Austrian group initiates sustainable reforestation project in North Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 14, 2020 15:20

Austrian group initiates sustainable reforestation project in North Albania

Story Highlights

  • The project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and focuses on the Northern part of Albania, due to the need for improvement and environmental protection of the area, as well as for the amelioration of the local communities’ living conditions.

Related Articles

TIRANA, Jan. 14 – Austrian company ‘Lenzing’ has initiated a project in Albania designed to promote sustainable forestry and improve local living conditions as part of its sustainability strategy, ‘Naturally positive’. The group plans to recultivate 20 hectares of degraded land with forest and fruit trees in cooperation with the local population and various NGOs in addition to developing concepts of sustainable forestry with students in local schools. The project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and focuses on the Northern part of Albania, due to the need for improvement and environmental protection of the area, as well as for the amelioration of the local communities’ living conditions.

The project targets Ana e Malit, a region in North Albania in which erosions and floods are common. Due to agriculture being the main source of their income, the locals in the area are deeply affected. In order to alleviate these effects, Lenzig has planted 3,660 fruit, deciduous and conifer trees in the western part of the Municipality of Shkodra at the foot of the Tarboshi Mountains as well as the terrain close to the Buna and Drini rivers, in addition to adding measures against erosion by putting up fences and walls.

“Lenzing has long-standing experience in responsible wood sourcing and extensive forestry expertise. This project shows that the Lenzingers passionately stand up for the viability of trees and forests and champion the interests of people above and beyond their daily business and fiber production. The idea for this project at this site came from Lenzing’s wood procurement team. Our forest experts have underlined the important role reforestation can play, especially in this area,” said Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer of the Lenzing Group, in a press release on the company’s official website. As regards the specific work with the NGOs and locals in the area, Lenzig aims to engage the students at the Forest School of Shkodra in actively taking part in the process of reforestation in order to convey. Meanwhile, students of the Austrian school will use the refoerstations project as a basis for their dissertation project at the end of their studies. Employees of Eco-Social Farm, a facility for people with disabilities located directly below the reforestation area, will also be involved by being assigned to take care of the irrigation of the seedlings in the area. 

Currently, the project is being co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency, which brings together Albanian and Austrian experts as a means of improving forest management skills, enabling an exchange of know-how among vocational schools and revitalizing degraded land in Albania.“We very much appreciate Lenzing’s decision to be actively involved in Albania. The objective is to support local communities and work together to deal with the problem of deforestation in Albania as well as to promote an exchange of know-how between Austrian and Albanian schools,“ stated Simone Ungersböck, Head of the Office of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Albania.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 14, 2020 15:20