-weeks basic training courses in tourism, targeting employees in restaurants, hotels and travel agencies. • Promotion of project results, also through an European best practices manual of tourist services. Project cost is about 36,000 USD.

SP Brief description actions

Improvement of human capital on tourism (Albanian Tourism Association – ATA)

Hospitality, tourist reception and marketing

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 1 Thematic tourism in Vlora Region

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1.4

Public toilets (restrooms) in tourist areas

7.1

7.1

7.1

7.1

Rehabilitation of the road Vlore-KucBorsh

Rehabilitation of the roads connecting the villages of Shushica valley to National roads

Rural roads network rehabilitation and integration

Rehabilitation of the road Ksamil-Butrint (Ksamil Commune)

Accessibility of tourist areas

1.4

1.2

Renovation of traditional houses for family tourism

New parking areas in major tourist destinations

1.2

Community Based Tourism Initiatives in Himara Municipality (CRCD)

*

1.4

Notes on the implementation

Further information needed

ADF can be a possible partner.

The rehabilitation of rural roads aims to improve accessibility to areas that are interesting to tourists: ADF can be a possible partner. priority shall be given to roads leading to castles, typical villages, archaeological remains, etc.

ADF can be a possible partner.

The project is strongly interconnected to the previous one (“Rehabilitation of the road Vlore-KucBorsh”) and aims to create the conditions to make the Shushica Valley a major tourist destination in the region.

The project shall be implemented by local authorities. Management of the public toilets can also be assigned to private contractors.

Building of public restrooms in the main tourist areas. Design shall respect international regulations on disabled-friendly buildings.

The project is already included in the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan. ADF can be a possible partner for the project implementation.

The project shall be implemented by local authorities. Fee parking can be envisaged, representing an additional income for local administrations.

Creation of new parking areas in major tourist destinations (Vlora, Orikum, Llogara, Dhermi, Himara, Saranda, Ksamil, Butrint). The parking areas shall be realized in strong connection with the main regional tourist attractors. Parking lots shall be designed and built with eco-friendly criteria, materials and technologies, in order to minimize their impact on the environment and on the landscape.

Rehabilitation in all its length of the national road connecting the Shushica valley with Vlora city and Himara. The project responds to a need expressed by the Mayor of Shushica, who explained that the construction of the road will facilitate both the transport of people and of agricultural and livestock products.

The project can involve AULEDA, because grants will be needed to help farmers invest in the houses renovation. Special attention should be given to the use of traditional, eco-friendly materials and technologies, and to the application of energy saving measures.

Creation of a network of traditional houses to be used as tourist accommodation. The project can apply the methodology of the Italian experience “Compagnia dei Parchi”, included in the IDEASS catalogue. CDP is an innovative, non-profit, limited liability consortium with an organisational structure consisting of a head office (responsible for bookings and tourism marketing) and a network of affiliated accommodation structures in protected areas, promoted through the Internet, trade fairs and tourism links. CDP also fosters the development of new tourism-related services.

Further information needed

Creation of 2 Tourist infopoints in the main towns of the region, properly interconnected through Possible partners: ATA, Ministry of Tourism, an intranet, providing updated information on places to visit and booking services for hotels, B&B accommodation structures and tourist services and agritourism structures. The project will benefit from the development of a software for on-line (preferably associated) hotel booking (project “Improvement of human capital on tourism”), and from the results of the projects “Tourist guide and map of Vlora Region and creation of a regional tourist website”, “Creation of a digital interactive map of cultural heritage and tourism in Albania” and “Creation and promotion of an events agenda in Vlora region”.

SP Brief description actions

Tourist information points in Vlora and Saranda

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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5.1

5.1 5.2

5.1

5.1

5.1

5.1

Improving the tourist services on the Archaeological Park of Phoenike (Regional Directory of National Culture RDNC, Saranda)

Finiq Museum (Finiq Commune)

Restoration of Amantia archaeological site

Restoration of Oric archaeological site

Castles tourist circuit

Restoration of Porto Palermo Castle and rehabilitation of the surrounding areas

Notes on the implementation

Possible connections can be developed with the “Widespread bazaar of Vlora” project and partnerships can be established with craftsmen associations.

Establisment and installation of the Finiq Museum, to be also used as a culture and crafts centre, with spaces dedicated to sell handicraft products.

Possible partners: University, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments, Ministry of Defence. An agreement shall be found with the Ministry of Defence for the rehabilitation and fruition of the site. Possible partners: University, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments, ATA Possible partners: University, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments, Ministry of Defence. The whole Porto Palermo area can become the subject of an integrated project, also addressing the issue of the military premises recovery. An agreement shall be found with the Ministry of Defence for the rehabilitation.

At the moment, Oricum archaeological park is hardly accessible, because it is included in a military area. The presence of abandoned military buildings also represents a detractor for tourism fruition, and threathens the lagoon ecosystem. Further excavation is needed to bring the ancient city into light. The site can thus become the subject of an integrated project, including the excavation of the archaeological area, and the lagoon environmental rehabilitation and protection, also through the clearance of the abandoned military buildings. Creation and coordinated promotion of a network of castles (Porto Palermo, Borsch, Himara, Butrint, etc.), having its main attractor in Porto Palermo Castle. Creation of an integrated ticketing system with different features for different targets to encourage tourists. The site of Porto Palermo Castle, because of its cultural and landscape value, has the potential to become a major tourist attractor. The implementation of the project “Rehabilitation of the road Vlore-Kuc-Borsh” will increase its accessibility from the hinterland, and make it a crossroad for tourist itineraries in the region. The project shall address its restoration and management, as well as the restoration and refurbishment of the nearby buildings, now in decay.

The archaeological site of Amantia, in the Shushica Valley, is hardly accessible by tourists, Possible partners: University, Ministry of mainly because of the poor road network. Scarce accessibility and promotion can doom the site Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments to decay. The project includes the restoration of the city remains and the inclusion of Amantia as the “finish point” of a tourist itinerary in the Shushica valley.

The park staff, supported by experts from the Cultural Monuments Institute, will implement the project. Building companies will submit offers for infrastructure interventions. An external expert will be contracted to monitor and supervise the project.

The project includes: regulation of the entrance road to the park; extension and new layout of the pedestrian roads; building of a ticket booth; monuments fencing; creation of 2 resting areas for tourists; planting of olive trees along the main road; placement of trash bins along the main path and near the monuments; promotion activities. The project cost is around 30,000 USD.

Creation and coordinated promotion of a network of regional archaeological sites (Butrint, Finiq, Ministry of Tourism and Albanian Institute of Amantia, Oric, etc.), having Butrint archaeological park as its main attractor. Creation of an monuments should be actively involved. integrated ticketing system with different features for different targets to encourage tourists.

SP Brief description actions

Archaeological tourist circuit

Heritage tourist circuits

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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1.4

5.1

5.1

Monasteries and churches tourist circuit

Zvërnec Monastery Restoration (RDNC, Vlora)

Restoration of the Church of St. George, Saranda (Directorate of Culture, Saranda)

Monastery of St. Nicholas, Mesopotam (Directorate of Culture, Saranda)

Restoration of St. Jani Basilica, Delvine (Directorate of Culture, Saranda)

Intervention on the mosaics of the Basilica (Synagogue), Saranda (Directorate of Culture, Saranda)

Restoration at the church of St. Nicholas, Mesopotam (Directorate of Culture, Saranda)

Integrated ticket for cultural heritage sites

Restoration of “minor buildings”

“Coordination table” for the management of cultural monuments

Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, ATA Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments

Creation and coordinated promotion of a network of Byzantine monasteries and churches, having its main centres of attraction in Zvernec and in Delvina district. Further information needed Further information needed

The fortified monastery, perhaps built in the era of the Emperor Constantine IX (1042-1054), includes the homonym church of St. Nicholas. Further information needed about the project. Further information needed Further information needed

Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, owners of historical buildings, cultural associations Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments, Local authorities, cultural heritage sites management bodies.

The project includes the restoration of traditional buildings in Dhermi, Palasa, Qeparo village, in the old town of Vlora, etc., and the increase of the population awareness on their cultural and historical value, also as tourist attractions. The Focus Groups highlighted the need for a stronger cooperation and coordination among local and national institutions, aimed to improve the effectiveness of policies related to the restoration, preservation and management of regional cultural heritage. The Table will gather all authorities and institutions relevant in these fields, and will help define coordinated policies and joint projects to enhance cultural heritage, assign responsibilities and tasks, monitor the achieved results.

Creation and promotion of an integrated and modular ticket system allowing tourists to buy a Possible partners: Ministry of Tourism, ATA, single ticket valid for the most important monuments in the region and for a fixed number of days. Travel agencies Tickets of different prices can be designed, giving access to a different number of attractions. Tickets could also work as vouchers to get discounts for products and services. The involvement of Tourist information points and travel agencies will be crucial for the success of the project.

The local authorities of Mesopotam Commune also mentioned the need to improve accessibility Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of to the monastery through a road linking it to Delvine and Jamil Mosque, thus creating a small Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments tourist route that includes important cultural heritage sites in the district. Further information is needed about the project.

Possible partners: Universities, Ministry of Tourism, Albanian Institute of monuments

Notes on the implementation

Further information needed

SP Brief description actions

Restoration of Dervish Ali Tower (RDNC, Vlora)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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3.2 6.1

Creation of a University centre for the protection and sustainable development of sea and wetlands

1.3

Healing tourism in Ksamil (Ksamil Commune)

6.1

1.3

Botanical park of Mediterranean flora (Ksamil Commune)

Forests sustainable management in Butrint area

1.3

Sports centre for villages (Commune of Livadhja)

6.1

1.3

Contemporary Sport facilities (Armen Commune)

Start up of Shushica Valley Regional Park (Hore-Vranisht Commune)

1.3

Sport flight development (Aeronautics association)

*

1.3

The Shushica Valley can become subject of an integrated project, coordinating natural, cultural and productive aspects. Possible partners: Ministry of Tourism, ADF, associations operating in the field (of mountain tourism, sports, etc.), private subjects.

Notes on the implementation

Possible partners: Albanian and foreign Universities (University of Vienna has been contacted) and private investors. Possible synergies can be developed with the IDEASS innovation “Developing hydrothermal resources in Albania with innovative methodologies” (partners: B.A.ZH Association, University of Padua).

Local authorities could involve private investors in the implementation of the project and in the sports centres management.

The idea is to establish a research centre focused on environmental issues, especially Possible partners: Ministry of Environment, addressing the problems of sea and wetlands, which are very important ecosystems and tourist Universities attractors in the region.

Further information needed

This idea comes as a logical continuation of the UNDP project “Lumi Vlore”, which launched the A Promoting Committee for the park was idea of establishing a regional park in the Shushica Valley to foster sustainable development, established in 2006. The project shall recover especially in the ecotourism sector. The Valley has great potentials to host trekking activities. that experience and (re)establish cooperation relationships with the Ministries of Environment and of Agriculture.

Creation of an integrated Centre for healing tourism, including a hotel and a shopping centre and offering physiotherapy and health care services. The project could contribute to the valorisation of the healing waters in Butrint lake area, a need emerged during the Open Days.

The park will be directly accessible from Butrint, to integrate cultural and environmental values.

Creation of a network of sports centres in major villages, working as attractors for clusters of neighbouring villages and offering sports facilities and services also to tourists.

Further information needed

The project includes: identification of flight spots and realization of a school and training sport flight The Aeronautics association will implement the centres in the regional territory, managed by pilots association; realization of infrastructure and project in cooperation with pilot associations. services for pilots and visitors; support all activities related to sport flight and sport flight centres. The project will also work on the sport flight regulations, in cooperation with international bodies.

Rehabilitation of existing paths and rural roads to form circuits for sports tourism (trekking, mountain bike, etc.). The paths will be safe and equipped with viewpoints, picnic areas, small services such as bike rentals and repair shops. The circuits will be included in a map and promoted through the regional tourism website (see above).

SP Brief description actions

Creation of itineraries for sports in Shushica valley

Nature & sports tourist circuits

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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“Vlora cultural system”

Cultural production

5.2

3.2 6.1

*

Birdwatching in Narta Lagoon

3.2

3.2

*

Tourist activities in the protected area could be managed with the active involvement of the local community, referring to the methodology applied in the IDEASS experience “Sustainable community management of the submarine national park La Caleta” (Dominican Republic)

Narta lagoon hosts 195 bird species and represents the second largest site in Albania for seabirds. During the winter it attracts about 23% of birds migrating to Albania. In order to establish sustainable economic activities in the area, the project purpose is to organise birdwatching itineraries in the lagoon, involving and eventually training local community members (fishermen, boat owners, etc.) as guides.

Possible partners: • AULEDA (implementation) • Regional Government. • Municipalities and Communes owning material/nonmaterial cultural heritage • Craftsmen producing traditional music instruments • Cultural products trading businesses (including e-commerce) • Schools and universities • Vocational training institutes • Producers of conventional and digital multimedia artworks • Cultural associations • Institutions in the cultural heritage management sector Step 2 could be implemented also through the coordination with youth centres activities.

Novosele Commune shall apply to take the status of Regional Park for the Pishe – Poro area.

The purpose of the proposal is to preserve a wide area in Novosele Commune, north of Narta lagoon, with a high natural and landscape value, by transforming it into a regional park and by promoting its sustainable tourist fruition, also related to beach tourism.

Step 1 (Cultural heritage and relational capital) • Complete the survey of regional cultural heritage and cultural associations • Organize and establish the “Vlora Cultural System”, as a network among local cultural actors • Involve local cultural actors in the Governance subject of Auleda • Build a map of the cultural heritage of Vlora Step 2 (Cultural production) • Recover “know how” regarding the production of traditional musical instruments • Gather knowledge in old traditional musical genders (isopoliphony) and promote their diffusion • Rationalize and improve the quality of live cultural proposal of the region • Promote synergies between traditional heritage and contemporary creativity, through the realization of new artworks Step 3 (“Sites System”) • Create an integrated system of the material cultural sites of the region • Organize and support the management of the “Sites Systems”. Step 4 (Multimedia production) • Design and realization of a “Multimedia Laboratory” Note by iNExTstudio: The project can also encourage the development of art galleries in major towns, to support local artists – a need that emerged during the Open Days. The creation of a database of cultural associations dealing with traditional music, to coordinate their activities (a need that emerged during the Focus Groups), can also be considered.

The newly established protected area could be managed through the local community involvement, taking as a model the IDEASS methodology “Sustainable community management of the submarine national park La Caleta” (Dominican Republic)

Notes on the implementation

The lagoon of Orikum is the only lagoon in the region that is not declared a protected area, despite its importance as environmental framework of Orikum Archaeological Park. The presence of Pashaliman military base helped to preserve the wetlands from uncontrolled buildings, but the area is now covered with abandoned military buildings and equipments, probably hazardous for the health and the environment. The establishment of a protected area could foster sustainable cultural and natural tourism development and help preserving biodiversity and landscape.

SP Brief description actions

Pishe – Poro Regional Park

Protected area of the Orikum Lagoon

Nature & sports tourist circuits

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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5.2

“Ethnographic values that do not vanish” (Vlora Municipality)

Further information needed

Further information needed

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

*

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Possible partners: Ministry of Tourism, Regional government, cultural associations. The projects is strongly linked to the projects “Vlora Cultural System”, “Tourist guide and map of Vlora Region and creation of a regional tourist website” and “Tourism@Education”.

Notes on the implementation

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

5.2

Creation of a coordinated and constantly updated agenda of events existing in the Region and design of new periodic events to enhance the regional cultural identity and to attract tourists from all over Albania and abroad. The agenda shall be published on the websites of national, regional and local institutions and on other websites dedicated to tourism-related issues.

5.2

Iso-Polyphony and the spiritual heritage (“Aulona” Cultural Center)

Further information needed

Creation and promotion of an events agenda in Vlora region

5.2

Cinema in Novosele Commune (Novosele Commune)

Further information needed

Further information needed

5.2

Guide of Iso-Polyphonic music experiences of Shushica Valley (Hore-Vranisht Commune)

Further information needed

“Promotion of cultural values” (Novosele Commune)

5.2

SP Brief description actions

Cultural Heritage through Iso-Polyphony (“Aulona” Cultural Center)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

Agricultural market, Ksamil (Ksamil Commune)

Enhancement of the Olive value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

2.1

2.2

Construction of agricultural products storage structures in Shushica valley

Promotion of Kalinjot Olives (Center of Agricultural Technologies Transfer - CATT, Vlora)

2.3

Notes on the implementation

18 Projects

Possible partners: AULEDA, farmers and producers (single and associated), external advisors (to offer consultancy on specific issues), actors of the hospitality sector (to support the products marketing and promotion). The project is strictly connected to the “Promotion of Kalinjot Olives” project (see below).

The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through the improvement of its products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producers associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: Support cohesion and networking in the Olive value chain • Promote the cohesion of individual producers by supporting their involvement in Associations, both existing or newly established. • Promote the creation of a Vlora Olive Forum, with the participation of the producers Associations. The Forum will have the mission to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. • Involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. • Promote synergies with the local actors of Fish and Fruit and Vegetables value chains. Improve regional Olive value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in farming & processing activities. • Support the creation of new enterprises and processing laboratories (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the enterprises of the Olive value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO quality, HACCP and organic certifications. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about bio–chemical and nutritional characteristics of Vlora Olive value chain products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on a national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of Olive products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

The project includes two main activities: the purchase of a two-phases spinner, to introduce advanced Implementing subjects: Center of Agricultural technology in the oil production; promotion activities: demonstrative tour, media strategy, promotional Technologies Transfer (CATT) in cooperation leaflets, round tables with specialists from this sector and farmers that produce and extract olive oil. with “Kalinjot olive association”

Possible partners: AULEDA and farmers associations

Further information needed

Participation highlighted the need for warehouses to store agricultural products. These structures can be Possible partners: AULEDA and farmers built in unused buildings (to restore with eco-friendly criteria) and managed by farmers associations. associations

Encourage the establishment of new rural enterprises, especially agritourism and rural tourism structures; Possible partners: AULEDA and producers and food processing enterprises to process the typical local products identified by ILS LEDA expert: fruits, associations honey, mussels, fish, and milk. Support could be offered through grants, training and capacity building, market analyses, provision of information regarding available international and national funds.

SP Brief description actions

Support to new enterprises in the food processing sector

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 2 Brands for Vlora Region food products

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SP actions 2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

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2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers) “Herbs of Vlora”

Construction of a medicinal herbs storage structure in Shushica valley

Enhancement of the Wine value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

Notes on the implementation

Step 1 (The work on the chains) Possible partners: • Complete the survey of regional medical and aromatic plants • AULEDA (implementation) • Promote herbs cultivation and sustainable gathering activities of no cultivable germplasm • Regional Government • Promote local associations of herbs producers and gatherers, involve them in AULEDA local partnership • Municipalities and Communes • Organise Quality Control and Food Security systems • Herbs producers • Support branding and packaging of fresh and dried products • Herbs gatherers • Find new adequate national, Balkan and international markets, find final distributor on identified • Enterprises working in the sectors of markets, and ensure negotiation and brokerage chemical processing and packaging • Organise the “Herbs Network of Vlora” • Enterprises dealing with export activities • Vocational training institutes Step 2 (Processing) • Identify herbs processing possibilities and competitiveness • Web design companies • Establish organic productive processes Step 3 (Enterprise building) • Advanced training design (vocational training and learning by doing activities). Carry out training activities in herbs processing and enterprise building and management • Establish organic productive processes • Promote and globally support enterprises for herbs processing Surveys and meetings highlighted the need for warehouses to store herbs. These structures can be Possible partners: AULEDA and herb realized in unused buildings (to restore with eco-friendly criteria) and be managed by associated herb gatherers and farmers associations gatherers and farmers. The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through thePossible partners: AULEDA, farmers and improvement of products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producerswine producers (single and associated), associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: external advisors (to offer consultancy on Support cohesion and networking in the Wine value chain specific issues), actors of the hospitality • Promote the cohesion of individual farmers and wineries through supporting their involvement in sector (to support the products marketing Associations, both existing or newly established. and promotion). • Promote the creation of a Vlora Wine Forum, participated by the producers Associations, with the The project is strictly connected to the mission to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. “Production of high quality wines with native • Involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. varieties” project (see below). Improve regional Wine value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in farming and processing activities. • Support the creation of new individual and small enterprises and of laboratories and nurseries of endogenous grape varieties (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the enterprises of the Wine value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO quality, HACCP and organic certifications. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about quality characteristics of Vlora Wine products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of Wine products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

Brief description

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2.1

2.2

3.1 3.4 4.5 2.1 2.2

3.3

3.4

Honey Market Place (Hore-Vranisht Commune)

“Sea fishing in Vlora”

Dock extension at Dema Monastery (National Fisheries Directory)

Reconstruction of Butrint-Bistrica canal command point (OMP, Butrint)

Possible partners: AULEDA and honey producers associations

Possible partners: • AULEDA (implementation) • Regional Government • Coastal Municipalities and Communes • Municipalities and Communes of the Region producing Kalinjot olives and extra virgin Kalinjot oil • Fishermen associations • Olive producers associations • Food processing activities (fish preserves) • Olive oil production activities • Packaging production activities • Building activities • Fish traders • Food export activities • Hotels, restaurants, catering activities • Vocational training institutes • Web design companies Synergies can be developed with the priority project “Promotion of Kalinjot Olives”. During the Focus Groups, the Fishermen associations and directory of Vlora expressed its interest in the project of creating a preserved fish (anchovies and mackerels) processing factory.

The market, that can be built in the Hore-Vranisht Commune, will provide the Shushica Valley beekeepers with a place to trade honey, thus enhancing the existing Bee value chain. The marketplace could also be equipped with veterinary services, quality control services, business services, etc., and managed with the involvement of honey producers associations. Step 1 (The work on relational capital) • Complete the survey of sea fishing activities in Vlora district • Involve fishermen in the existing Association of the Fishermen of Vlora • Gather information about fishing activities in Saranda • Promote the Association of the Fishermen of Saranda and involve fishermen in it • Involve Fishermen’s Associations in the AULEDA local partnership • Complete the survey of Kalinjot olive producers and olive millers • Promote the “Vlora Association of Kalinjot”, and involve Kalinjot producers and olive millers in it Step 2 (The fish markets) • Training design for commercial negotiators to be employed in food markets. Carry out training activities • Identify, recover or restoration and complete fitting of 2 existing buildings (one in Vlora and one in Saranda) to be equipped as fish markets Step 3 (Restaurants) • Training design for catering workers. Carry out training activities • Identify, recover/restoration and equipping of 2 existing buildings (one in Vlora – area of Triport – and one in Saranda) to be equipped and certificated as restaurants Step 4 (Pilot production of preserved fish) • Identify traditional and innovative fish preserves (Vlora, Saranda) • Technical and specialist support in order to elaborate safe, quality and organic processes of preserved sea food (both in oil and natural) • Training design for catering workers • Carry out training activities • Participate in international food fairs Step 5 (Enterprise building) • Global support to the creation of 2 new enterprises (Vlora, Saranda) for the production of fish preserves

Further information needed

Further information needed

Possible partners: AULEDA and Agribusiness Association

Notes on the implementation

Further information needed

SP Brief description actions

Production of high quality wines with native varieties (Agribusiness Association)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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2.1

2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

Enhancement of the Bee value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

Activity 1: A company can be contracted to carry out the works; Activity 2: to be implemented by OMP in cooperation with Universities and national institutes; Activity 3: to be implemented by OMP, Agriculture University of Tirana, University of Vlora; Activity 4: The leaflet will be prepared by OMP project staff; Activity 5: An experienced company shall be contracted to prepare the website Possible partners: AULEDA, beekeepers and bee products processers (single and associated), external advisors (to offer consultancy on specific issues), actors of the hospitality sector (to support the products marketing and promotion).

The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through the improvement of its products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producers associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: Support cohesion and networking in the Bee value chain • Promote the cohesion of individual Beekeepers and bee products processers by supporting their involvement in Associations, both existing or newly established. • Promote the creation of a Vlora Bee Forum, with the participation of the Associations of beekeepers and bee products processers. The Forum will have the mission to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. • Involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. • Promote synergies among the local actors of Bee, Fruit and Vegetables, Herbs value chains. Improve regional Bee value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in beekeeping activities. • Support the creation of new beekeeping individual and small enterprises and of bee value chain products processing laboratories (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the food enterprises of the Bee value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO quality certification, HACCP certification and organic certification. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about bio–chemical and nutritional characteristics of Vlora Bee value chain products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of bee products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

Notes on the implementation

The project includes 5 different activities: 1) Removal of mollusc shells from Butrint Lagoon and elimination of shell remains; 2) Measurement of product microbiological parameters before and after the intervention, and comparison of the results with EU regulations; 3) Organisation of an International Conference with the participation of national and foreign researchers; 4) Design and publication of a leaflet, including information about molluscs, the legal framework for their production and the steps to follow to accomplish EU food safety standards; 5) Preparation of a website, to promote the association, the project and the related activities.

SP Brief description actions

Standards improvement of clams quality in accordance with European Community regulations (Fishing Management Organization – OMP, Butrint)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

Enhancement of the Meat value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

Possible partners: AULEDA, liquors producers (single and associated), external advisors (to offer consultancy on specific issues), actors of the hospitality sector (to support the products marketing and promotion).

Possible partners: AULEDA, breeders and producers (single and associated), external advisors (to offer consultancy on specific issues), actors of the hospitality sector (to support the products marketing and promotion).

The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through the improvement of its products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producers associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: Support cohesion and networking in the meat value chain • Promote the cohesion of individual producers by supporting their involvement in Associations, both existing or newly established; involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. • Promote the creation of a Vlora Meat Forum, with the participation of the producers Associations. The Forum will have the mission to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. • Promote synergies with the local actors of Fruit and Vegetables value chain (for grazing areas). Improve regional meat value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in breeding and processing. • Support the creation of new individual and small enterprises, slaughterhouses and processing laboratories (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the enterprises of the Meat value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO quality, HACCP and organic certifications. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about bio–chemical and nutritional characteristics of Vlora Meat value chain products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of Meat products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

Notes on the implementation

The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through the improvement of its products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producers associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: Support cohesion and networking in the Liquors value chain • Promote the cohesion of individual producers by supporting their involvement in Associations, both existing or newly established; involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. • Promote the creation of a Vlora Liquors Forum, with the participation of the producers Associations. The Forum mission is to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. • Promote synergies with the local actors of Fruit and Herbs value chains. Improve regional Liquors value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in processing activities. • Support the creation of new individual and small enterprises and of processing laboratories (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the enterprises of the Liquors value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO quality, HACCP and organic certifications. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about bio–chemical and nutritional characteristics of Vlora Liquors value chain products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on a national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of Liquors products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

SP Brief description actions

Enhancement of the Liquors value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

*

Possible partners: AULEDA, breeders and producers (single and associated), external advisors (to offer consultancy on specific issues), actors of the hospitality sector (to support the products marketing and promotion).

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

The project aims to create the basic conditions to increase the productivity of the value chain through the improvement of its products safety, quality and promotion and the development of representative producers associations. The main activities and steps are as follows: Support cohesion and networking in the Milk value chain • Promote the cohesion of individual producers by supporting their involvement in Associations, both existing or newly established; involve Associations in AULEDA Local Partnership. • Promote the creation of a Vlora Milk Forum, with the participation of the producers Associations. The Forum will have the mission to plan and implement coordinated strategies for production, innovation and marketing. • Promote synergies with the local actors of Fruit and Vegetables value chain (for grazing areas). Improve regional Milk value chain productivity • Support the Forum in organising basic and advanced training courses in breeding and processing. • Support the creation of new individual and small artisan quality enterprises and of processing laboratories (also through the Guaranty Fund). Certification of the enterprises of the Milk value chain • Support enterprises in the achievement of ISO, HACCP and organic certifications. Improve marketing and promotion • Analyse regional, national and international markets and elaborate market strategies accordingly. • Promote applied researches about bio–chemical and nutritional characteristics of Vlora Milk value chain products and promote food education activities addressed to regional consumers. • Create and promote, on national and international scale, a Vlora quality brand of Milk products. • Identify national and foreign distributors and manage representation activity toward them.

Notes on the implementation

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

2.1 2.2 2.3 4.5

SP Brief description actions

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

Enhancement of the Milk value chain (devised on the basis of the actions proposed by ILS LEDA for the local economic development of Vlora region)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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6.4

Possible partner: ADF

Notes on the implementation

7 Projects

Possible partners: Communes of Brataj, Horë-Vranisht, Kotë, Livadhja, Markat, Shushicë, Selenicë (which expressed interest in the project), farmers associations.

Possible partner: ADF. The project can be implemented through Decentralised Cooperation.

*

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Mapping and monitoring of areas with high hydro-geological hazard, through surveys, Possible partner: Ministry of Environment, historical reconstruction of instability phaenomena, analysis and control of rainfall and of the Universities. superficial hydrographic system, with the aim to prevent landslides, floods and erosion and to effectively program maintenance, rehabilitation and engineering interventions.

The project idea consists in the application of Soil Bioengeneering technologies to solve hydro-geological instability regarding slopes, mountain roads, etc. It refers directly to the methodology of the IDEASS experience “Soil Bioengeneering” (Italy).

Further information needed

Creation of waste management systems, according to the “Zero waste” approach: wastes The management aspects of the project idea can be shall be seen as a resource, and recycled as much as possible, also as raw materials for inspired to the IDEASS experience “Community other productive activities, thus minimizing the amount of materials brought to landfills. stakeholding, for managing local services” (Italy). Feasibility studies for the implementation of this idea can take as a reference model best practices developed in other countries, such as the Zero Waste Alliance programme (www.zerowaste.org) and the various existing experiences of recycling and reuse of Construction and Demolition Debris.

Rehabilitation and integration of the canalization systems to irrigate fields, also through the recovery of abandoned drainage channels, often crammed by rubbish. The project shall include a network management system, involving local authorities and farmers.

The idea is to promote the diffusion of small purification systems based on eco-friendly Possible partners: AULEDA, environmental institutions & technologies in rural and remote areas, where the construction of bigger plants could be associations, Universities. Possible support from financially unfeasible. The project idea takes inspiration from the methodology of IDEASS Decentralised Cooperation. experience “Constructed wetlands, natural water purification systems” (Italy).

The project aims mainly to preserve the sea and the coastal ecosystems, also in consideration of their high potential as tourism attractors.

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

Map of hydro-geological hazard

6.4

Use of Soil Bioengeneering technologies

*

6.4

Regulatory Plan (Saranda Municipality)

6.3

“Zero waste” sustainable waste management system

*

6.2 2.2

Rehabilitation of drainage and irrigation network

6.2

Environmentally sustainable water treatment in rural areas

*

6.2

SP Brief description actions

Water treatment plants in coastal areas

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 3 Water and soil protection

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7.1

3.3

7.1

7.1

9.4

Construction of tourist ports

Dock expansion in Vlora and Saranda (Fishermen associations and directory)

Maritime transport services linking Vlora, Himara, Saranda and Ksamil

Integration the port of Vlora in the urban fabric

Waterfront rehabilitation in coastal cities and villages

Ksamil Commune expressed the willingness to build a marina in its territory. Possible partners: Ministry of Transports, ADF, local authorities, Fishing directories, Fishermen associations.

The length of the regional coasts and the lack of properly equipped marinas justify the creation of tourist harbours, as intermediate stops for sea travellers between Greece and Croatia. A detailed feasibility study will be needed. The project idea aims to: • Increase the number of fishing boats that can find shelter in the ports; • Increase the number of workers in the fishing sector; • Improve port infrastructure.

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

*

Projects shall be implemented by local authorities, also by promoting architectural competitions.

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

New urban design for waterfront areas in Vlora, Himara and Saranda (at least), to improve tourist attractiveness and urban quality, and to increase pedestrian areas as a favourable environment for tourism-related businesses.

The project for the port renewal (already funded by Italian Cooperation and scheduled to Possible partners: Ministry of Transports, Vlora start within next year) includes 2 distinct zones, a commercial one and a marina, with 2 Municipality, Vlora Fishermen association. separate access points, which need to be properly connected with urban roads and services networks. The project aims to identify and develop connections between the port and the urban fabric of the city.

Establishment of transport services connecting the major ports and tourist destinations of the Possible partners: Ministry of Transports, private region (both existing and to be), to offer an alternative transport mode to tourists. investors.

Possible partners: Ministry of Transports, Ministry of Tourism, ADF, local authorities, Fishing directories, Fishermen associations.

The study aims to identify interventions and procedures for regional ports development and specialisation, focusing on the increase of tourist ports and harbours for fishing boats.

Notes on the implementation

7 Projects

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

7.1 3.3

SP Brief description actions

Feasibility study for the development of the port network

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 4 Seaways in Vlora Region

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4.5 5.2

Arts and Crafts school

*

5.2 4.5

The Open Days debate within the Social Issues workshop in Saranda generated a proposal for the creation of “tradition schools” or “crafts schools” to valorise the old people “know how” and skills, to transmit them to the young generations and to encourage the creation of handicraft enterprises, to be supported by AULEDA.

Step 1 (The work on the chains) • Complete the survey of regional art and handicraft resources • Promote associations, and involve them in AULEDA Local Partnership • Find new supplying channels for raw material (especially in textile) • Find new adequate national, area (Balkans) and international markets • Find final distributor on identified markets, ensuring negotiation and brokerage • Organise the “Art and Handicraft Network of Vlora” Step 2 (Ensuring the handicraft a future) • Organise a regional/national selection for young apprentices in handicraft • Training design (vocational training and learning by doing activities). Carry out training activities for handicraft issues and enterprise building • Support the creation of new enterprises in handicraft Step 3 (A virtual bazaar) • Promote the “Bazaar of Vlora” as an association of associations, and as an evolution of the “Art and Handicraft Network of Vlora” • Map (GIS) handicraft resources of the Region • Design, create and manage the “Bazaar of Vlora” website • Organise promotion and communication activities (external marketing) Note by iNExTstudio: The project can also include the creation of a Brand for Vlora Region craftsmanship, as an evolution of the “Bazaar of Vlora”. The associations network can also work as a register for artisans, to boost handicraft quality (a need that emerged during the Open days). The creation of new handicraft enterprises (Step 2) could include laboratories for leather processing (a need expressed by the Mayor of Hore-Vranisht).

SP Brief description actions

“Widespread bazaar of Vlora”

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 5 Vlora Region handicraft

The project can be implemented with the involvement of AULEDA, vocational training institutes, universities (Human Sciences Faculties) and no profit associations, taking as a model the IDEASS methodology “University of Crafts and Trades” (Ecuador).

Note by iNExTstudio: The virtual bazaar (Step 3) should establish connections with tourist attractors management bodies, to develop small handicraft shops in cultural heritage sites like Butrint and Finiq.

Possible partners: • AULEDA (implementation) • Regional Government • Municipalities and Communes • Wood producers and collector • Sheep and goats breeders • Wood, textile, iron and steel craftsmen, other craftsmen • Visual artists • Plants, recovery and restoration companies • Import activities (raw materials) • Art and handicraft shops and traders • Export activities (handicraft and works of art) • Vocational training institutes • Art production and management sector • Cultural associations • Web design companies

Notes on the implementation

3 Projects

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*

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

The project aims to include vulnerable groups in the labour market (with special attention Partners: AULEDA and Regione Marche (Italy), supported by to the sectors connected to the regional arts and crafts), by promoting and giving technical UNDP and KIP Scientific Committee support to social enterprises. Proposed activities are: mapping of regional arts and crafts; transformation of selected regional businesses in Corporate Social Responsibility enterprises; creation of at least 5 social enterprises; establishment of Centres for social enterprises and of AULEDA Social Enterprises Department; twinning with Italian experiences in Marche region; organisation of a laboratory on social enterprises.

Notes on the implementation

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

4.5 5.2 8.1

SP Brief description actions

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

Inclusion of vulnerable groups in the world of work and business (Regione Marche)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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6.2

6.2

7.3

Improvement of water supply and sanitation networks in tourist areas

Water supply network in rural areas

Power supply networks in rural areas

Activity 1 will be implemented by Italian partners (technical project definition and work group training) in cooperation with a work group formed by engineers expert in ICT. Activity 2 will imply cooperation with the Public Formation Center. Activities 4 and 5 will be developed by AULEDA staff. Activity 6 will be implemented by a web designer, contracted to create the site.

Possible partner: ADF

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

*

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Reliable power supply is a top priority for rural development and tourism: the idea is to The project can be implemented through Decentralised promote the creation of small power supply networks in rural areas, based on Cooperation. renewable energy sources (hydropower, solar power, biomass), to provide villages or groups of villages with electricity.

The project was especially solicited by the local authorities of Selenica, Kotë, HorëVranisht, Mesopotam, Dhiver, Markat, Livadhja

Water supply and sanitation systems represent the essential premises for sustainable Possible partners: MPPT, ADF, International donors. tourism development and should be upgraded and developed in the whole region, with priority to the main tourist destinations: Vlora, Saranda, Orikum, Ksamil, etc. Most projects are in the pipeline of the Water and Sanitation General Directorate, funded by MPPT and various donors (Islamic Bank, IPA, IDA, World Bank, GEF, EIB, Dutch Government, Italian Government): • Sewerage treatment plants in Vlora, Orikum, Dukat, Tragjas, Radhima • Water supply and sewage system in Orikum • Sewage system & water supply in Ksamil • Water supply in Saranda, Vlora, Delvina, Aliko-Saranda.

The project includes 6 different activities: 1) Installation of a communication network, offering telephone, internet, TV; 2) Equipment of schools with computers connected to the internet; 3) 4 lessons training course about ICT, addressed to pupils of 9-year and high schools; 4) Technical support for business plan creation and start-up to those businesses that are directly related to the ICT sector; 5) Promotional campaign of the social, economical and natural values of the area, through TV chronics, leaflets, reportages, reportage of the area, promotional CD; 6) Creation of Vlora River website. The project cost is around 34,000 USD.

Notes on the implementation

4 Projects

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

7.2 4.5

SP Brief description actions

Increasing access to communication and information in the Vlora River area (Armen Commune)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 6 Basic infrastructure and ICT for Vlora Region

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8.2

8.2

8.2

13

8.2

8.2

8.2

Multifunctional community centre in Ksamil (Ksamil Commune)

Daily centre for people with disabilities (Association of pre- and tetraplegic invalids PLM, Vlora)

Pedagogical farms

Permanent negotiating table for the coordination among associations, municipal offices and regional labour office

Rehabilitation centre in Saranda for people with mental health problems

Home care for the elderly

Notes on the implementation

9 Projects

Possible partners: no-profit associations targeting people with physical and mental disabilities, prisoners, people under drug treatment, etc.; farmers – single or associated; public health institutions. No-profit associations, municipal offices and regional labour office shall officially commit (e.g. through a Memorandum of Understanding) to meet periodically to carry on the project.

Possible partners: non-profit associations targeting people with mental disabilities; public health institutions; Universities. Possible partners: non-profit associations targeting elderly people; municipal and regional offices dealing with social issues; public health institutions; training institutions; Universities.

The purpose is to establish a network of teaching farms to bring people in touch with nature and with traditional activities, also as a therapeutic and socialisation experience. Farms will focus on specific target groups, like school students, persons with disabilities, mentally handicapped and other categories at risk. The farms activities shall be coordinated with the daily centre (see above). The project idea is to create a sort of permanent committee, formed by no-profit association and municipal and regional offices dealing with social and labour related issues, aimed to coordinate activities and projects, optimise resources, devise joint programmes. The goal is to define more effective and incisive social policies to fight poverty, unemployment and social exclusion in an integrated way, valorising the work of all territorial actors operating in these fields. In a second phase, the creation of a centre for non-profit associations could be created, where the committee meetings can be held and all associations can have a space to work together. The centre will take as a reference model the experience already carried out in Vlora in the framework of ART GOLD 1. Enhancement of home care for the elderly, especially by improving professional training

The daily centre will supply disabled persons with services such as day care for children Possible partners: non-profit associations targeting 12-25 years old, psycho-social service, assistance to the families and early education. disabled persons; public health institutions.

Further information needed

Further information needed

SP Brief description actions

Restoration of Dukat School (Orikum Municipality)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 7 Vlora Region social care network

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8.2

Recovered spaces for social purposes

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

*

Possible partners: Lukova and Dhiver Communes, Selenice Municipality, Albanian Development Fund. Noprofit associations dealing with social issues and public health institutions shall be involved in the management of the new structures.

Restoration and refurbishment of abandoned and dilapidated public buildings to host community centres, day care centres, residential homes for the elderly, etc.

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Possible partners: women associations; municipal and regional offices dealing with social issues; public health institutions.

Creation of a support centre for women (victims of violence, disadvantaged, returned from other countries, etc.) in Saranda.

Notes on the implementation

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

8.2

SP Brief description actions

Women help centre

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

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8.2

93

8.2

8.2

9.3

9.4

Integration of Egyptian children (“Educators of human rights” Association, Vlora)

“For our children, for our future” (Vlora Municipality)

School integration of Roma children and sensitization of their families

Day-care centre for children in Saranda

Children Theatre Festival

Playgrounds network

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

*

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Creation of a system of public playgrounds for children in the main towns and villages of the region.

Specific projects shall be designed and implemented by Municipalities and Communes, also applying participatiory planning methodologies.

Non profit associations and School institutions should cooperate to implement the project.

Transformation of the residential centre for children in Saranda into a temporary guesthouse, to provide care for children whose mothers are employed in the tourism or agribusiness sectors. Further information needed

Non profit associations and School institutions should cooperate to implement the project.

Further information needed

Further information needed

Further information needed

Further information needed

Notes on the implementation

7 Projects

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

9.3

SP Brief description actions

Reconstruction of Puppet Theatre (Children Community Center, Vlora)

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 8 Children of Vlora Region

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8.3 4.5

8.3

Community health centres network

Upgrade of Saranda hospital

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

*

Possible partners: Ministry of Health, Universities.

Purchase of new equipments; creation of a maternity ward; training of young specialists; adaptation to EU standards for health services.

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Possible partners: Ministry of Health, local authorities, training institutions, Universities.

Establishment of community health centres in small communes, selected through criteria ranging from population, to accessibility, to tourist attraction potential. The selected Communes will thus represent a reference point for health services for a cluster of neighbouring villages, and for tourists visiting the region. The project should also encompass the training of sanitary personnel in foreign languages, especially English.

Further information needed

Notes on the implementation

3 Projects

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

8.3

SP Brief description actions

Rehabilitation of 2 health centres in the Commune of Horë-Vranisht

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 9 Health in Vlora Region

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8.1

Women employment programmes for the maintenance of public spaces

Project fiches submitted by stakeholders and decentralised cooperation initiatives

Priority projects submitted by territorial actors to the CPC and contained in a project fiche

Projects ideas that can be implemented taking IDEASS innovations as a reference model

Project ideas directly proposed by Municipalities/Communes during consultation meetings

Project proposals by ILS LEDA expert, based on the value chains survey

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 1st phase

Project ideas emerged during meetings and participatory events

*

Possible partners: Local authorities and Women associations in Vlora and Saranda

Priority project proposals submitted by territorial actors to the CPC – 2nd phase

Create social enterprises of women, to be contracted by local authorities to carry on maintenance and cleaning activities for public spaces, green areas, etc.

Support the creation of enterprises led by and employing women, to increase women Possible partners: AULEDA and Women associations in occupation and autonomy, in the following sectors: Vlora and Saranda • Handicraft – production of artistic souvenirs for tourists; • Food processing (fruits, bakery, etc.) in rural areas; • Family tourism.

Notes on the implementation

2 Projects

Project ideas suggested by Strategic Planning experts, based on the participation outcomes

Legend

8.1

SP Brief description actions

Women entrepreneurship

Projects/project proposals/project ideas (and applicants/proposers)

Project Box 10 Working women in Vlora Region

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3.4. Synergies among Project Boxes

Consistently with the integrated approach adopted by the SP, the 10 Project Boxes (PBs), are strongly synergic amongst them. For instance: PB1 “Thematic tourism in Vlora Region” has strong synergies with: • PB2 “Brands for Vlora Region food products” and PB5 “Vlora Region handicraft” - The high synergy level results from the potential of traditional food and non-food productions to serve as tourist attractors: the enhancement of their quality can help diversify tourist offer and make tourist flows less seasonal, enticing tourists to discover rural areas where traditions are stronger. Moreover, branding policies and procedures can be applied to tourist structures and services. • PB3 “Water and soil protection”, PB4 “Seaways in Vlora Region”, PB6 “Basic infrastructure and ICT for Vlora Region” and PB9 “Health in Vlora Region” - Tourism development is strongly connected with the enhancement of basic infrastructure for the preservation of natural resources, the upgrade of transportation networks (both on land and on sea) and health services, to allow tourists to move freely and safely within the regional territory, and the diffusion of ICT to promote territorial resources and products on the external markets. PB2 “Brands for Vlora Region food products” develops strong synergies with PB1 (as previously explained) and PB3 “Water and soil protection”. As for this last connection, on one hand protecting water and soil from pollution and other hazards is essential to ensure the safety and the quality of agro-food products (certified by the brands), and the health of farm animals; on the other hand, every brand shall be designed connecting its achievement to the compliance of environmental sustainability requirements, conveying the idea that products quality and territorial preservation are interdependent.

Important synergies also exist between PB2 and: • PB5 “Vlora Region handicraft” - The SP foresees branding policies both for food and non-food typical products; procedures are similar and an “umbrella brand” can also be designed and applied to all regional products. • PB6 “Basic infrastructure and ICT for Vlora Region” - ICT will be a major tool to promote Vlora Region brand(s) globally hence entering international markets. • PB10 “Working women in Vlora Region” Women working in farming and processing activities will benefit from the technical assistance and support to achieve certifications and brands for their products. The last 4 PBs (PB7 “Vlora Region Social care network”, PB8 “Children of Vlora Region”, PB9 “Health in Vlora Region” and PB10 “Working women in Vlora Region”), all addressing social issues, develop strong mutual synergies, creating the conditions for equal opportunities and equal access to social care services. Important synergies can also be developed between PBs 7 and 10, on one hand, and among PBs 1, 2 and 5, on the other: this is due to the presence of projects aimed at the inclusion of women and disadvantaged groups in the job market, and especially in the sectors that are deemed strategic for regional economy: tourism, agro-food production and handicraft. Table 2, presented in the following page, contains a qualitative evaluation of the synergy level that can be developed among the Project Boxes (PBs); this evaluation was made considering three degrees of growing interrelation: • low synergy: the PBs only share the same general objective(s) • medium synergy: the PBs share the same general objectives and beneficiary groups/ involved territorial actors • high synergy: the PBs are strictly interdependent and materially connected, because they share the same objectives, beneficiary group(s), area(s) of intervention and activities.

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STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

148

  

  

  

  

Water and soil protection

Seaways in Vlora Region

Vlora Region handicraft

Basic infrastructure and ICT for Vlora Region

Vlora Region Social care network

Children of Vlora Region

Health in Vlora Region

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low

in Vlora Region

 

  

Brands for Vlora Region food products

2

10 Working women

  

Thematic tourism in Vlora Region

1

1

Thematic tourism in Vlora Region

 

 

 

  

  

2

  

 

  

  

  

3

 

 

  

  

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

5

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

6

  

  

  

 

 

7

  

  

  

 

8

  

  

  

 

 

  

9

Health in Brands for Water and soil Seaways in Vlora Region Basic Vlora Region Children of Vlora Region protection Vlora handicraft infrastructure Social care Vlora Region Vlora Region food products Region and ICT for network Vlora Region

Synthesis of the synergies among the 10 Project Boxes for Vlora Region sustainable development

Table 2.

  

  

  

 

 

 

10

Working women in Vlora Region

VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”


VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

3.5. A future for the Strategic Plan: the Coordinated Development Projects The 10 Project Boxes for regional development represent the main outputs of the Vlora Region strategic planning process. Due to their thematic nature, the projects they contain are spread on the entire regional territory. Hence, in order to implement the SP as effectively as possible, it will be necessary to identify physical areas of intervention, at subregional level, also to ease the creation of project partnerships and to make their actions more incisive. The challenge is, therefore, to start up and develop a set of integrated projects, involving homogeneous zones of interventions based on their morphological, socio-economic and/or cultural features. These integrated projects shall derive directly from the outcomes of the strategic planning process conducted, and shall work as the “tangible expression” of the shared development strategy in the regional territory. Through them, the Actions of the regional SP will be gradually implemented, step by step, always considering the “big picture” represented by the overall Vision and Strategy. The proposed integrated projects, or Coordinated Development Projects (CDPs), are four:

1. The Cultural Tourism Region Creation of thematic tourism circuits involving the cultural heritage sites spread in the whole Region, to be managed and promoted in a coordinated manner through the active participation and cooperation of all governmental levels, cultural associations and enterprises, and tourism-related businesses.

2. The Shushica Valley Rural District Establishment of a partnership for the management and coordinated development of a sub-regional area featuring organic agricultural tradition, high tourist potential and

a rich landscape and cultural heritage. The partnership will involve local governments and a cluster of businesses (single and associated) working in the agro-food and tourism sectors, which will act together to: • develop shared projects for rural development, starting from the SP projects in the agrofood sector • develop tourist routes for trekking, hiking, and other outdoors tourism-related activities • improve productivity and diversification of rural activities; support finalization and integration of value chains; support the achievement of quality certifications and the design of a territorial brand for Vlora Region products (“umbrella brand”).

3. The Albanian Southern Coast Landscape Tourism Region Implementation and integration of the Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan, extending it to the whole Region, and implementation of the SP projects regarding the coast, in order to preserve and sustainably develop the coastal areas of the Region.

4. The Delvina Agro-food District Establishment of a partnership for the management and coordinated development of a sub-regional area featuring a strong agricultural tradition and a rich heritage of typical agro-food products with a consolidated market (Saranda). The partnership will involve local governments and a cluster of businesses (independent and associated) operating in the agro-food sector, which will act together to: • develop shared projects for rural development, starting from the SP projects in the agrofood sector; improve productivity and diversification of rural activities, and support finalization and integration of value chains • support the achievement of quality certifications • support the design of a territorial brand for Vlora Region products (“umbrella brand”).

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VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”

CDP2 The Shushica Valley Rural District

NOVOSELE Shushice Selenice

QENDER

Armen

Vllahine

VLORE

CDP1 The Cultural Tourism Region

CDP3 The Albanian Southern Coast Landscape Tourism Region

Kote

ORIKUM

Sevaster

Brataj

Vranisht

Himare

Vergo

Lukove

Delvine

Mesopotam Finiq Sarande

CDP4 The Delvina Agro-food District

Dhiver Aliko

Livadhja Ksamil

Xarre

Markat

Konispol

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ALBANIA - Vlora Region  

Strategic Plan - The Zero Emissions Territory - June 2011

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