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    STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION Document Transcript

    • STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION “The Zero Emissions Territory” Final document - June 2011UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albaniawww.artgold.undp.org.al AULEDA www.auleda.orgwww.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu
    • The present document was drafted in the framework ofUNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programmewww.artgold.undp.org.alwith the financial support of:UNDP AlbaniaCooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo - Ministero Affari EsteriUNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Serviceswith 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 StaffAULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency of VloraUNDP ART GOLD 2 – Mr. Luigi Cafiero, CTA; Mr. Estevan Ikonomi, National ProgrammeOfficer; Ms. Matilda Duri, Communication Officer; Mr. Aurel Jupe, Local Coordinator forVlora Region and ART GOLD 2 project team.in coordination with:ILS LEDA - International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesIDEASS - Innovation for Development and South-South cooperationUniversitas Programme - KIP (Knowledge, Innovation and Policies for Human Development)InitiativeAcknowledgementsIt would be impossible to mention all the people who gave their precious contribution to thepreparation of this document. Special thanks go to the following institutions andstakeholders: their invaluable help made this work possible.Albanian Government: Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and ConsumerProtection, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Ministry of Education and Science,Ministry of Tourism, Culture Affairs, Youth and SportsItalian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Inter Agency Scientific Committee for HumanDevelopment Cooperation and Italian Embassy in AlbaniaItalian Cooperation - DGCSUNDP AlbaniaART GOLD 2 project teamUNOPS, UNEP, ILOILS LEDAUniversitas ProgrammeIDEASSAlbanian Development FundVlora Regional CouncilPrefecture of VloraEnvironmental Agency of Vlora RegionMunicipalities and Communes of Vlora RegionAULEDAThanks also to the numerous territorial actors at national, regional and local level who activelyparticipated 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 contentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1INTRODUCTION TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF VLORA REGION 5 Why a Strategic Plan in Vlora Region? 5 Background and objectives of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region 6 How to read this document 8 Methodology of the Strategic Planning process 9 Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process 11 Participation - The basis of the Strategic Planning process 13CHAPTER 1. ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK 20 1.1. Introduction to the analysis framework 20 1.2. Sharing the analysis - The Kick-Off event 22 1.3. Territorial framework 23 1.4. Historical highlights 24 1.5. Infrastructure for the mobility and urban fabric 26 1.6. Social context 31 1.7. Environmental aspects 35 1.8. Landscape and cultural heritage 38 1.9. Value chains 50 1.10. Territorial programming 56 1.11. S.W.O.T. analysis of the regional territory 64 1.12. General development goal and keywords of the strategic plan 66 1.13. Scenarios for regional development 69CHAPTER 2. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 76 2.1. Methodological introduction 76 2.2. Participation in the strategy definition - Open Days and Public Debates 77 2.3. Vision for regional development 86 2.4. Strategic Guidelines and Actions 88 2.5. Synergies among Strategic Guidelines - Internal coherence of the Strategic Plan 98 2.6. Consistency of the Strategy with the regional development policies 109 2.7. Consistency of the Strategy with the national development policies 111CHAPTER 3. ACTION PLAN 115 3.1. Methodological introduction 115 3.2. Participative projects devising - The Focus Groups 116 3.3. The 10 Project Boxes for regional development 119 3.4. Synergies among Project Boxes 147 3.6 A future for the Strategic Plan: the Coordinated Development Projects 149ANNEXES A. Bibliography and References B. Diagram of the Strategic Planning process C. Project Boxes and Project proposals D. Survey of programmes in progress in Vlora Region E. Map of cultural and landscape heritage in Vlora Region
    • AbbreviationsADF Albanian Development FundAGA2 ART GOLD Albania 2ART Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Cooperation Networks for Human DevelopmentCDP Coordinated Development ProjectsCPC County Partnership CouncilCTA Chief Technical AdvisorDGCS Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (General Directorate for Italian Development Cooperation)EU European UnionFG Focus GroupGPP Gross Primary ProductivityIDEASS Innovations for Development and South-South cooperationILS LEDA International Links and Services for Local Economic Development AgenciesINSTAT National Institute of StatisticsISD Integrated Support for DecentralisationKIP Knowledge, Innovations and Policies for human developmentLEDA Local Economic Development AgencyMASH Ministria e Arsimit dhe e Shkencës (Ministry of Education and Science)MBUMK Ministria e Bujqësise, Ushqimit dhe Mbrojtjes së Konsumatorit (Ministry of Agriculture)MDG Millennium Development GoalMETE Ministria e Ekonomise,Tregëtisë dhe Energjitikës (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy)MITIK Ministri për Inovacionin dhe Teknologjinë e Informacionit e të Komunikimit (Ministry for Innovation and Communication and Information Technology)MOE Ministria e Mjedisit, Pyjeve dhe Administrimit të Ujrave (Ministry of Environment)MPCS Ministria e Punës, Çështjeve Sociale dhe Shanseve të Barabarta (Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)MPPT Ministria e Punëve Publike dhe Transportit (Ministry of Public Works and Transportation)MTKRS Ministria e Turizmit,Kultures,Rinise dhe Sporteve (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports)NGO Non Governmental OrganisationPB Project BoxSDC Swiss agency for Development and CooperationSG Strategic GuidelineSNV Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (Netherlands Development Organisation)SP Strategic Plan or Strategic PlanningSWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and ThreatsTSG Technical Support GroupUNDP United Nations Development ProgrammeUNEP United Nations Environment ProgrammeUNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUNOPS United Nations Office for Project ServicesUTL Unità Tecnica Locale (Local Technical Unit)VKM Vendim i Keshillit te Ministrave (Decision of the Council of Ministers)WB World Bank
    • Executive SummaryVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The United Nations Development Programme territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while (UNDP) is the UNs global development maintaining continuity with programmes, network, advocating for change and connecting projects and sector policies already ongoing in countries to knowledge, expertise, and the area. Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 resources to help people build a better life. Albania aimed at promoting and supporting democratic participation of local, national and At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, international actors in the decision-making assisting them in formulating their own process regarding Vlora Region development solutions to global and national development policies, and sought to provide the Regional challenges. UNDPs main goal is to help Government with the required capacities to developing countries build their own national autonomously draw and manage international capacity to achieve sustainable human funds for development. development; that is, to improve peoples lives on an enduring basis. To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a Strategic Plan (SP) as a long term programme In particular, UNDP Albania supports the on territorial governance and sustainable countrys aspirations towards European Union development adopting a participatory approach. integration and contributes to national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals The SP aim is to engage the local community to (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender create its own vision for the future, and discover equality, environmental sustainability and good the best way to implement it by connecting the governance. cultural, environmental, social and economic aspects of the territory. The UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme is part of the UNDP Art Initiative (Articulation of The SP mission is to propel a balanced and territorial and thematic networks of human endogenous development of the area and development cooperation), which promotes increase the value of the Region by national co-operation for governance and local strengthening its unique cultural, social, development projects. The Programme is environmental, economic identity and its human financed by the Italian Government (Italian resources. By doing so, the Regional Cooperation) and supports the Albanian Government and community can become more Government to achieve the MDGs and meet aware of the roles they can play in the the requirements of EU accession through the development process and become more promotion of partnership with regional councils, confident in their abilities to cooperate in in line with the Albanian National Strategy for development processes. Decentralisation and Local Governance. The Within the framework of ART GOLD 2 the programme works to create links and Strategic Planning represents an innovative implement partnership among Albanian and democratic process necessary to lead Albania European regional and local communities, local towards EU integration and a useful instrument institutions, Local Economic Development to complete the administrative decentralisation Agencies (LEDAs) and other actors operating in ongoing in the country. the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas Programme and IDEASS, among others). In a country characterised by a scarce tradition in participatory practices, Vlora Region Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by Strategic Planning serves as a democratic and ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit bottom-up process, necessary to strengthen the needed support designing an overall collaboration and mutual trust amidst development policy, involving the entire institutions, local and foreign actors. regional territory and addressing critical STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 1
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Furthermore, Vlora Region Strategic Plan development. They are strongly represents a coordination platform among interconnected and help achieve several donors, international organisations, national goals at the same time. They are realized orientations and regional and local policies. through projects implementation. Hence, donors can allocate funds on projects This Strategy, discussed and approved by that best reflect community needs, and be part territorial actors, attempts to convey the regional of a real sustainable development. community’s desires and needs, as directly or The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region indirectly expressed during participatory meetings started with the inventory of territorial policies at and events, and finally adapt them within the national, regional and local level, in order to current situation of the territory, the ongoing coordinate them, prevent overlapping, develop programmes and the national policies and goals. synergies and optimise results. At the same The next step of the Strategic Planning process time, a territorial analysis provided an overview was the Action Plan, which is an integrated of the current regional territorial situation in system of projects, which need to be terms of infrastructure, environment, cultural implemented in order to attain the SP goals. heritage, economy, social aspects, etc., through The projects were mainly proposed by local the usage of the most recent published actors and established in a rational and vision information on various planning and oriented framework. The territorial actors programming documents, together with the involved in the participation process proposed outcomes of territorial surveys and participatory around 100 project proposals and ideas meetings. There was no need for additional regarding the implementation of the shared research to be conducted, because the regional sustainable development Strategy, Strategic Planning process did not start from hence representing the fulfilment of territory scratch rather it maintained continuity with requirements. Other ideas were also suggested policies already operating on the territory. The by SP experts based on the outcomes of public territorial analysis allowed the identification of debates and of meetings held with national the Region’s real strengths and weaknesses, level institutions. Another group of project ideas 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 . came from the analyses conducted by one of Subsequently, the Keywords and possible ILS LEDA experts on the regional value chains. Scenarios of regional development were identified. Keywords summarised the issues In order to give a wider perspective to these and needs emerged during meetings, which the proposals and ideas, the SP experts introduced territorial actors deemed crucial for regional “Project Boxes” or “containers” where projects development. The Scenarios represented the addressing the same topics and/or same parts possible future configurations of the Region, of the regional territories were clustered around and were based on present conditions, trends a single theme and integrated, hence outlined by the current operating policies at all developing synergies and interactions. In this way, levels and on the possible variables that the projects can contribute more effectively to the SP can introduce to trigger sustainable and achievement of the Vision and to the re- endogenous development. definition of the future role of the Region in the national and international setting. The territorial analysis gave way to the definition of a shared short, medium and long-term The Strategic Planning methodology adopted in regional development Strategy, consisting of: Vlora Region uses a bottom-up approach. This means that each step of the Strategic Planning • A Vision - suggesting the possible role that process was characterised by the participation Vlora Region can play in a global perspective, of all local stakeholders in the definition of the in coherence with the analysis results and the SP. The participation steps had a growing outcomes of the participative process. interaction level, where the involvement and • Nine Strategic Guidelines - The integrated and collaboration of stakeholders and civil society synergic directions to follow in order to was constantly sought after, both by arranging accomplish the Vision, addressing the main face-to-face meetings with significant actors critical aspects of the Region. (more than 100 meetings were held in the framework of the Strategic Planning process) • Thirty-three Actions - The “tools” to fill the gap and by organising public consultation events: between the present situation and future STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 2
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” • A Kick-Off event to publicly launch the Nonetheless the Region has a variety of Strategic Planning initiative; potential tourist attractors (cultural heritage, • Thematic Workshops to identify critical natural areas, traditions and food) and hence has the opportunity to move towards territorial issues and start defining the responsible and sustainable tourism, regional development Strategy; generating income and employment whilst • A public debate to share a draft Vision and respecting the environment and the local Strategy for regional development with all culture. territorial actors; ‣ Scenario 2) Rural development and agro- • Two Focus Groups meetings for the joint business - Rural activities are an important identification of integrated projects to part of regional culture and identity. achieve the Strategic Plan objectives. However, the environmental issues regarding the rural sector such as the lack of Participation to the events was satisfactory and water, wastewater and solid waste all actors proved to be interested and willing to actively engage in the Strategic Plan management systems should be addressed immediately in view that the natural preparation. During this process the environment is a potential source of income collaboration between regional and local actors, for rural areas both through its ability to and between ART GOLD 2 and partners, was affect the quality of food products and also strengthened. The results of the participatory process were all taken into through its attractiveness for tourism. The challenge is thus to achieve an overall consideration and included (after the required environmental sustainability in regional rural work of processing and systematising activities) activities, balancing innovation and tradition in the Strategic Plan. Therefore, all the Plan and enhancing the quality and the security of contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon by the whole regional community. typical local products. The participatory process in Vlora Region was ‣ Scenario 3) Services, networks and light supported by a number of information and industry - Vlora Region lacks the basic communication materials aimed to inform the services systems. Infrastructure problems territorial actors around Strategic Planning have a negative effect on economic issues, involve them in the process and activities, which cannot be developed stimulate discussion during public consultation without an adequate energy supply and events. These materials were conceived taking reliable communication systems. Ongoing into consideration the scarce habit of the policies have acknowledged, to some regional population to participatory practices. extents, the necessity to upgrade One of the most important tool created for the infrastructure and services networks, while Vlora Region Strategic Plan is the website keeping an eye on environmental (www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu) where it sustainability. The risk is that the lack of is possible to find all the information concerning financial resources can cause delays in the the Strategic Planning in Vlora Region. implementation of the strategies hence The process described so far led to the following leading to short-term solutions and losing sight of the overall sustainability and findings, conclusions and recommendations: coordination of interventions. The challenge • Given the present situation and the trends is to continue to coordinate all the relevant outlined by current national and regional components of the Scenario, so that all policies, Vlora Region has three possible sector policies converge on the same development Scenarios ahead: objectives and are coherent amidst each ‣ Scenario 1) Tourism development - other. Tourism is the leading sector in Vlora • To achieve a more diversified development Region economy as well as the main and avoid the unbalances that a single sector catalyst of economic growth. However, development can cause, these Scenarios hitherto a clear strategy for tourist should be carried out simultaneously, in an development has not been established. The integrated and complementary manner, “beach tourism” has played the leading role, making sustainability the central thread of with negative effects on the environment. regional development. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 3
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Hence, the Vision chosen for the regional future of the Strategic Planning process is to sustainable development is “Vlora Region initiate and develop a set of integrated 2020: a Zero Emissions Territory – ZET”: projects, focused on geographical zones of Vlora Region should become a territory in interventions that can be considered which sustainability covers all sectors of homogeneous because of their human activity (tourist accommodation, morphological, socio-economic and/or cultural transports, solid waste management, water features. These integrated projects shall derive and wastewater management, productive directly from the outcomes of the Strategic activities, building activities, etc.) and in which Planning process conducted, and shall serve all development policies and initiatives are as the “tangible expression” of the shared coordinated and synergic. In this framework, development Strategy on the regional territory. the Region should decide to meet the growing Through them, the Actions of the regional SP global demand of cultural tourism, eco- will be gradually implemented, always tourism and rural tourism and consider considering the “big picture” represented by the environmental protection not a limit but an overall Vision and Strategy. The recommended opportunity to foster innovation, socio- integrated projects or Coordinated Development economic development and professional Projects (CDPs) to develop are the following growth. four: • In order to accomplish this Vision, 9 Strategic ‣ The Cultural Tourism Region - Creation of Guidelines were identified: thematic tourism circuits involving the 1. Community based tourism cultural heritage sites spread in the whole 2. Typical rural products and handicraft Region, to be managed and promoted in a 3. Fishing and Aquaculture coordinated way with the active 4. Education and Training participation and cooperation of all 5. Enhancement of regional Cultural Heritage governmental levels, cultural associations, 6. Environment and landscape preservation tourism-related businesses. and rehabilitation ‣ The Shushica Valley Rural District - 7. Material and nonmaterial networks and Establishment of a partnership for the energy management and coordinated rural and 8. Social inclusion tourism development of the sub-regional area 9. The Strategic Plan of children and teens of the Shushica river Valley, featuring organic • These Strategic Guidelines will be achieved agricultural tradition, high tourist potential and through the implementation of 112 shared a rich landscape and cultural heritage. The projects and project ideas, contained in 10 partnership will involve local governments and thematic “Project Boxes”: a cluster of businesses (single and associated) 1. Thematic tourism in Vlora Region working in the agro-food and tourism sectors. 2. Brands for Vlora Region food products ‣ The Albanian Southern Coast Landscape 3. Water and soil protection Tourism Region - Implementation and 4. Seaways in Vlora Region integration of the Albanian Southern Coast 5. Vlora Region handicraft Development Plan, extending it to the whole 6. Basic infrastructure & ICT for Vlora Region Region, and implementation of the Strategic 7. Vlora Region Social care network Plan projects regarding the coast, in order to 8. Children of Vlora Region preserve and develop the littoral areas of the 9. Health in Vlora Region Region in a sustainable way. 10.Working women in Vlora Region ‣ The Delvina Agro-food District - • Considering the thematic nature of Project Establishment of a partnership for the Boxes, the projects they collect involve the management and coordinated rural entire regional territory. Therefore, in order to development of a sub-regional area make their implementation as effective as featuring a strong agricultural tradition and possible, it will be necessary to identify a rich heritage of typical agro-food products physical areas of intervention at sub-regional with a consolidated market (Saranda). The level, also to facilitate the establishment of partnership will involve local governments project partnerships and make their actions and a cluster of businesses (single and more incisive. Therefore, the challenge for the associated) working in the agro-food sector. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 4
    • INTRODUCTIONVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 in March 2010, the Region launched a strategic development of a stable and sustainable economy planning process within the framework of UNDP ART base. In that respect the Albanian government has GOLD 2 Programme. adopted a development policy focused on investments A Strategic Plan is a territorial growth and renewal in key infrastructure and has promoted leading sectors platform aimed to attain an endogenous and in the economy that demonstrate regional comparative sustainable development model through the advantage. Vlora Region government units have involvement of the entire cultural, environmental, social shown a continuous interest in being part of an and economic components of a particular area. The integrated development in compliance with the National Strategic Plan is an innovative and flexible territorial Tourism Strategy and the National Strategy for governance instrument, already applied in several Development and Integration. European cities and territories, intended to provide a Vlora Region is the main tourist destination in Albania. clear direction on local development policies. Although at the local level a few strategic development Strategic planning is a necessary tool for communities plans referring to municipal territories exist, so far a and institutions in order to promote democratic shared Regional future vision and strategies to guide participation as an integral part of the territorial the development of every single Municipality and planning hence allowing local actors to state their Commune, especially those that do not have any local opinions and the latter to be integrated in the development plans, have not been established. Hence, development policies. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 5
    • Background and objectivesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of the Strategic Plan of Vlora Region Vlora Region SP is an initiative of the ART ART GOLD 2 promotes a national cooperation GOLD 2 Albania programme, which is part of framework for governance and local the UNDP ART Initiative (Articulation of development through the active role of public territorial and thematic networks of human and private actors as well as of local and central development cooperation). institutions representatives. UNDP (the United Nations Development Vlora Region is one of the areas targeted by Programme) is the UNs global development ART GOLD 2. The Regional Government unit network, advocating for change and connecting needed support designing an overall countries to knowledge, expertise, and development policy, involving the entire regional resources to help people build a better life. territory and addressing critical territorial issues in a coordinated manner, while maintaining At present, UNDP is operating in 166 countries, continuity with programmes, projects and sector assisting them in formulating their own solutions policies already ongoing in the area. to global and national development challenges. Furthermore, UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania UNDPs main goal is to help developing aimed at promoting and supporting democratic countries build their own national capacity to participation of local, national and international achieve sustainable human development, that is, actors in the decision-making process to improve peoples lives on an enduring basis. regarding Vlora Region development policies, In particular, UNDP Albania supports the and sought to provide the Regional countrys aspirations towards European Union Government with the required capacities to integration and contributes to national efforts to autonomously draw and manage international achieve the Millennium Development Goals funds for development. (MDGs) regarding poverty reduction, gender To fulfil these needs, ART GOLD 2 launched a equality, environmental sustainability and good Strategic Plan (SP) as a useful instrument to governance. support the administrative decentralisation in ART Initiative promotes national co-operation Albania. As indicated in the methodology applied for governance and local development projects. by strategic planning experts, an SP is a short, medium and long-term programme for The programme is funded by the Italian Ministry sustainable territorial development and of Foreign Affairs through Italian Cooperation and supports the Albanian Government to governance, designed through a participatory, “bottom-up” process. achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to meet the requirements for EU Hence, the Vlora Region SP was guided by accession through the promotion of principles of participation and negotiation: the partnerships with regional councils, in line with main public and private actors operating in the the Albanian National Strategy for territory were engaged in open meetings and Decentralisation and Local Governance. events, during which they jointly identified regional potentials and weaknesses and The programme aims to create linkages and envisaged possible regional development establish partnerships among Albanian and Scenarios. European regional and local communities, local institutions, the Local Economic Development Subsequently, the same actors collaborated in Agencies (LEDAs) and other subjects operating defining a common development Vision and the in the country (ILS LEDA, Universitas strategic goals to achieve it. Programme and IDEASS among others). STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 6
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The ample participation in the numerous submitted by territorial actors for UNDP funding. meetings and events organised during the SP experts provided technical assistance in the process, demonstrates the ability of the SP to development of these projects, primarily focusing trigger and strengthen mechanisms of on their consistency with the sustainable cooperation within local communities. regional development direction traced through Strategic Planning. Hence, SP is not a product rather an ever- changing process, built through negotiations Within the framework of ART GOLD 2, Strategic and mediations and the use of participatory Planning represents an innovative and techniques. democratic process necessary to lead Albania towards EU integration. The main goal of the strategic planning process was to identify a list of far-reaching projects, The Vlora Region SP represents a coordination consistent and shared, resulting from a bottom- platform among national, regional and local up approach. The project identification was policies and the institutions which promote them guided by the idea that Albania will become a (Ministries, local governments, Albanian member of European Union in the near future. Development Fund, etc.) and is a useful Additionally, SP incorporated priority projects, coordination tool for international donors. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 7
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” How to read this document The present document gives an account of the updated, always through the involvement of the strategic planning process carried out in Vlora whole regional community. Region from March 2010 to June 2011. The Regional government should use this It also explains how the strategic planning document as a memorandum and a guide for methodology was applied in the target area, the the gradual implementation of coordinated way territorial actors were involved in the development projects in the Region. process, and the results achieved. It describes The participative nature of the SP guarantees the regional territory’s current situation and the continuity and legitimacy of the illustrates the shared sustainable development development strategy. The fact that this strategy that was chosen by the regional strategy was approved by most territorial actors community. should be taken into account by present and All its contents were shared with territorial future administrators to fulfil local community actors and/or were drafted on the basis of their expectations. suggestions and observations. Hence the SP This SP was drafted in alignment with the goals does not claim to be exhaustive and can be of the Regional Strategy for the Achievement of subject to integrations and additions at any the UNDP Millennium Development Goals time. (MDGs). By and large, this document represents a It also refers to the national strategic goals, summary of what emerged from the democratic stated in the National Tourism Strategy and in negotiations process that was the basis of the the National Strategy for Development and strategic planning exercise. Hence, it is open, Integration. shared and modifiable. If necessary, it can be The Strategic Planning process for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 8
    • MethodologyVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of the Strategic Planning process Strategic Planning is a cyclical process of review • a set of Keywords, synthesising the analysis and assessment, constantly accompanied by results, and the Strategic Plan general goal; monitoring, communication and participation • the development Scenarios, expressing procedures. It consists of four main steps: possible future configurations of the Region based on present conditions and on the trends 1. Launch outlined by current policies at all levels. In this phase, meetings with stakeholders were 2. Analysis Framework important to highlight current problems and 3. Strategic Framework share objectives for sustainable development. 4. Action Plan 3. Strategic framework The territorial analysis was the first step towards 1. Launch the definition of a shared short, medium and The Strategic Planning process in Vlora Region long-term regional development strategy, started off with a series of preparatory activities, consisting of: aimed at introducing the strategic planning • Vision - Is the future image of an area, initiative to Albanian authorities at all levels, directing all development policies. It suggests mapping stakeholders, pointing out general goals the possible role that Vlora Region can play in and programming further activities. The strategic a global perspective in compliance with the planning methodology and its possible outputs analysis conducted and the outcomes of the were discussed with various territorial actors, participative process. emphasising future benefits in terms of • Strategic Guidelines - Are the directions to development policies coordination, resource follow to accomplish the Vision, creating an optimisation, local community involvement and integrated and synergic system focused on awareness. The SP was then introduced to the crucial issues of regional development. public through a Kick-Off event organised in Vlora • Actions - Are the “tools” to fill the gap between and supported by a communication campaign. current situation and future development. They are strongly interconnected, help achieve 2. Analysis framework several goals concurrently and are carried out through projects implementation. Vlora Region’s current situation was analysed, The contents of this step were discussed and starting from the information contained in recent shared with territorial actors in a series of plans and programmes regarding the regional thematic workshops in Vlora and in Saranda. territory. This analysis includes: • an analysis of territorial aspects (historical 4. Action plan background, infrastructures, environment, cultural heritage, social and economic The Action Plan contains an integrated system of context), based on information from existing coordinated projects (proposed by territorial planning and programming instruments, actors and organised in a coherent, vision- assessed through territorial surveys and oriented framework), which must be implemented integrated with the participatory process to achieve the Strategic Plan goals. The Action outcomes; Plan traces possible procedures to implement the • a compared analysis of plans and projects and suggests the role of institutions and programmes regarding the Region; private actors in the implementation process. The • an S.W.O.T. analysis, identifying the area’s Action Plan was discussed and agreed upon by main potentials and problems; territorial actors during Focus Groups. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 9
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” A diagram synthesizing theSTRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” main steps of the strategic planning process 10
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Steps and timeline of the Strategic Planning process Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SP) steps and other activity field activity Preparatory meetings with UNDP February- representatives, AULEDA and AGA2 staff to  March share the SP methodology 2010 Meetings with local authorities and other February- significant stakeholders, to present AGA2 SP October methodology, collect information on 2010 programmes and projects implemented and  under implementation in the targeted areas, establish cooperation and synergies Surveys of the regional territory March 2010 Preparation of a draft SWOT analysis   Ongoing plans and programmes analysis March- Extrapolation, processing and organisation of September data and information useful to outline the 2010 Analysis Framework  Draft of the Analysis Framework, including possible regional development Scenarios In-depth definition of roles and responsibilities May- of all people involved in the programme, to  August optimise the SP process 2010 Launch Preparation of a “Strategic Planning Starter Kit” May 2010 and CD-Rom to support training activities  Analysis addressed to AULEDA Framework Training and technical assistance to AULEDA May 2010 staff to prepare the Kick-Off event of the SP  Coordination activities with other UN July- programmes, especially assessing their ongoing  October activities in AGA2 areas of intervention 2010 First County Partnership Council meeting August 2010 Support the participative identification of priority projects to be funded by AGA2, and to  the definition of shared selection criteria Technical assistance and training to AULEDA August- and AGA2 Local Coordinator on the September organisation of the Kick-Off event 2010 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 Kick-Off event: presentation of the SP October 2010 methodology and of the first achieved results to territorial actors; share the draft Analysis  Framework STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 11
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Type of activity Strategic Planning Performed activities Participation Desk Time (SP) steps and other activity field activity Support AULEDA and AGA2 staff in the November organisation of the Open Days events, focused 2010 on the definition of the regional development  strategy Open Days in Vlora and in Saranda: discussion November on possible regional development Scenarios 2010 and outline of a draft development strategy  using a participatory approach Process and organise the Open Days November- outcomes December Prepare a draft Vision and Strategy for regional  2010 development based on the debates results Improve coordination between strategic planning December process, other ongoing ART programmes and 2010 Strategic activities carried out by significant Albanian and  Framework international cooperation actors Provide technical assistance to AULEDA and December AGA2 staff to carry out 2 public debates to  2010 discuss the draft Vision and Strategy Carry out a meeting with a panel of experts December selected by the Regional Council and a public 2010 debate with territorial actors: approval of the  draft regional development Vision and Strategy Define the final version of the regional December development Vision and Strategy, based on the  2010-January public debates results 2011 Present a draft Strategic Plan during the January 2011 International conference “European integration, knowledge, innovations and democratic  governance of development” in Tirana Monitor and support the process of priority February 2011 projects design in collaboration with AULEDA  and the Regional Council of Vlora Round of meetings with Municipalities and March 2011 Action Plan Communes to increase local authorities  involvement in the SP process Focus Groups in Vlora and in Saranda: April 2011 conception and design of project proposals to  include in the regional SP STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 12
    • 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 necessary coordination meetings with all the methodology is characterized by participation actors involved in the programme. hence encouraging the growing involvement Participation activities, within the framework of and commitment of territorial actors. ART GOLD 2, supported the establishment of a During the first phase, actors are informed on the County Partnership Council (CPC) and a strategic planning methodology and objectives. regional Technical Support Group (TSG). The On the second one, they are asked to focus on former is the main advisory and coordination the identification of potentials and critical aspects body for the preparation and implementation of of their Region, and to outline possible regional development policies and is formed by development Scenarios. The third phase is a institutional subjects and representatives of civil joint identification of a shared Vision and society, education and business organisations, Strategy for regional development. The last whereas the latter provides the CPC with the phase encompasses a deeper involvement of necessary technical assistance in defining and territorial actors, who are asked to commit in implementing development projects. identifying and starting up development projects. The Local Economic Development Agency of In line with this methodology, the active Vlora (AULEDA) was established by ART participation of all territorial actors was fostered GOLD in 2003 and later became a recipient of throughout the strategic planning process and of empowerment policies carried on by both realized by arranging face-to-face meetings with ART GOLD 2 and ILS LEDA. significant actors as well as organising public AULEDA played a crucial role in the consultation events. The participation steps management of the participatory processes were characterised by a growing interaction and, supported by SP experts, developed its level starting from a mere presentation of the capacities to bring together territorial actors, strategic planning initiative (the Kick-Off event), moderate public discussions, etc. to thematic workshops, a public debate on the Strategy, and lastly to Focus Groups in which The results of the participatory process were all territorial actors worked together on projects taken into account, processed, organised and definition. included in the SP. Hence all the SP contents can be considered as shared and agreed upon Meetings with significant stakeholders were by the entire regional community. held throughout the process, conjointly with the STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 13
    • Participatory meetingsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Facts and figures More than 110 meetings were held in the framework of the regional strategic planning The figures of participation initiative, from February 2010 to April 2011. In order to establish consensus and readiness • 50 meetings with stakeholders to actively participate in the strategic planning process, and develop a sense of ownership of • 70 coordination meetings the process, various meetings organized aimed at presenting SP goals and objectives to • 6 public consultation events Albanian government representatives, regional and local authorities and other relevant actors • 40 hours of public debates operating in the area. • More than 300 participants to the As a result, strategic planning participative public discussion events methodology was widely shared and agreed upon and cooperation relations were established, especially between AULEDA and organisations operating in the Region and institutional actors such as the Italian Ministry of helped fostering cooperation among institutions. Foreign Affairs, Albanian Ministries, Italian Another group of meetings was dedicated to Cooperation, World Bank, Vlora Regional establish a coordination platform among ART government, International cooperation bodies, GOLD 2 programme staff, AULEDA and other etc. In addition, the meetings were also actors directly involved in the programme. important for carrying out a survey of activities These meetings also had a capacity building and projects implemented by national and purpose, especially towards AULEDA, which international actors in Vlora Region, as well as to was constantly involved and trained in strategic collect information on the implementation status planning methodology and activities. of development interventions, including urban planning and local development experiences. The meetings are listed in the next page in Furthermore, they highlighted coordination chronological order, divided into the two above- opportunities between ART GOLD 2 and other mentioned 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 Ministry of Health Other Ministries AGA2 STRATEGIC PLAN “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” Regional government Local associations & NGOs International Private enterprises Municipalities Communes NGOs Other stakeholders Regional & local authorities’ policies Local community’s projects International cooperation projects LOCAL LEVEL STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 14
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 15
    • Public consultation eventsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 16
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” I§~ I e merkure 06.10.2010 Prezantohetplani . strate;gjik,nisma e p~p- -it. Pirro: Hartimi i planit strategjik, inipakt per zhvillim te qen- .drueshem territorit te Teuta Shalilku 1irizmi, tIashegimjakulturore, infras- tIUktura portuale, aeroportuale, agroin- dus1lia, bujqesiajanesektomqe, reger- shetuarne nje strategji re mirefillte zh- villirni, do re siIInin zhvillirnin qe realisht pret qarku i Vlores. Autoritetet vendore m.qarkut Vlore dhe aktore re tjereqe kon- tribuojnene zhvillirninerajonit, prezan- tuan dje ne qytetin e Vlores nisjen e pro- cesit re planifil9mitstrategjik per qarkun e Vlores. Ky proces mbeshtetet ngapro- gramiPNUD-it, ART GOLD2, dhe Agjen- da Lokale e ZhvillirnitEkonomik, AULE- DA Kryetari i Keshilit 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 Keshili i Partneritetet qe eshte miratuar nga nje supon re fuqishem turizrnitsi sektort se bashku per re percaktuar rruget per Evropian", - deklaroiVladimirMaJkaj, prioritarn.e qarkuntone", - ka deklaruar Keshilli i Qarkut, ka nje ro! ko~ltaliy pe=ktuar dhe detyri!n per re ~ur re Autoritetetvendbrete Pirn>. zhyj]];rnjn e rajonit Gjithashtu,ai penaqe- son kuadrin referues per re gjitha projek- menaxher i programeve te UNDP, ne Shqiperi. procesin e planifikimit strategjik dhe se qarkutVloredheak- Projekti ne fjale, qeeshrej mbeshte- tetdhe nismat, duke i orientuat drejtre- Gjate aktivitetit te prezantuar dje ne me ane te takirnit te zhvilluar dje dhe turedhe nga operacioniitalian me nisme alizimit re qellimeve re perbashketa. VIore, mellxiologjia qe do te perdoret dhe ta1dmere tjera qe do pasojne, synahet re torete tjere qekon- re UNDP-se,eshrevleresuar nga konsuUi "Hartimi i pianitstrategjik do re kere nje rezultatet e para te perftuara, iu bene te realizohetnje strategji rajonale per qaIkun e Vlores ne koherence me te gjitha tribuojnene zhvillimin italianne V1Ore, SergioSroci,per~ e tij dhe modaIitell!t qe ka. "Pjesi!rnanj a e impaktte konsiderueshem per aIri!jen e zhvillimitte qendrueshem te teIIilDrit Nga njohura te gjithe aktoreve te pranishem, peIfuqesuesve te UNDP-se, Ministrise se strategjire qe jane ndertuar nga minis- e rajonit,prezantuan UNDPne zhviDjrnjn e projektit eshreshen- ana !jeter, ky eshte nje proces demokra- tik dhe gjitheperfshires", - deklaroi aye- Puneve Ie Brendshme; Ministrise se Ekon- trite e linjave dhe me strategjite qe ka ja me e mire per gjetjen e zgjidhjes me re omise, TregIise dhe Energjetikes, Minis- ndertUar qarku ne fusha re tjera. "Po he- djene qytetineVlores mire per planin strategjik te rajonit re tart i Keshillit te Qarkut Vlore, z. YUi Pirro. trise se Arsimit dhe Shkences, Ministrise dhim nje hap, i dli duhetre jete nje mares dhe nje vleresues i drejtp~rdrejre ne zh- nisjene procesit te Vlores. Bashkep!Jnimiqe po bejme, eshre me shurne sesa ajo qe ne kerni pritur per Vladimir Malkaj, menaxher i pro- grameye re UNDP ne Shqiperi. tha se se Turizmit, KuItures. Rinise dhe Sporteve. Procesi i planifikimit Strategjik i ka fille- villimineqarlaItre Vlores. QarlaI yne, nje qark me potendale turistike, me nje pozite planifikimit strategjik zhvillimiri e ketij projekti dhe eshre gjith" ashtu nje perpjekje per lehresimin re plnaper kere plan strategjik kish~ni- sUr prej koheshdhe dje po behej verem sat ne shkurt 2010 ne kuader Ie programit ART GOLD 2 Ie PNlJD-itdhe do Ie drejroje gjeografike re favorshme, me nj e pejzazh perqarkuneVlOres c;faredolIojmenyre",-. tha dje ne takim njeop~tim publik. "UND, eshre prej ne muajt e ardhshem zbatimin e planit atraktir, qe ofron nje game re gjere akIiv- konsul1i italian ne Vlore, SergioSroci.Ed- kohesh promovuese e zhvillimit ~ional strategjik per re cilin eshre rene dakord itetesh ne det dhe ne mal dhe me nje mond Leka, nenkryetari i Bashksie se dhe lokal ne gjithe Shqiperine. Eshte me re gjithe aktoret Gjare procesitdo Ie numer ta madh monumentesh te " VIores, tha sene kere ~ re p]anjfikim- it stiategjik, Bashlda e Vlores si bashlda pun!ar edhe ne Vlore m~ projekte per mjedisin apo mbledhjen e armeve. For identifikohen burirnet dhe do Ie zbarohen trashegirnise kulturore, pornje mungese nisrna qe permirffiojne dlesine e jeteses ne infrastrukruren turislike. Ne nje sere me e rnadhe e qarkut re Vlores, duhet re edhe per strategji te zhvillirnit rajonal. nerajonine Vlores. Programi ART GOLD sektoresh qe kane nevoje,si p.sh. mjedisi jete perfitueSja me e madhe e ketijpro- Sot UNDP-j a ka disa projekte dhe pro- 2 ne Shqiperi si pjese e njetit Global te turislik, profesionalizimi ne sektorin e jekti. grame re rendesishrne ne nive! qeDdror lniciatives ART ka per qellim re promo- turizmit, infrastruktura portuale dhe planifikimi strategjik eshre nje proces per programe per zhvillim rajonal. qe voje rnireqeverisjen dhe zhvillimin ven- aeroportuale, pra sektore q e j ane reooe- me pjesemanje re giere, gjare re cilitin- perafrojne politikat e zhvillirnit rajonal dor ndermjetaktoreve dhe auroriteteve sishem dhe qe duhet ne re ardhmen me stitucionet,subjektetprivate,shoqeria shqiptar me kerkesat dhe politikate vendore. Prograrni ART GOLD 2 ne Sh- kere strategji ti ndertojme per ti dhene civile dhe qytetaret e VIores do re punoj ne ardhshrne shume re af"erta re Bashkimit qiperi financohet nga qeveria itaJiane Press releases of public consultations: the Kick-Off event (top), the Open Days (right) and the Public Debates (above) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 17
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 be followed for a productive debate and supported by a numerous information and encouraging democratic discussion; the communication materials aimed to inform the “glossary”, explaining the most important words territorial actors on strategic planning issues, regarding the strategic planning process; etc. engage them in the process and stimulate • graphic layout of the folders to be handed out discussions during public consultation events. to the participants, containing selected information and communication materials. These materials were designed taking into • graphic layout of pins with the logo of the consideration the scarce tradition of the strategic planning process, handed out during regional community to take part into all participation events. 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. 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 Above: The poster designed to advertise the Open Days in Vlora and Saranda (November 2010) debate”, explaining to participants the rules to STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 18
    • The Strategic Plan websiteVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” www.vloraregionstrategicplanning.eu SP experts provided support to the creation of the territory adopted and the Action Plan to the SP website, a major information and achieve it. The aim is to ensure that funded communication tool to disseminate information projects fulfil territorial needs. on the strategic planning process activities and In that respect, the website was conceived as results in Vlora Region. an out-and-out deliverable of the programme. Within the framework of a strategic planning Jointly with field training and promotion process, a website can: activities performed during the missions, SP • encourage participation and support democratic experts drafted and shared with AULEDA and decision making, giving updated information to Regional staff the guidelines for the creation of the local community on the strategic planning the website and defined tasks and process, methodology, agenda, activities, responsibilities related to website management. objectives and achieved results; Technical assistance was provided to the web design company contracted to carry out the site • improve transparency in policy-making and design and implementation. assist to create trustful relations between local communities and authorities, including UN; 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 • provide support to potential donors in updated by Regional staff, in cooperation with selecting projects that can be funded in the AULEDA. area, by describing the development strategy A screenshot from the website of Vlora Region Strategic Plan, currently in progress STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 19
    • CHAPTER 1VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK The Butrint lagoon 1.1. Introduction to the Analysis Framework An important goal of the Vlora Region SP is to act as citizens and local institutions were useful to complete an interface among different levels of government, the missing part of the analysis, that is the perception citizens and government bodies and different types of that the local community has on the future programmes. The aim is to achieve optimal development of the Region. coordination, integration and synergy and enhance In terms of methodology there was no need for new and maximize the effects of development initiatives on research to be conducted because the strategic the local and regional territory. planning process did not started from zero, rather it Consequently, the main objective of the Analysis maintained continuity with the programmes, projects, Framework is to assess the current situation of the processes and policies already operating in the territory, starting from experts territorial survey, direct territory, coordinating and enhancing them and observations in the participatory events and analysis providing a wider perspective. The result is the of planning and programming documents recently construction of a consistent reference system for the published. In the specific case of Vlora Region, the identification of a shared development strategy, which majority of planning and programming tools were aims to enhance and organise local resources. implemented after the year 2005 and the information Hence, territorial analysis is an important step for they contain can be considered updated. Therefore, developing a shared image of the future of Vlora they were taken as a basis for the preparation of this Region that has to be attained through the Analysis Framework. Direct observations from identification of common goals and strategies. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 20
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Sources for the territorial analysis As previously mentioned, the SP Analysis For the environmental analysis and the value Framework collects territorial information mainly chains survey the main reference was the from secondary sources, and integrates document “Valorisation of endogenous territorial relevant information with the results of direct potentials - Survey of the resources of Vlora” observation and participatory process. prepared by one of ILS LEDA experts. The main sources of information for the territorial The source of most demographic data was analysis of Vlora Region were the following: INSTAT (Albanian National Institute of Statistics), while UNESCO official website was At national level: the main source for additional information • Sector Strategy of Transport regarding the regional history and cultural • Sector Strategy of Social Protection 2007–2013 heritage (www.unesco.org). Other relevant At regional and sub-regional level: references were the Albanian National Agency • Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan of Tourism website (www.albaniantourism.com) • Corridor VIII - Pre-feasibility Study on the as well as Vlora and Saranda Municipalities Development of the Railway Axis official websites and the book “Delvina - • Vlora Regional Strategy for the Achievement of Albania” by Ylber Hysi. the Millennium Development Goals Please note that surveys included in this document are not intended to be comprehensive At local level: and can be subject to integrations and additions • Structural Plan of Vlora City at any time, in coherence with the process • Strategic Development Plan of Orikum nature of the regional SP. Screenshot from the UNESCO website regarding Butrint World Heritage site STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 21
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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.STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 22
    • 1.3. Territorial frameworkVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Vlora Region is one of the 12 regions of Albania, established as a local governmental Table 1. Municipalities and Communes in Vlora Region unit on November 30th, 2000. The Region includes the districts of Vlora, Municipalities Communes Saranda and Delvina. Every district, includes Delvina Finiq one or more Municipalities and a number of Saranda Mesopotam Communes, for a total of 7 Municipalities and Konispol Vergo 19 Communes (see table 1). Vlora Aliko The regional capital is Vlora, a large industrial, Himara Dhiver commercial and communication centre. Orikum Ksamil Selenice Livadhja The estimated population of the Region is Lukove 211.734 inhabitants (INSTAT, 2009), on a 2.706 Markat km2 surface. Xarre Vlora Region is situated in the south-western Armen part of Albania extended mostly on the Ionian Brataj coastline. Hore-Vranisht Kote Vlora is the Region with the longest coastline in Novosele the country. Its geographic characteristics are Qender the main potentialities for tourism and local Sevaster development. Shushice The Region has a coastline of 144 km, which is Vllahine 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. 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 23
    • 1.4. Historical highlightsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” In ancient times the Northern part of the fortified port and an important Adriatic military present region of Vlora was populated by an base. Illyrian tribe, while the Southern one was Amantia was founded in the 5th century B.C. inhabited by the Epiriot tribe of Chaonians. and is one of the smallest southern Illyrian At that time, the city of Vlora was called Aulona. cities. Its remains include many buildings and It was renowned by many travellers as one of stadia built with large stones. the main port cities of the southern Illyrian The ancient city of Phoenice (Finiq) was built in region, second only to Apolonia and Oricum. the 5th-4th centuries B.C. in the southern part The name, Vlora, is one of the few geographic of the Region, near the present city of Saranda. names of Adriatic eastern coast that has Phoenice was the main city of the Chaonians remained unchanged since the ancient times. and later in the 2nd century B.C. became the A relevant part of the population of these capital of the state of Epir. The city of Saranda provinces was able to resist the process of was initially the port of Phoenice and the first Romanization and enslavement, which traces of the settlement go back to the 2nd characterised a large part of the Balkans century B.C with the name of Angjizmos. peninsula. According to archaeological remains Although it was situated in a favourable found in the area, Vlora region was marked by geographic position, it never became an significant prehistoric residences, cultural and important centre like Butrint. economic settlements, cities and urban centres. The latter was an ancient town within the region Vlora Region has numerous sites that prove the of Epirus. First archaeological evidences of independence and the continuation of Illyrian settled occupation date back between the 10th culture through the Bronze and Iron Ages. and the 8th century B.C, although there is earlier Other known ancient settlements are the cities evidence of settlement in the 12th century B.C. of Amantia, Olympia, Kanina, Himara, Cerja, Butrint was the site of a Greek colony, a Roman Armeni, Saranda, Butrint, Finiq, Triport and city and a bishopric. After a period of prosperity Aulona. The ancient archaeological symbol of under the Byzantine administration, Butrint was Vlore is “The Girl of Aulona” a sculpture of a occupied by Venetians in the late 14th century. nymph 87 cm high and carved by local masters In the late Middle Ages the city, under the with the limestone of Kanina. It is a testimony of Ottoman administration, was abandoned due to the grave clothes of the Illyrians. the formation of swamps in the area. At present, the site is a repository of ruins representing each The city of Orikum was founded south of Vlora. Orikum is the most ancient port on the southern period of the city development. In 1992 it was coast and was a noteworthy residential area in included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage the 5th century B.C. Orikum then became a Sites. Left: ancient theatre in Oricum archaeological park; Above: a view of Butrint archaeological park STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 24
    • In the 6th century A.D. and continuing in the struggles to spread Albanian education andVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Middle Ages, Aulona was mentioned in a list of was home to many patriotic societies. important port coastal cities, with developed The most important event in the city of Vlora naval facilities that exported olive oil, salt, happened on the November 28, 1912, when timber and olives throughout the rest of Europe. Ismail Qemali, together with other Albanian In the middle of the 14th century the aristocratic delegates from around the country, declared Delvina family ruled the town of Delvina and in the Independence of Albania from the Ottoman 1354, Mehmet Ali Pasha Delvina was the owner invasion and raised the national flag in Vlora. of the castle and the city. In the 15th and 16th Vlora became the first capital of the centuries the Ottoman regime turned Vlora into independent Albania. 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. In December 1914 the Italians conquered Throughout the centuries Vlora has been Vlora. After the expansion of the Italian known as one of the most patriotic areas of occupation, a resistance to their rule started to Albania. Struggles for freedom, independence grow. In 1920, after the Congress of Lushnja, and prosperity have been in the spirit of all the “National Protection Committee” was people in the territory. Vlora region was the site created. The Commettee organised war troops of many wars against foreign occupations and in the War of Vlora. In this page: historical monuments in Vlora and in the Shushica Valley STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 25
    • 1.5. Infrastructure for mobilityVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” and urban fabric Transportation systems are a key factor for road infrastructure. In various villages the successful tourism development. So far, Vlora unpaved roads cause problems in people Region has been relatively isolated because of transport and hamper the development of rural its under-developed road network and the poor economy. The lack of an efficient road travelling conditions. The analyses conducted maintenance system from communes and show a lack of integrated transport development municipalities makes the current situation even policies at the regional and local level. worse. Nevertheless, the measures foreseen by the The growing volume of traffic on the roads is the Albanian Government for the development of the main source of air pollution and traffic road infrastructure are expected to transform the congestion, causing environmental and present situation. The development of a network economic problems. Traffic volume in summer of regional transport infrastructure will facilitate season further aggravates the current situation, the movement of people and goods and will due to the affluence of tourists. Moreover, bring markets closer. As a result it will promote especially in the coastal cities, roads were not business and increase access to services such designed to accommodate the heavy increase of as health and education hence having a direct vehicular traffic that is due to the rapid growth of impact on the citizens living conditions. the market economy and the resulting uncontrolled urban development. Hence, major In Albania, buses are the only means used for traffic problems have arisen making Albania one public transportation differently from European of the countries with the highest rate of road cities where other types of transportation accidents and people injured and killed among means like tramways, underground railways, European countries. Many of these accidents regional railways etc. are used in transit were caused by poor technical condition of systems. At the moment there are no such roads and by the old vehicles in use. projects for alternative means of public transportation. 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 Road network 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 Motorcycles Total Table 2. Vlora Nr. of road vehicles for passengers in 18.599 594 762 19.995 Region Vlora Region and Albania (INSTAT 2007) Albania 225.114 35.973 11.639 272.726 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 26
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 • Levan–Tepelene: rehabilitation of the national construction or in the pipeline in the Region are road and partial new construction (at the the following (See also Fig. 2): tendering stage) • Ure e Kardhiqit (near Gjirokastra) - Delvina: • Lushnje – Fier – Vlora: upgrading to a 2x2 rehabilitation to a national road (project in the motorway (under construction) pipeline) • Vlora – Llogara pass – Dhermi: rehabilitation • Saranda – Krane – Konispol (Greek border): of the national road (completed) rehabilitation to a national road (project in the • Dhermi – Himara - Saranda: rehabilitation of pipeline) the national road (under construction) • 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) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 27
    • Rail infrastructureVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” After 1990s, the volume of railway traffic The infrastructure of the railway system is poor decreased in Albania as well as in all Eastern and as a result of insufficient allocation of European countries. The transport of resources and lack of a mechanism to ensure passengers decreased due to the massive constant maintenance, the technical standards import of vehicles, constant improvement of the of the railway are low and do not guarantee road infrastructure and competition with private safety. The signage system on the lines and on bus companies. the interconnection system in some train crossing stations is non functional. There are Meanwhile, for security reasons, the maximum many level crossings, which often cause speed of trains has been reduced to 30-40 km/ accidents between trains and other road h and in certain areas to 25 km/h. One of the vehicles. reasons for this decrease is the lack of funding over the last 20 years to maintain and repair the In these conditions, the railway transport is not railway. competitive if compared with road transport. The current railway connects Vlora city with the Also, the signage and communication systems northern regions with Vlora station being the were destroyed during the period 1991-1997. last stop. It is not used for public transportation Therefore, trains move at reduced speed and but only for goods transport. have a low security level. 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) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 28
    • Maritime infrastructureVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 the Master Plan, as a port with a tourist function South, based in Greece, and one in the North, for the transfer of passengers, while the centred in Croatia. Currently, vessels from both transfer of goods will be made in Limoni countries sail across the Albanian coast without harbour (around 3 km from the town port). stopping, due to the lack of reception facilities Funding is to be provided by the national and the security offered by organised facilities. budget and the World Bank. Vessels whose homeport is in Italy hardly venture into Albanian waters at all. The Italian company La Petrolifera Italo- Albanese, based on a concession agreement However, interest towards Albania is increasing. with the Albanian Government, is constructing The ports of Vlora and Saranda have been the Port of Vlora Bay. This port will be used for identified as the Region entry points for foreign the unload and storage of oil, gas and their sub vessels and deserve full marina facilities within products. It will facilitate the processing by the existing urban environment. increasing security levels and environment Vlora seaport is the second important port in protection. Albania, which has been defined as the second Among other ports that should be mentioned entry gate to Corridor VIII after the port of there are the Triport fishermen harbour, in Durres. This port transfers passengers and Vlora, and the recently completed Orikum goods, covering around 10% of the export- marina (see the photo below) in the southern import goods. Its infrastructure and part of the Vlora Bay, which offers basic services superstructure is currently being developed. to yachts, multipurpose spaces and apartaments. 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. 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 Total passengers Total freights (000 tons) Total 978.115 4.271 Durres 701.081 3.423 Lezhe 36.543 283 Vlora 240.491 565 Table 3. Maritime transport of passengers and of which: freights Vlora port 136.831 457 (INSTAT 2007) Saranda port 10.366 108 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 29
    • Public transportation of formal sector and rapid regularisation ofVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” the informal settlements, alongside with new Private cars are the main mean of transportation formal settlements. within the regional territory. Some private bus In Vlora Region, as in other Albanian regions, lines do exist, which connect the main cities with can be identified four types of residential each other. The most common form of collective buildings, such as following: transportation by private vehicles is the minivan • Apartment building blocks (3, 4 or 5 storeys) (in Albanian: furgon). built during the socialist era (around 1970) and Conversely, except for Vlora city, walking is the accommodating the majority of the urban main mode of movement inside cities and population before 1990. These buildings are communes because the Region is characterised of medium to low quality, however in most of by a large number of small towns and villages, the cases residents have renovated the where all facilities are within a walking distance. interiors over time. All these residential buildings are connected to public services. Public transport does not play a relevant role in • Traditional single and apartment houses the mobility of the population in Vlora city, where dating back to the 1920s. the degree of motorisation is increasing. On the • Newly constructed single houses (1 to 3 other hand, public transportations corporations storeys, 100 to 150 m2 floor area). These are facing an increasing pressure for further houses have no official connection to public development, decreased subsidies and new services, except for power connection. obligations of reconstructing and renewing their • Newly constructed multi-storey (5 to 13 floors) fleet. Currently, Vlora city has only 3 public bus high quality buildings in the main cities. lines: Vlora–Uji Ftohte, Plazhi Vjeter-Unaza and Cole–Spital. The city public transportation The centres of the cities were mainly composed service has a total serving capacity of 2.074.064 by old socialist-type apartment blocks and other passengers per year and 50 passengers per trip, buildings accommodating a very high hence 114 trips per day. As a result, more and population density ranging from 300 to 500 more private vehicles are used for urban trips. inhabitants per hectare. Biking is much less common in Albanian towns This rapid urbanisation has not been followed by (except Shkodra), mainly because the streets are the development of necessary supporting not designed for bicycle use and are also infrastructures. There has been a lack of encumbered with parked cars, garbage materials, municipal financial resources and urban etc. That is why this mode of displacement needs management capacity to maintain and special attention through regulatory measures, as guarantee the cities quality of living. well as construction of separate bike lanes. Uncontrolled and illegal constructions are destroying the cultural and environmental The development of pedestrian surfaces should assets, especially the high quality of natural not be limited to road areas only but should be landscape of these cities, hence creating serious extended to cultural and historical sites, obstacles for better planning. The road recreational areas and along the sea front. infrastructure already renovated does not satisfy the demand of an increased population density. Urban fabric In terms of tourism development this represents a threat, especially in the coastal zone, not only Since the fall of communism, Albania has because it damages the landscape but also experienced a transition to market economy. because it entails environmental and territorial resources destruction. 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 30
    • 1.6. Social contextVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. Figure 4. Urban and rural population in the Region (INSTAT 2009) 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). 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. District Population % on total region Delvina 11.983 5,6 Table 4. Saranda 48.465 22,9 Regional population by district Vlora 151.286 71,5 (INSTAT 2009) Total 211.734 100 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%. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 31
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The Region of Vlora is the least poor in Albania According to the 2002 data from the State with only 18% of the population living below the Social Services, Vlora Region has the lowest poverty line. percentage of families in receipt of social assistance, about 4%. Social assistance Saranda and Delvina are the least poor towns distribution differs within the Region, from one in the country with 14% of the population being district to another and within the district itself. poor (according to the Map of Poverty and Delvina has the lowest percentage within the Inequality in Albania, INSTAT 2004). Region because there are no families in receipt At the same time, Vlora is the region with the in the Communes of Mesopotam and Finiq. largest disparities according to the distribution of expenditures. Table 5. The Region displays visible contrasts and Distribution of population by age groups poverty is more prominent in rural areas, (Population and Housing Census 2001, INSTAT) especially in the mountain areas of Vlora district such as Hore-Vranisht, Brataj, Sevaster, Kote, Commune 0-14 % 15 - 64 % 65+ % Armen and Shushice. (Municipality) Seaside municipalities have higher living Delvina 26 63 11 standards due to incomes generated from Finiq 14 61 25 tourism, often combined with a high level of Mesopotan 10 57 33 remittances. These incomes are the main Vergo 23 64 14 source of investments in tourism, especially Dhiver 10 54 36 family or community based tourism. Konispol 27 64 9 The Municipality of Selenica is the poorest of Livadhja 28 64 9 the Region. The town of Selenica was built Lukove 20 61 18 close to a mine and it is currently at a turning Saranda 27 65 9 point. The mine employs individuals from 150 Xara 28 60 13 families whereas many of the town’s inhabitants Aliko 28 64 8 are unemployed. Markat 27 61 11 The Municipality unemployment rate is as high Ksamil 28 65 7 as 38%. Many individuals and families were Brataj 30 60 9 forced to emigrate due to the absence of jobs. Himara 18 53 29 30% of these families have emigrant members Kote 31 61 8 and remittances constitute the basis of the household economy, while 14% of families live Novosele 29 63 8 on social assistance. Orikum 31 59 10 Qender 28 63 10 Selenice 26 59 10 Social assistance Sevaster 30 63 8 Shushice 30 64 8 Social assistance is an economic support for the poorest segment of the population. It has been Vllahine 31 62 7 operational in Albania since 1993. According to Vlora 27 65 8 the law, households in the situation of total Hore Vranisht 26 61 13 absence of, or with insufficient incomes, have Armen 31 62 7 the recognised right to social assistance. Total 27 63 10 Figure 5. Families on social assistance by kind of social assistance (INSTAT 2007) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 32
    • Young people are generally unemployed, whichVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Figure 5a. constitutes the main problem in the Region. The Families on social assistance by kind of social assistance (INSTAT 2007) 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 Table 6. employment who have a sort of economic District/gender disaggregated unemployment in Vlora Region (Population of Albania, Vlora 2001, INSTAT) dependency from their migrant relatives. Gender disparities are evident when analysing Male (%) Female (%) the labour market from the perspective of the Vlora District 21 38 involvement of men and women in economic Saranda District 16 26 activities. Women’s participation in the labour market experienced a decline in the years after Delvina District 15 30 the fall of Communism. While in 1989 the Region 20 35 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 Table 7. the men’s employment level which in 2003 Unenmployment by age groups (Population of Albania, reached 62,6%. The limited access of women to Vlora 2001, INSTAT) employment opportunities is more obvious in the private sector and slightly less in the public one. 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 According to the data from the Population Male 44,5% 36,2% 8,6% 2% 2% Census of 2001, the unemployment rate in the Female 36,8% 46,5% 40,8% 20% 19%* Region of Vlora is 25,5%. The district of Vlora Total 41,5% 41,2% 20,3% 10% 4% has the highest unemployment rate at 27%. Delvina unemployment rate is at 21% whereas * The calculation of women in this case has been made for in Saranda at 19,5%. the 55-59 age group due to the age retirement of 60 years STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 33
    • In terms of employment sectors, agriculture is EducationVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” the most important one in the Region of Vlora employing about 34% of the entire number of working people in the Region. Employment in The Albanian pre-university education system trade, hotels, restorations, follows with 25%. consists of primary education (“9-year school”), secondary education (general and professional Tourism is considered one of the main high school) and tertiary education (Universities economic and employment drives in the Region and higher). It operates under the joint because it creates the opportunities for income responsibilities of local and central governments. generation for a considerable number of The enrolment rate in primary education for the families. It is an industry based on the human whole Region has been 99.86% whereas for capital and offers a multitude of jobs for different professional categories. the secondary education is 74% for the Region, 87% for the district of Saranda and much lower The diagram in figure 6 shows that the private for the district of Delvina (between 66–68%). sector occupies 75% of the working force, while In Vlora Region, the geographical distribution of only 25% of it is employed in the public sector. schools in the primary and secondary education The majority of the labour force, about 45%, is level is balanced hence providing students with employed in the agricultural sector. This is an very good opportunities for inclusion in the indication of the predominance of the educational system. agricultural sector in the Region. For the primary level, the indicators are better because of the more equal distribution of 9-year schools and the positive impact of combined Figure 6. classes especially in rural areas. Employment by economic activities (INSTAT 2007) 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 34
    • 1.7. Environmental aspectsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Physical context to this valuable naturalistic and cultural area is difficult and its conservation state is not good, due to the presence of abandoned military Vlora Region is predominantly hilly and 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 mountainous, while the farthest north-western part and the Shushica valley area are Mediterranean crabs and the change of alga communities could be interpreted as effects of predominantly flat. the eutrophization of the whole lagoon system. A wide mountainous area lays south of Vlora Many rivers of the Region have a seasonal city to Qeparo and Borsh. The highest peak in regime and, in the past, in their flood time, they this area is the Cika mountain (2.045 m), located approximately on the same latitude of flooded the areas around their beds. Nowadays, through the building of adequate the Commune of Vranisht. Novosela plain, dams, their flows are more controlled. Delvina district and other hill areas and river valleys are generally characterised by fertile However, rivers are now threatened by the lack soil and good agricultural lands. of waste management systems. Large intervals The Region is very rich in underground water of river banks are polluted by uncollected and burned garbage. reserves. One of the most remarkable springs is the Blue Eye spring, with a capacity of 14 The existence of dumping grounds that burn, m3/sec, located in the Delvina district. especially at night, both in urban peripheral and in wild areas, also makes the presence of air The seashore of the Region is part of the Vlora and Saranda districts, whilst Delvina district has pollution by dioxin very likely. no access to the sea. 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 35
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Ecosystems Therefore, ecosystems have been considered as biological communities and classified on the basis of their Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) The SP incorporated the results of the surveys The GPP of a biological community is the conducted by one of ILS LEDA experts, amount of energy produced through regarding the productive resources of the photosynthesis, per unit area and time, by the regional territory. This survey identified 13 plants, since they are the primary producers. ecosystems in the Region, and classified them The following table divides the ecosystems per according to one of the most important category of GPP: negative, low, medium, high characteristics of an ecosystem: its productivity. and very high productivity. This reveals to a large extent the condition of a particular ecosystem and different systems can The table shows that the ecosystems with a be compared directly on the basis of their negative GPP represent urban areas and those productivity. The process of building an organic with a positive GPP are naturalistic areas. The matter in an ecosystem depends closely on the ecosystems of low, medium, high and very high availability and movement of energy through GPP have to be protected, preserved and the system and the movement is ultimately expanded with the intent to maintain and/or driven by solar energy. 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 Sites Negative GPP Urban areas • Downtown Vlora (GPP < 0) • Downtown Saranda Low GPP High mountain areas • Çika Mountain (Llogara National Park, higher than (0 < GPP < 0.5) 1.500 m a.s.l.) Medium GPP Mountain forests • Llogara National Park (from 500 m to 1,500 m a.s.l.) (0.5 < GPP < 3.0) • 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.) Mediterranean maquis • Generally spread Dunes • Area of Vjosa River outfall Sea coastal waters • Vlora coast • Saranda coast High GPP Forests • Generally spread in eastern side of Vlora district (up to (3.0 < GPP < 10.0) 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.) Agricultural lands • Plain of Novoselë (small production) • Southern Delvina district • Other hill areas • Other fluvial plans and valleys Not very deep lakes • Bistrica artificial basin • Other artificial lakes Rivers • Vjosa River • Shushice River • Bistrica River Lagoons • Narta Lagoon • Orikum Lagoon • Butrint Lagoon Very high GPP Agricultural lands • South Delvina (10.0 < GPP < 25.0) (industrial production) River outfalls • Vjosa River outfall • Bistrica River outfall STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 36
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Competitiveness evaluation 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 According to ILS LEDA methodology, the territorial competitiveness is intended as “the its peculiarities, that must be considered its main reasons of strength”. steady capacity owned by a territorial system in order to sustain, promote and propose the The following table, taken from ILS LEDA change and the innovations through an survey, synthesises the current and potential adequate use of its resources. reasons of competitiveness and detractor Therefore, the territorial competitiveness elements characterising the regional territory. measures the “capacity of evolution” of a 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 • Good morphological diversity (high • Possible existence of agricultural areas competitiveness mountains, valleys, plains, sea, lagoons, dedicated to production at industrial level rivers, springs, urban and anthropized (mainly in Delvina district). 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. Detractor • Encroachment of building activities that • Irreparable loss of territorial elements until now determined the devastation of competitiveness due to landscape Saranda downtown, and now threatening destruction because of building activities. all the district. • Dioxin air and ground pollution. • Modifications of lagoon ecosystems in • Sea, rivers and lagoons pollution. progress. • Ecosystems biodiversity of the wetlands • Lack of organised systems of waste and fatally endangered. water management, causing land, water and air pollution. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 37
    • 1.8. Landscape and cultural heritageVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 38
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Figure 7. Existing Protected Areas in Albania (Ministry of Environment, Forest & Water Management) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 39
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Figure 8. Proposed Protected Areas in Albania (Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 40
    • Natural Parks Grama and Dafina beaches, that are all wellVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” known for their deep and high quality waters. Near Grama beach there is the Cave of Slaves. Llogora National Park On the walls of Gramas beach there are This park is situated approximately 40 ancient graffiti. The western part of Karaburun kilometres southeast of Vlora city, between the is one of the most attractive points of Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The trees in this area coast for the diving fans. have distinctive crowns, shaped by the winds. A peculiar tree is "The Flag Pine", which is a Butrint National Park rare natural monument with relevant scientific This park is located about 25 kilometres south value, visited by many tourists. From the pass of the city of Saranda. It has high scientific, of Llogora, about 3 kilometres west, the Ionian touristic, archaeological, social and recreational Sea can be clearly seen. This park has values, also combined with significant indisputable values and its climate is a good biodiversity. The area of the park is 2500 combination of fresh mountain and sea air. hectares. It is an area of particular importance Llogora National Park is also a very suitable for Albanian tourism: it is known primarily for location for air sports. cultural tourism in the ancient city of Butrint, protected by UNESCO, but also for beach- related 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 Natural Monuments Karaburun, about 12 miles from Vlora harbour. It has an area of 5.7 km, 4.5 km length and 2 km Blue Eye maximal width. In ancient times it was called The Blue Eye (in Albanian: Syri i kaltër) is a Sason. The island has the shape of a rocky water spring complex located 25 km away from block with sharp coasts especially in its the Saranda, on the road to Gjirokastër, amid a western part. In the southeast part is located forest of hazelnuts, walnuts, cherries, pines and the sandy Admiral beach, which is known for its fir trees. It is a geological phenomenon and a very clean water. Both Sazani and Karaburun popular tourist attraction: the clear blue water are particularly renowned for diving. springs from a karst hole more than fifty-meter- deep. The spring provides water to Bistrica river Karaburun and, passing through an artificial channel built The peninsula of Karaburun is located in the in 1958, its waters flow into the Ionian Sea. 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, STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 41
    • Natural ReservesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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, depth of 20 meters. It is a very suitable place small coastal wetlands, brackish basins, for practicing sailing sport, due to the saltworks and not cultivated salted lands, favourable wind direction. cultivated lands. The whole Lagoon area is protected thanks to The lagoon is included in the IBAs (Important the constitution of a National Park. The Bird Areas) and represents the second area in protected area was increased to 86 km2 in 2005. Since 2002, this territory has the status of Albania for seabirds. In Narta there are 195 Protected Wetland according to Ramsar kinds of birds. During the winter, about 23% of Convention. the birds that come to Albania nest there. Several types of fish live in Narta Lagoon As for the fauna, drakes, black neck ducks, waters, but the most typical are the eel and the eagles, falcon, bats, etc live here. Here we can Nartas bass. find a number of reptilian and amphibian that proliferated in the canebrake area, in the north- Butrint Lagoon east shore of the lake. It is worth mentioning the Epirote frog, the only kind in Albania. Butrint Lagoon is a lake of tectonic origins with a natural ecosystem with great environmental The eco-system is also very suitable for bird and touristic values. It has a total surface of 16 watching: in the forest of Butrint archaeological sq. km and is connected with the canal of Vivar area, near the side of lake, live 90 different which is 3.6 kilometres long. The lake has a kinds of birds. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 42
    • Cultural heritage processing, work tools, and musical instruments.VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Traditionally, brides prepared their own handmade dowry and in some villages this Vlora Region is a repository of interesting tradition is still practised. For this reason in cultural traditions, which are the expression of a remarkable ethno-cultural area, called “Laberi”. most village houses original and handmade traditional costumes, carpets, and embroidery These traditions can be found in many fields: can be found. Presently, there are very few architecture, folklore, music, handicraft, places where tourists can view or purchase gastronomy, etc. such handicrafts. There is great potential for The Region maintains the tradition of Iso- reviving a few ethnographic museums and Polyphony, classified by UNESCO in 2005 as a developing commercial activities where tourists masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage can both observe the process of producing of humanity. Iso-polyphony is a sophisticated handicraft and purchase the products. form of group singing, derived from Byzantine In the city of Vlora, there are three functioning church music, and performed mostly by men. Nowadays, this tradition is adversely affected museums, the Museum of National Independence, the Museum of Historic Relics by poverty, absence of legal protection, lack of (or History Museum) and the Ethnographic financial support for practitioners, and Museum. Each of the latter presents different emigration of young people from rural areas. aspects of the regional history. The fourth The Region is also well known for its crafts, museum in the Region is the Archaeological including traditional costumes of the different Museum of Butrint, which contains the communes, handmade carpets and tapestries, archaeological material discovered in the site. woollen covers, knitting, embroidery, felt STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 43
    • Archaeological heritage population and significance. Butrint thenVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” entered a turbulent period of fighting for control by the Byzantine, Norman and Venetian states. Amantia Venetians, the Ottoman Turks and briefly, the Amantia was the historical capital of the Illyrian French disputed later ownership. By the time it became a part of Albania in 1912, it was tribe of Armantes and was founded around the virtually deserted. Various archaeological efforts 5th century, BC. It is located in the modern city began in the 1920s, and continue to date. of Plloca in the Vlora River Valley. In its peak years, Amantia featured an acropolis and a Butrint was named a UNESCO World Heritage Doric style temple dedicated to Aphrodite. Most Site in 1992 and declared a National notable among the preserved buildings is the Archaeological Park, by the Council of stadium, which is 60 metres long and 12.5 Ministers, on 02/03/2000. 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. 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 best- known 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 From top to bottom: The ruins of Amantia; a statue in until the 6th century A.D. Following the fall of Butrint archaeological museum the Roman Empire, the city shrank in STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 44
    • Finiq/Phoenice area as a troop encampment for several months,VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” until they were taken by Pompeius Magnus. Phoenice is located near the modern city of Saranda. In antiquity the territory around the site Declared an Archaeological Park, by the belonged to Chaonia, part of the Epirus kingdom. Council of Ministers, on 31/03/2005. 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 citys prosperity continued throughout the Roman imperial and Byzantine periods. The Ottoman occupation appears to have caused the population and trade of Phoenice to dwindle. 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 towns 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 From top to bottom: The ruins of Finiq; a view of Butrint archaeological park; remains of the Roman pier in century B.C against the Macedonians, who later Oricum; the stairway to Oricum acropolis occupied it in 214 B.C. Julius Caesar used the STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 45
    • Castles and monasteries and in the Middle Ages. The defensive circuitVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” is about 1,000 m long and encloses an area of about 3.5 hectares. Vlora Region is rich in historical buildings, such as castles, fortresses and monasteries, often • Lëkurës Castle (Saranda) is located on a neglected and underrated. The main ones are strategic hill point overlooking the town of described below. Saranda and was probably built in 1537 on the ruins of Lëkurës village by Sultan Castles Suleyman, who attacked Corfu and used the castle to control the harbour of Saranda and • Porto Palermo Castle is situated on a the road that connected it with Butrint. The peninsula in the bay of Porto Palermo, about castle has a square shape with two round 60 km south of Vlora, near Himara. The castle towers on its north-western and south-eastern was built in the early 19th century by an corners. It now hosts a panoramic restaurant. Ottoman ruler, Ali Pasha of Tepelena, in honor • Borsh Castle, also known as Castle of Sopot of his wife Vasiliqi, on the foundations of an older fortress. The castle has a triangular by the name of the hill on which it stands, has shape of 150 x 400 meters with the walls a surface of 5 hectares and a basement made reaching as high as 20 meters. It is located of stone-blocks. It was built on the 4th century amid evergreen Mediterranean bushes and B.C., by Epirote-Illyrian tribes. The castle was from its walls one can enjoy the view of the heavily damaged during the barbarian bay. Along the connection to the mainland lies invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., the church of Agios Nikolaos. and was rebuilt in the Middle Ages. It was then invaded by the Ottomans during 1417, and by • Kanina Castle was built in the homonym the Arber Prince on 1441. The Ottomans village, about 6 km south-east of Vlora. The regained control of the castle on 1848. castle rises on the side of the Shushica Mountain, about 380 meters above sea level. • Castle of Gjon Bocari, in the village of It was built on the site of an ancient Tragjas, dates back to the 16th-17th centuries. settlement, inhabited since the 7th or 6th • Himara Castle was fortified by the Kaon tribe century B.C. and fortified since the 2nd half of and is mentioned in Byzantine documents. It the 4th century B.C. It was rebuilt by Emperor was repaired in the 6th century. Emperor Justinian in the 5th century B.C. The castle Justinian had it rebuilt to defend against the was also of great importance in late antiquity attacks of the Gots and the Hus. From top to bottom, clockwise: Porto Palermo Castle, Borsh Castle, Old Trajas remains and Himara Castle STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 46
    • Monasteries and places of worship (from which the town takes its name); theVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” traditional village of Qeparo, with the Kukum • Zvërnec Monastery (on the right) - Situated Castle (built in the 2nd century B.C.) and the on the homonym island in the Narta lagoon, it St. Dimitri Monastery; a number of ancient was built in the 13th century in Byzantine churches, monasteries and mosques in Delvina style and was dedicated to Saint Mary. Every district, such as St. Nicholas Monastery in August 15th, there is an Orthodox celebration Mesopotam (probably built in the 11th century to remember St. Mary’s birth. A.D.), St. Athanasios Church in Peca (a small • Church of St. Stephan, Monastery and church dating back to 1525, whose interiors are Church of Panajia (Dhërmi) - The village of 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 Dhërmi (bottom) dates back at least to the 1st Monastery in Kardhikaq (17th century), St. century B.C. It used to have 31 churches and Mary Monastery in Kameno (16th century) some of them are still worth visiting. The most and the Mosque of Gjin Aleksi (17th century) notable one is the Church of St. Stephen from in Rusan village. 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. • 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 47
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” PROTECTED AREAS HISTORIC ELEMENTS A NATIONAL PARK OF LLOGARA 1 SHEN MARENA CAVERN 27 SAINT MARY’S CHURCH Figure 9. Map of regional cultural heritage VAGALATI CASTLE B NARTA LAGOON 28 ANCIENT CITY AT ILJAZ MOUNTAIN Butrinti lake C Butrinti archeological site C 2 LEKURESI CASTLE C NATIONAL PARK OF BUTRINT 29 SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH 3 ANCIENT CITY BUTRINT D BLUE EYE SPRING 30 SHENEPREMTE’S CHURCH 4 ANCIENT CITY FOINIKE 31 GJIN ALEKSI’S MOSQUE 5 ANCIENT WALLS -CUKE SAINT GEORGE’S MONASTERY 32 CHURCH IN SHENKOLL’S MONASTERY 6 SHENGJIN CASTLE 33 VELCA CAVERN ANCIENT CITY OF PALEOMANASTER ANCIENT CITY 34 SPILE CAVERN 7 CUKA OF AJTOI CASTLE -CIFLIG HIMARA CASTLE CASTLE SAINT MARY OF ATHALI’S CHURCH Novosele 8 CUKA SKLLAPUAS CASTLE -VERGO SAINT SERGIU AND BAKU’S CHURCH MONUMENT OF WORSHIP Shushice 9 BORSHI CASTLE 35 DUKATI AND TRAGHASI’S CAVERN Selenice ANCIENT BRIDGE GJON BOCARI’S CASTLE B Qender 10 KALIVO CASTLE 46 NATIONAL PARK 36 VRANISHTI CASTLE 47 Blue eye D zvernec island 49 11 KARALIBEJ CASTLE Armen 49 NATURAL RESERVE 37 PORTO PALERMO CASTLE 12 ALI PASHA CASTLE -MEHALLE NATURAL MONUMENT 38 ANCIENT BRIDGE 48 13 QESARAT CASTLE Vllahine Vlore CAVERN 39 PANAI’S MONASTERY 14 MALLATHRE CASTLE SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH 43 ANCIENT WALL IPAPANDI’S CHURCH 15 ALI PASHA CASTLE -VRINE SHEN STEFAN’S CHURCH 50 ANCIENT TEMPLE SHEN MITRI MONASTERY 44 16 DELVINA CASTLE Sevaster RUINS 40 SHEN JANI’S CHURCH Kote 17 ANCIENT WALLS - HUNDECOVE SHEN MEHILLI’S CHURCH 45 TYPICAL HOUSE SHEN THODHRI’ CHURCH SAINT MARY’S CHURCH HISTORIC MONUMENT 18 SAINT MARY OF KORZI‘S MONASTERY 41 ANCIENT BRIDGE SHAN VASILI’S CHURCH CERIS’S CASTLE 35 33 19 AQUEDUCT RUINS - XARRE 42 ANCIENT CITY ORIK 42 Brataj MARMIROI’S CHURCH 20 ANCIENT TEMPLE natural monument in llogara A narta lagoon B Orikum 41 43 KANINA’S CASTLE 21 SAINT MARY’S MONASTERY SHENKOLL’S MONASTERY 44 MAVROVA’S CASTLE SAINT GEORGE’S CAVERN 38 45 ANCIENT CITY AMANTIA Vranisht 22 SAINT MARY OF KAKOME’S MONASTERY 46 SHEN THANASI’S CHURCH 23 SAINT MARY OF KRIMAROVA’S MONASTERY 36 47 SHENKOLLI’S CHURCH 24 SHEN THANAS MONASTERY A SAINT MARY’S CHURCH MURADIE’S MOSQUE 48 MEMORIAL TABLET OF ISMAIL QEMALI Himare 25 SAINT GEORGE’S CHURCH SEAT OF I.QEMALI’GOVERMENT 39 26 SHEN THODHRI’S CHURCH 49 SAINT MARY’S MONASTERY 40 GJON THEOLOGU’S MONASTERY ANCIENT CITY OF RIPESI 34 50 HISTORIC MONUMENT 37 9 ancient city of orik 42 lekuresi castle 2 ancient city amantia 45 monastery in dhermi 39 Vergo 23 8 30 Lukove 17 31 18 16 Delvine 22 32 Mesopotam 4 Sarande FiniqSTRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 2 20 Dhiver 5 21 24 26 28 porto palermo castle 37 ancient city foinike 4 ancient walls 17 historic monument 50 Aliko 10 D 25 Ksamil 29 Livadhja C 27 13 3 1 6 1 1 5 9 Xare 14 Markat 7 Konispol 48
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Main potentials and problems acts of vandalism and decay. Cultural heritage sites in the hinterland are the Surveys of the main natural and cultural most neglected, due to the concentration of heritage sites reveal some major problems, tourism activity on the coast. which negatively affect their tourist fruition. If persisting, this neglect could lead to the Except Butrint, archaeological and historical complete destruction of the monuments and to sites are difficult to access, due to the lack of the irreversible loss of cultural tourism signage and the poor road network. Even local attractors in internal areas. communities are sometimes unaware of the Natural areas, on the other hand, are constantly sites value and exact location. threatened by illegal dumps and informal In the case of Oricum, accessibility is more construction activities. An effective control on difficult due to the presence of a military base: these sites, aimed to preserve their in order to enter the site, a special authorisation environmental values and tourist attractiveness, is required. The site requires extensive is a priority issue. excavations, to bring to the light the urban In general, the whole environmental and structure of the ancient city, currently hidden. cultural heritage of Vlora Region lacks Moreover, the presence of abandoned military coordinated tourist marketing policies, buildings and equipment spoils the landscape integrated with effective preservation and value of the site and represents a potential sustainable management actions. threat to health and safety. Tourist services and infrastructure such as A similar situation characterises the bay of Porto tourist guides, signage, transports, etc. are Palermo, where abandoned buildings surround either non-existent or inadequate. the beautifully preserved Ali Pasha Castle. The castle itself is not furnished for tourist fruition Available information, especially on the internet, and, being not guarded constantly, is exposed to 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 49
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 1.9. Value Chains Potentialities of Vlora Region • many species of fish • all kind of herbs • kalinjot olive variety and extra virgin oil. 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 ‣ Basic resources (endogenous resources of Programme by ILS LEDA specialist (“Survey of “ordinary” nature that can used in order to reduce primary needs of the territory: these the resources of Vlora” updated to November resources must be considered competitive 2010) such as: because they are necessary for the economic ‣ Natural areas with high biodiversity, belonging steadiness of the territory) such as: to various ecosystems, that represent a • feta cheese or “hard white cheese”, resource for sustainable tourism and rural kackavall cheese, yogurt development. • Kallmet, Shesh and Vlosh wines ‣ Several agricultural and agro-food value • meat chains that represent “resources of • alcoholic liquors (rakì of grape and cornel). excellence” (according to ILS LEDA ‣ Other types of resources of excellence such as: methodology: endogenous competitive • cultural resources, for instance, the musical resources that can be considered rare, heritage based on traditional iso-polyphonic unique or owning primary qualities, and, music and new tendencies, or the artistic therefore, are comparable or even preferable vitality that can be nowadays identified to similar resources expressed by other • products of the handicraft activities such as territories), such as: silver filigree, wooden and wicker furniture, • products of the bee value chain, such as decors and trinkets, and wool carpets. mono-flowers honeys, royal jelly, propolis STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 50
    • Food productsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Food products include the following value chains: yet been identified. Bee Fish Bee value chain goes from the biodiversity of Sea fishing activities are mainly carried out by different ecosystems to the marketing of the the important fishing fleets of Vlora and Saranda, products (fresh, raw and processed) of bees, which however smaller fishing fleets can be found in here are: multi–flower honey, royal jelly, pollen, coastal villages. Fish vessels and drift nets are propolis, bee wax. Production is quite low, mainly also used. Sea fish breeding activities are because of the obsolete instruments used to collect carried out mainly in the area of Qeparo and royal jelly and pollen. Propolis is the only product to Porto Palermo, while in the lagoon of Butrint be processed, in a very simple and traditional way, mussel breeding is carried out. in order to produce propolis tincture. Sea fish in this area can be considered of The competitive advantage is high for the multi– excellent quality and, due to the geographic flower honey, characterised by good organoleptic position of the Region and of the streams of characteristics and good levels of territorial Ionian Sea, fishing can be done in large representativeness and recognisability, being quantities. The variety of fished species is also typically representative of Mediterranean region relevant. Sardines, anchovies, and mackerels can because of its provenience from pollen of be easily processed, and preserved naturally or in oregano, thyme and sage. vegetable oil. Through artisanal processes, very valuable food preserves can be obtained. As for marketing, all the products of the Bee value chain are recognised and consumed on At the moment, sea fish is rarely locally domestic market, so that all regional production processed. Until now, only some small plants for is sold, and there is further space on the market the production of oil preserved fish have been for more producers; honey, royal jelly and identified, and packaged and/or branded propolis are, mostly, directly sold in stands on products have not been identified. the road, while other products, having a high The market of fresh sea fish produced in Vlora added value, as pollen and bee wax, are hardly Region is, until now, exclusively domestic, but it sold on domestic market, because of the lack of is extended in the whole southern Albania. adequate processing laboratories. ILS LEDA surveys highlighted a sufficiently self- The participation of Vlora Beekeepers Association conscious relational capital related to the Fish “Nectari” in the Mediterranean Beekeeping Forum value chain; in particular, the Associations of Vlora made Albanian products of the Bee value chain Fishermen, based in Triport, is considered a very known and appreciated abroad, but, so far, relevant, representative and inclusive subject. international exporters of these products have not 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 51
    • Meat use a cheap, low quality, industrial micro–VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” biological rennet for cheese production. The Meat value chain ideally goes from the A production of Albanian feta cheese and activities of breeding cattle, sheep, pigs and kaçkavall cheese, if obtained according to farmyard animals to the marketing of the traditional recipes and using natural rennet, products (fresh and processed meat), mainly could be considered competitive. Instead, related to the beef and to the sheep. A good “foreign-like” cheeses are characterised by a competitive advantage of Vlora Region meat low quality level, and their production could value chain derives from the traditional know endanger the future of regional dairy sector. how applied in producing beef meat preserves and from the traditional ways of breeding sheep. Olive The current lack of organised and safe slaughterhouses is progressively going to be The following cultivars of olives can be found in solved, also thanks to implemented association Vlora Region: making projects (e.g. UNDP Project “Improving • not-better identified common variety, producing the performance of livestock sector in Albania”). table olives • kalinjot variety (Albanian endogenous) Milk • frantoio variety (imported from Italy) • leccino variety (imported from Italy). The Milk value chain ideally goes from the Table olives are homemade by processing and biodiversity of different ecosystems to the preserving fresh olives in brine. marketing of the products that, here, are related to the following issues: milk, cheese, and Kalinjot olives can be considered a very yogurt. Breeding activities are very fragmented, valuable variety: extra virgin oil extracted from milk production is not ensured regularly and the them, if well produced, is intrinsically excellent. milk quality can not be controlled (water and Olive oil production is mainly carried out for maize amid are often added to milk by family use. In some cases, extra virgin olive oil producers to fraudulently increase milk (kalinjot, frantoio, leccino) is sold bottled and productions and gains). Therefore, the quality branded. Small but good olive milling plants of most milk produced for “industrial” purposes coexist in the Region, together with low- is very scarce. Moreover, most dairy factories medium level plants. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 52
    • Industrial plants and medicinal herbsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. As for the herbs, the following varieties have been identified, until now, in the region: • mint (Mentha aquatica), collected and cultivated Wine and liquors • mountain savory (Satureja Montana), collected • “mountain tea” or “shepherd’s tea” (Syderitis In Vlora Region, the following varieties of wine syriaca), collected are produced: • oregano (Origanum vulgare), collected • Kallmet (red and white wine) • sage (Salvia Officinalis), collected and cultivated • Shesh (Shesh i bardhe and Shesh i zi, white • thyme (Timus Serpillum), collected. and red wine, respectively) All products of this value chain are recognised • Vlosh (red wine). and appreciated mostly by national consumers, Kallmet, Shesh and Vlosh can be considered and bought for basic use (mainly for cooking). All good Albanian endogenous grape varieties, with regional production is sold, hence there is further significant properties of recognisability. space on the market for more regional producers. All kinds of herbs are sold neither branded nor The lack of producers associations shows a packaged, and most fresh and dried products are scarce quality of the relational capital related to directly sold to store owners and consumers. So the Wine value chain of Vlora Region. far, no organic farming processes and no The products of the Liquors value chain can processing activity (apart from traditional dried represent a real expression of the territory. In products) have been identified. fact, they depend on the raw material that In consideration of the good and clean state of characterise the area in which they are the ground and of the environment, both produced. collected and cultivated herbs could receive ILS LEDA surveys identified the following certifications of quality and organicity (not distillates: raki of grape and of plum (the achieved yet). However, wild herbs colonies traditional Albanian alcoholic product, obtained (together with the production of some kinds of through the distillation of fermented fruit, honey) are nowadays seriously endangered by strongly connected with Balkan identity), and the use of forbidden gathering techniques by alcoholic infusions (lemon and mint). herbs gatherers, willing to save time and obtain more product to sell without any care of the Good quality distillates and alcoholic infusions need of safeguarding natural cycles and are mainly homemade and their production is reproduction chances of wild germplasms. small, if compared to regional potentialities for sustainable production. 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 53
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Cultural, handicraft from other rural activities. Local wool is not considered good for handicraft textiles production, and tourism products 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 These products include the following value chains: be found on regional and domestic markets, in shops selling traditional products and handicraft, but have not been identified on Culture production system 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 Tourism production system cultural heritage of the Region, as well as their promotion on global networks. Emigration of Vlora Region is very rich in potential tourist youth and lack of preservation and enhancement attractors, since many ecosystems and cultural policies for material heritage also threaten the attractions can be found in the region. survival of regional culture. Environmental quality of urbanised areas is very low and the presence of uncollected garbage in Handicraft production system urban centres and in the countryside (especially along river banks and rural roads) is apparent. Vlora wrought iron products, designed taking Rural areas of the region are characterised by a inspiration from very original pattern and pictures, scarce presence of agro-tourism activities, bed have no similar foreign competing products, also & breakfast and organised camping areas. The in consideration of the strongly “contaminated” quality of the accommodation is generally low. eastern–western context in which they are designed. The scarce valorisation of local gastronomic heritage should be pointed out. 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. 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 54
    • Main potentials and problemsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” ILS LEDA survey highlighted different problems and events to increase the livableness and regarding the regional production system. They the vitality of the areas for tourist interest. can be generally summarized as follows: • Marketing: most local products have the • Productivity effectiveness: although most potentiality to acquire larger and more products have a potential for sustainable steadier space in domestic markets (also in production increase, there is a lack of connection with tourist activities such as effectiveness of production due to scarce use hotels and restaurants), and to achieve new of technologies, especially in the agricultural spaces in foreign markets. Nevertheless, the and livestock production. The lack of lack of structured marketing activities awareness on the value of the relational (including branding and packaging) in most capital increases the fragmentation of value chains, the small and uneven quantities productions and makes it difficult to enter new produced, and, most of all, the lack of safety markets. Moreover, the lack of processing and quality certifications cause a lack of activities and of local production of high export activities towards foreign markets. added value products in most sectors (mainly Moreover, the ecosystems’ biodiversity and in the fish, bee and herbs value chains) good environmental conditions that ensure the hampers the potentials of local products. good quality of agro-food products are heavily • Safety and quality: nowadays, more than endangered by the lack of organised systems ever, food quality and safety are a constant of waste and water management, causing land, concern for consumers and public authorities. water and air pollution and threatening animals Although most local products in Vlora Region health. usually have good quality and organoleptic The lack of training also represents a detractor properties, they do not have safe and quality element for the identified value chains: not only certification hence they are unable to attract specialised capacity building for farmers, foreign consumers. Certifications of food breeders and gatherers is needed, but also security, quality and organicity represent a training activities aimed at raising and potential reason for the increase of maintaining awareness on the importance (also competitiveness. for tourism development) of typical and • Vitality of the cultural and tourism recognisable quality products, in order to avoid systems: cultural and tourist assets are not their irreversible deterioration or disappearance adequately enhanced by promoting activities in favour of “foreign-like” products. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 55
    • 1.10. Territorial programmingVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” A view of the Albanian Riviera Analysis of planning and programming instruments Adopted methodology The analysis of planning and programming type of instrument and its field of interest (see instruments at municipal, inter-municipal, table 1). regional and interregional levels contributes to • Identification of common goals in different build a reference frame for territorial instruments, to point out the objectives development strategies of Vlora Region, shared by the analysed instruments (see table focusing on the ongoing projects in the area. 2) and identify the main directions they trace The analysis was conducted taking into for territorial development. Goals are grouped consideration various kinds of instruments: in four thematic categories: “Environment general and sectorial plans and programmes, protection and infrastructure network”, “Cultural development plans/programmes, environmental heritage”, “Agro-food production and rural plans/programmes, city planning and feasibility tourism”, and “Social issues”. studies. Several data sheets were developed, in • Analysis of the compatibility among the which every document was analysed various instruments goals, to provide an separately, listing also its main goals. overview of the consistency of the current In this chapter, therefore, we seek to provide an programming and to verify the possibility for overview of the ongoing programming, coordination and synergy among the ongoing highlighting the necessary elements for the programmes (see table 3). construction of possible regional development scenarios and the strategy required for their realization. The synthesis process has followed a path divided into 3 phases: • 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 56
    • Survey, analysis and comparisonVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of existing plans and programs 14 planning and programming instruments were collected and analysed: Municipal Area Regional Area Planning Instruments Programming Instruments City planning Development programmes • Structural plan of Vlora (2009) • Vlora regional strategy for the achievement of the MDGs (2005) Programming Instruments • Waste management plan (2005) Development Plans • Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan (2007-2010) • Development plan - Xarre (2005) • RDS/NPA - Monitoring and • Strategic plan for tourism development implementation of DevInfo in Vlora - Qender Commune (2009) region (2006) • Development plan – Orikum (2009) • Study Lumi Vlora (2008) Sectorial programmes • Project Lumi Vlora - “A territorial • Development of special pedagogy partnership in progress” (2009) section at the university of Vlora (2007) Inter-municipal Area NOVOSELE Shushice Selenice QENDER Armen Programming Instruments VLORE Vllahine Management plans Kote Sevaster • Management plan: Vjosa – Narta landscape protected area (2005) ORIKUM Brataj • Management plan: Complex Llogora, Rreza e Kanalit, Dukat, Orikum, Tragjas, Radhime, Karaburun (2005) Vranisht Himare Inter-regional Area Vergo Lukove Delvine Mesopotam Programming Instruments Finiq Sarande Dhiver Sectorial plans Aliko • Corridor VIII: Pre-feasibility study on the Ksamil Livadhja development of the railway axis (2007) Xarre Markat Konispol Plans and programmes were then placed on a map, which is shown in the next page. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 57
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET”STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” Fig. 10. Survey of plans and programmes in progress in Vlora Region 58
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Table 1. Summary of the main goals emerged from the instruments analysis (*) Reference document Instrument Main goals STRUCTURAL PLAN - City planning - Define transport strategies and urban projects VLORA - 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 Implemented by: HYDEA - Re-naturalize part of the promontory (Qafa and Funded by: WB-LAMP Project Topit) to avoid further erosion STRATEGIC PLAN FOR Development - Develop/consolidate participatory planning TOURISM DEVELOPMENT - plan - Improve tax policies and management capabilities QENDER COMMUNE - Improve the quality of municipal services - Establish a new Office for Tourism Development within the organic structure of municipal administration Implemented by: - Create an Agency for Touristic Information Urban research institute - Prepare a package of project proposals for the development of tourism in the municipality Funded by: - Prepare a study for an efficient use of resources for Albanian Development Fund - ADF tourism development DEVELOPMENT PLAN - Development - Establish a new Office for Tourism Development ORIKUM plan - Develop product specifications - Apply national environmental labels - Encourage farmers to crate/join associations Organise fairs for agricultural & livestock products - Increase the farmers’ management and Implemented by: Orikum Municipality communication capacities - Improve methods to obtain residents’ and tourists’ Funded by: opinions to improve municipal services & Albanian Development Fund - ADF investments DEVELOPMENT PLAN - Development - Maximum use of agricultural land through XARRE plan improving irrigation and drainage system - Credit and support to agricultural mechanics for the implementation of services in agriculture - Establish a tourist village in Psimeno Implemented by: - Establish customs and tax facilities Urban research institute - Pre-feasibility of a municipal market in Saranda Funded by: - Build collective points for waste collection Albanian Development Fund - ADF - Establish a cultural centre in Mursi village STUDY LUMI VLORA Development - Consider the valley as a high environment plan protection area - Protect all natural resources - Experiment with innovative forms of territorial governance and territorial marketing strategy to Implemented by: attract investments AULEDA - Certificate local products and create and strengthen agro-production enterprises Funded by: - Protect traditional craftsmanship, crafts and local ART GOLD ALBANIA-UNDP traditions PROJECT LUMI VLORA Development - Provide support for the consolidation of local “A TERRITORIAL PARTNERSHIP IN plan economic development agency and consultancy PROGRESS” - Propose enhancement of local resources to promote social cohesion to the communities of the Implemented by: valley Maurizio Del Bufalo, UNDP Funded by: UNDP ART GOLD Albania MANAGEMENT PLAN: Management - Preserve, manage & restore habitats and species VJOSA-NARTA LANDSCAPE plan - Soil preservation and anti-erosion measures PROTECTED AREA - Preserve and manage water resources - Establish administration bodies and regulations to Implemented by: improve the management of visitors, infrastructure Vlora Region and engineering works - Improve the organization of local communities (in Funded by: associations, cooperatives etc.) MedWetCoast, GEF (*) Colours in the table refer to the colours assigned to each category of plan/programme in the map in the previous page STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 59
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Reference document Instrument Main goals VLORA REGIONAL STRATEGY FOR Development - Improve education level (support vocational THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MDGs programme education focusing on market demands) - Improve health services, reduce child and maternal deaths, improve mothers’ health, Implemented by: increase breastfeeding practice Mynyr Gjika et al. for Vlora Region - Ensure environmental sustainability, Funded by: UN, Oxfam improve life quality in the region WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN Development - Preserve, enhance and restore key eco- IN VLORA REGION programme systems, 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 Implemented by: - Improve understanding of the state of Pan- Insarema Cioni, Vladimir Haxhi European biological & landscape diversity Funded by: and of the processes to make it sustainable UNOPS, Regione Marche - Ensure adequate financial means ALBANIAN SOUTHERN COAST Development - Establish development control principles and DEVELOPMENT PLAN programme procedures for Albania Southern Coastal Zone - Promote economic growth and job creation within the context of sustainable development Implemented by: - Adequate infrastructure to meet the existing TBU-HBA-P&P joint venture and forecast residential and tourist demand Funded by: - Revitalize traditional primary industries such Ministry of Public Works, Transport & as agriculture and fisheries, and support local Telecommunications, World Bank arts and crafts and low-impact industries DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIAL Sectorial - Establish the SPS unit at the University of PEDAGOGY SECTION AT THE programme Vlora and introduce a national 3+2 years UNIVERSITY OF VLORA academic course according to the Bologna standards for pedagogues in collaboration Implemented by: with the University of Lausanne Swiss Cooperation Office Albania - Prepare five full time professors Funded by: responsible for the course for the training of Swiss Agency for Development and the specialised pedagogues Cooperation (SDC) RDS/NPA MONITORING AND Development - Form a technical steering group with IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVINFO programme representatives from UNICEF, UNFPA, and IN VLORA REGION UNDP/UNCT - Provide overall direction and technical Implemented by: UN ALBANIA expertise on the project activities Funded by: United Nations PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE Sectorial - Bring about a real change in the Common DEVELOPMENT OF THE RAILWAY AXIS programme Transport Policy - Restore the balance between modes of Implemented by: transport and develop intermodality Railway Working Group for the Corridor VIII - Promotion of rail freight corridors Secretariat - Removal of technical barriers to Funded by: interoperability in rail transport Italian Ministry of International Trade - Monitoring of the rail market MANAGEMENT PLAN COMPLEX – Management - Assess the implications of extending the LLOGORA , RREZE KANALIT, DUKAT, plan Llogara National Park, in light of new legislation ORIKUM, TRAGJAS, RRADHIME, concerning protected areas in Albania KARABURUN - 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 Implemented by: Vlora Region national and international agencies and Funded by: organisations who deal with protected areas MEDWETCOAST/ GEF/UNDP - Conservation of biodiversity as a whole STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 60
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 - Waste Management Plan in Vlora Region storage and treatment, purchase waste management - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - machinery, promote education on urban waste, rehabilitate Qender Commune existing illegal dumpsites, organize seperate waste collection. - Development Plan - Xarre - Development Plan - Orikum - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan Water supply and sewage system: water supply technical - Structural Plan - Vlora rehabilitation, tecnical rehabilitation and extension of the - Development Plan - Xarre sewage system, new systems for sewage and water supply, - Development Plan - Orikum connection of every household to the sewage system. Environment and natural resources protection: - Management Plan Vjosa-Narta Landscape increase population environmental awareness, Protected Area conservation and management of natural resources, soil - Management Plan Complex Llogora conservation and anti-erosion measures, build up local - Study Lumi Vlora capacities in planning, management and monitoring of - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement natural and biological resources, capacity building on environment assessment, preparation of promotion of the Millennium Development Goals materials. Infrastructure: definition of transport strategies, improve - Structural Plan - Vlora accessibility in different villages, arrangement of all road - Pre-Feasibility Study on the Development of networks. 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 - Structural Plan Vlora conservation of historical, cultural buildings and typical houses. SECTOR 3: AGRO-FOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Main goals Reference documents Agriculture development: efficient use of agricultural land - Development Plan - Xarre by improving irrigation and drainage system, credit and - Development Plan - Orikum support for agricultural specialists for the implementation of - Study Lumi Vlora 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. 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 - Development Plan - Xarre (Psimeno). SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Main goals Reference documents Social inclusion of disadvantaged groups, education - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement and health care services: improve the quality of life of the of the Millennium Development Goals people with disabilities, improve the level of education, - Development of Special Pedagogy Section improve health care services. at the University of Vlora STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 61
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Table 3. Coherence among instruments SECTOR 1: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK Main goals of ongoing Reference documents Coherence among instruments plans and programmes Natural environment: - Management Plan Vjosa-Narta There is a good coherence on Management of natural resources Landscape Protected Area environment issues. Different through compatible and sustainable - Management Plan Complex instruments share the same use, environment protection, soil Llogora goals even though they provide conservation and anti-erosion various type of actions/ - Study Lumi Vlora measures interventions. - Vlora Regional Strategy for the achievement of the MDGoals Infrastructure: - Structural Plan - Vlora All plans and programmes are Improve the road and railway - Pre Feasibility Study on the coherent with each other about network through: interventions on Development of the Railway Axis the different actions/ existing urban and rural roads, new interventions on the road and - Development Plan - Xarre connections between villages, railway network. rehabilitate and upgrade the - Development Plan - Orikum existing railway axis. - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - Qender Commune - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan SECTOR 2: CULTURAL HERITAGE Main goals of ongoing Reference documents Coherence among instruments plans and programmes Preservation of cultural heritage: - Structural Plan - Vlora Restoration and conservation of historical buildings and typical houses. SECTOR 3: AGRO-FOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Main goals of ongoing Reference documents Coherence among instruments plans and programmes Agriculture and agro-food - Development Plan - Xarre All the ongoing plans and production: - Development Plan - Orikum programmes share the same Improve credit access for farmers, objectives regarding to the - Study Lumi Vlora promote quality products, credit and promotion of agriculture product, support for agricultural techniques support and training for farmers, for the implementation of services in use of biologic agriculture and agriculture. improvement of credit access and infrastructure network. Rural tourism: - Study Lumi Vlora Development of ecotourism in Lumi Vlore, promote local products SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Main goals of ongoing Reference documents Coherence among instruments plans and programmes Social inclusion of - Vlora Regional Strategy for the There are only 2 programmes disadvantaged groups, education achievement of the MDGoals regarding social issues at and health care services: - Development of Special regional or local level. They are Increase access to health services, Pedagogy Section at the coherent with each other as of improve the level of education also University of Vlora improving quality and level of of the people with disabilities education but refer to different categories of persons. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 62
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Conclusions on the programmes analysis Fragmentation and coherence As the tables in the previous pages clearly has started to analyse the development show, the plans and programs involving Vlora potentials for the creation of a protected rural Region are relatively few. area. At regional level, the only existing comprehensive An urban planning instrument can only be program is the Albanian Southern Coast found in the regional capital, while for other Development Plan, showing how the Municipalities and Communes the main issues management of the coastal areas represents addressed by programming instrument are the main concern for the territorial governance tourism and rural development consistently with authorities. the main economic activities in the Region. The lack of programming instruments in the majority This predominance is reasonable, because it of the Municipalities and Communes of the reflects the authorities’ willingness to control, in Region is probably a hint of the local some way, the negative effects of beach authorities’ lack of capacities to manage tourism development: illegal and uncontrolled territorial governance and to design and construction, destruction of landscapes and implement development projects to achieve natural resources, etc. common interest goals. However, this lack of The same necessity of preserving natural overall “visioning” and planning leads to assets probably guided the drafting of the fragmentation of interventions and waste of management plans for the two protected areas financial resources. of Llogara and Narta. One positive aspect is the general coherence It is worth noticing that no similar plan has been among all the programming instruments in the produced so far for the other existing protected crucial sectors: it is worth noticing that areas, and there seem to be no projects for the programmes do not obstruct each other and do enhancement of cultural heritage sites, though not envisage contradictory interventions. quite numerous in the Region. In this framework, the SP can represent the tool Internal areas have not developed any sort of to coordinate ongoing and scheduled projects development plan or programme; the only (consistent with existing instruments) and to exception is the Shushica Valley, where UNDP optimise investments. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 63
    • 1.11. S.W.O.T. analysisVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” of the regional territory An SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats) analysis was carried out to assess development potentials and Weaknesses critical aspects of the regional territory. The • Uncontrolled construction activity, especially main findings are synthesised in these pages. on the coast (Vlora, Saranda and Ksamil) • Neglected or undiscovered cultural and archaeological heritage, poor tourist information available, lack of coordinate promotion Strengths • Lack and scarce quality of tourist services, lack of professional training in the tourism • Unspoilt landscapes, natural sites and sector, disproportionate quality/price ratio in coastal areas (Shushica valley, Llogara tourist accommodation structures national park, Karaburun peninsula, Orikum • Low awareness on the importance of and Butrint lagoons, Albanian Riviera, etc.) cultural heritage and traditional architecture • Potentially attractive cultural heritage sites for development (Zvernec Monastery, Ali Pasha Castle in • General lack of urban quality, both in Porto Palermo, Butrint and Orikum villages and in larger towns archaeological parks, Amantia, Narta salt- works, etc.) • Presence of abandoned and dilapidated • Distinctive intangible cultural heritage (e.g. buildings in the countryside the iso-polyphonic music, recognised by • Absence of solid waste management UNESCO) systems, causing environmental and • Regional cultural and natural heritage landscape damages, threatening natural already mapped within the INTERREG resources and the health of people and III.A Project ‘I&A’ animals, hampering tourism development • Presence of abandoned and dilapidated • Lack of water and wastewater management buildings in the countryside (traditional system, lack of a monitoring and houses, farms, state factories, military management system for rivers buildings, pedestrian bridges, etc.), which • Bad state of existing road network, scarce could represent a resource for tourism road accessibility to some areas (i.e. to the • Richness of typical agro-food and Shushica river valley) handicraft products - 11 value chains (4 of • Presence of activities having a strong which expressing resources of excellence: impact on the environment, like gravel pits Kalinjot olive oil, herbs, sea fish, bees along the Shushica river products) and 3 production systems • Incomplete value chains, lack of processing (culture, handicraft, tourism) identified activities • Organic farming experiences in the • Lack of data and surveys on socio- Shushica river valley economic trends in the Region • Strong sense of belonging and identity • Lack of collective infrastructure for farmers • Existing projects, showing willingness to (slaughterhouses, dairy factories, warehouses) balance environmental protection and economic development needs; growing • Land fragmentation and small dimension of attention to environmental protection, farming businesses, causing low production traditional architecture preservation and levels, difficult access to technological building control innovations, credit, services and markets • Tourism development initiatives • Uncertain land property rights • Presence of tourist information signage in • Lack of quality in olive oil and milk the archaeological areas of Orikum and production, food security to increase Butrint • Producers’ resistance to associate • Innovative projects implemented in the • Difficulty to conciliate industrial development health sector and environmental protection • Important presence of associations working • Difficult tourist fruition of some archaeological in the cultural and social sectors areas (Orikum, Porto Palermo) due to the • Existence of public and private Universities presence of military posts, also not in use STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 64
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Opportunities Threats • Transformation of AULEDA from LEDA to a • Poor capacities to design projects regional development agency through complying to EU standards could prevent ART GOLD 2 programme access to international funds • Development projects already • Scarce capacity to manage international implemented by AULEDA in the Shushica funds Valley, in Narta area and in Orikum • Abandoned buildings in the countryside, in Municipality the absence of a restoration and reuse • Existence of the Albanian Development program, will diminish the attractiveness of Fund, programming interventions for the area for tourists infrastructure enhancement in the region • Tendency for uncontrolled construction, if • UN and Italian Cooperation programmes persistent, will irreversibly deteriorate and projects implemented and under natural landscapes and destroy traditional realisation in the region buildings and local identity • Opportunities offered by decentralised • Lack of job opportunities can cause cooperation and by EU funds addressed to depopulation of rural villages, deterioration local development, enhancement of of environment and landscape, loss of cultural heritage, environmental protection, cultural heritage and identity etc. • Persistent absence of a waste management • Albania as a potential candidate country to system can irreversibly damage natural enter European Union - IPA Programmes resources and human health, negatively • EU funds for cross-border programmes affecting farming activities and hampering and projects among Vlora Region and tourism development Greek regions • Military bases on the coast, limiting the • Growing interest in Albania as a tourist access to several sites of cultural and destination environmental value, can discourage • Growing global interest in quality agro-food tourism development products - development and enhancement • Competition of tourist destinations that can of organic farming, quality and food better balance development and security certifications environmental protection • Women empowerment STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 65
    • 1.12. General development goal andVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 The SP general goal was identified based on expresses the necessity to remedy (when the results of the surveys in the regional territory, the analysis of programmes operating possible) and preserve the remaining in order to maintain and increase tourist attractiveness in the Region, the meetings held with the and ensure a safe environment and better living Regional government and other representative conditions for the regional population. stakeholders as well as the inventory of cultural and landscape heritage and of value chains. Environmental sustainability can be the key to The general goal of the Strategic Plan is: trigger economic growth (especially in the tourism sector) without compromising natural “Enhance sustainability to support assets, but rather using environment as an economic development STRATEGIC PLANNING t o p u r s u e a n i n n o v a t i v e and social opportunity inclusion”. development model. OF VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” The general development goal of the Strategic Plan as a result of the territorial resources survey Defining the shared general goal of the strategic plan Cultural heritage Sea & beaches ‘TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’ Rural landscape & typical products landscapes Natural UNDP ARTGOLD 2 ALBANIA Programme AULEDA - Local Economic Development Agency www.undp.org.al www.auleda.org 30 Therefore, the regional Strategic Planning The Strategic Plan is an instrument to: process indentifies a sustainable development • define goals of environmental sustainability model in 3 fundamental and interconnected • investigate the main environmental aspects aspects: environment, economy and society and synthesize the critical factors (Rio de Janiero, 1992). • analyse potential environmental aspects by This model is attainable through actions evaluating SP’s objectives and actions directed towards territorial eco-management, through sustainability criteria anthropogenic activities and promotion of • identify possible actions connected to climate change reduction (Kyoto Protocol). environmental indicators. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 66
    • The keywordsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. Analysis of plans Meetings with Inventory of Surveys of the and programmes regional territory representative territorial operating in the stakeholders resources Region 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 9. Urban quality protection 10. Sustainable mobility 4. Waste and water management 11. Innovative vocational training 5. High-quality agro-food products 12. Better job opportunities for youth 6. Short production & distribution chains 13. Destination management STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 67
    • Keywords were then shared with territorial actors and grouped into 7 categories (see the diagramVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” below) to better focus the main themes for regional development. Categories of keywords and themes for regional development Category A Tourism is recognised as the main opportunity for regional development; the • Sustainable tourism challenge is to make it sustainable and • Destination management integrated, in order to preserve the regional identity and resources. Cultural heritage is recognised as a Category B major issue for regional development, and its preservation and transmission to the • Identity & cultural heritage next generations are crucial to maintain the cultural uniqueness of the Region. Category C Environmental protection emerges as one of the main critical aspects of the • Environment and landscape protection Region, and as an essential assumption • Waste and water management to make it a tourist destination suitable for the global market. Agro-food sector is very important in the Category D regional economy, but it is not • High-quality agro-food products competitive enough: products quality should be improved, value chains • Short production & distribution chains developed and small producers should • Producers’ associations form a “critical mass” to compete on national and foreign markets. Social issues are central to territorial Category E actors, not only regarding health and social care services, but also social • Health and social care services inclusion of disadvantaged groups and gender equality. Category F Infrastructure is one of the most critical issues in the Region: transportation • Urban quality systems are poor and inadequate, • Sustainable mobility though they are a basic assumption for development. Training is a cross-cutting issue and a Cross-cutting issues need expressed by most territorial actors. • Innovative vocational training It is crucial for professional growth and job • Better job opportunities for youth opportunities creation thus reducing emigration and “brain drain”. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 68
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 1.13. Scenarios for Regional Development The Scenarios represent possible future In the case of Vlora Region, the desk analyses configurations of a territory, based on present conducted and the participation activities conditions, trends outlined by the current performed led to the definition of 3 possible operating programmes and policies (at national, Scenarios: regional and local level) and on the possible 1. Tourism development variables that the SP can introduce to trigger 2. Rural development and agro-business sustainable and endogenous development. 3. Services, networks and light industry The 3 possible development Scenarios for Vlora Region These Scenarios are not exclusive but strongly Given the territorial features, each Scenario can interconnected as are the different features of a take at least two different directions or territory and its economic sectors. Hence development models: a sustainable one and an Scenarios can be developed simultaneously, in unsustainable one. an integrated and complementary manner, to The three Scenarios identified and their achieve a more diversified development. implications are described in the following In order to review and share Scenarios with fiches, together with: local actors, presentations were held during • the ongoing plans and programmes that public consultation meetings (the Open Days support the Scenario held in November 2010), highlighting possible • the analyses results and the specific territorial directions that the territory can undertake based aspects that led to the Scenario identification. on each possible development Scenario. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 69
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Scenario 1 Tourism development Present situation: potentials, • Rich, diversified and close proximity natural landscape assets, including mountains (i.e. problems and opportunities for the Llogara National Park), valleys (i.e. the tourism development Shushica Valley), sea and wetlands (i.e. Butrint, Orikum, Narta) Vlora Region has chosen tourism as the • Genuine agro-food products (olive oil, leading sector of its economy and the principal cheese, etc.) and traditional cuisine catalyst of economic growth. • Hospitable people and safe environment. This choice is supported by a high number of In spite of its great potentials, thus far, the private investments in tourism activities, mainly Region has predominantly made use of its accommodation structures (also incentivised by beautiful, unspoilt coast to develop tourism. the 1993 Tourism Law), by the increased tourist Flows of Albanian visitors have steadily inflows and by carious international, national increased, particularly during the summer and regional policies and programmes season. These are mainly Albanians from dedicated to tourism: Kosovo and Albanian emigrants visiting their • Over the years, the Ministry of Tourism, home country during the holidays. Nonetheless, Culture, Youth and Sports has prepared a this type of tourism has had a negative impact number of tourism strategies, i.e. the the on the territory, causing massive and irregular Strategy and Action Plan for the Development expansions of many coastal towns and villages of the Albanian Tourism Sector Based on (i.e. in Vlora, Saranda, Ksamil), increased Cultural and Environmental Tourism (2005) human spoiling of the coastal areas, spoiled and the Tourism Strategy (2007). 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 • Around 30% of ongoing plans and socioeconomic unbalances between the coast programmes in the Region list tourism and hinterland. development among the priorities for territorial growth, i.e. the Regional Strategy The analyses and surveys conducted in the for the Achievement of the MDGs, the Region during the strategic planning process Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan, highlighted some major problems, most of the city of Vlora Structural Plan, the Lumi which are strongly connected with the tourist Vlore project, the Development Plans of exploitation of the territory: Qender and Orikum Communes. • lack of solid waste, water and wastewater • Several ongoing programmes and projects management systems promote international partnerships among • inadequate transport network (especially countries on the Adriatic sea, to foster roads and railway) integrated tourism development (Regione • uncontrolled construction activities, especially Turistica Adriatico-Jonica, Adriatic Ionian on the coast; numerous informal buildings, Touristic Routes, etc.). mostly unfinished or partly demolished • uncontrolled use of natural resources The regional territory has a variety of potential tourist attractors: • lack of attention to public spaces and low urban quality in towns and villages • Rich cultural heritage, tangible • marginal rural communities (archaeological sites of Illyrian, Greek and • widespread poverty, especially in remote Roman period; Christian and Muslim worship areas sites; castles; traditional villages) and non tangible (traditional music and dance, • inadequacy of tourist accommodation & craftsmanship, etc.) services, not in line with European standards. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 70
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Possible developments and tourist services and accommodation are of higher quality. of the present situation Alternatively, the Region has the opportunity to choose a different development model, moving If the above mentioned problems remain towards sustainable tourism that is both unsolved, the consequences on air, water and ecologically and culturally sensitive having a low soil pollution (implying high health risks for impact on the environment and local culture, people and animals and affecting breeding while helping generate income, employment, activities), hydro-geological instability, and and preserve local ecosystems. According to the lower quality of life levels could become World Tourism Organisation, sustainable tourism serious. If the concentration of investments on is the one that leads to the management of all the coast persists, this will probably increase resources in a manner that economic, social and the marginalization of rural communities of the aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining inland, already affected by inadequate cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, infrastructure and transportation systems. More biological diversity and life support systems. marginalization causes lack of job opportunities, emigration, depopulation of rural The 2007 National Tourism Strategy underlines villages, loss of cultural heritage and identity, that “Culture, adventure and ‘ecotourism’ are considered to be the fastest growing tourism and deterioration of rural landscape. markets worldwide (…). Tourism focused on These problems are likely to have a negative independent tourists visiting local communities impact in the long run, not only on local and participating actively in nature and culture communities, but also on tourist resources, activities has been shown to yield 5 to 10 times causing irreversible deterioration of natural more development benefit than large-scale sun attractors and a loss of tourist attractiveness: and sand tourism per dollar of tourist spending”. wastes will continue to spoil the landscape and to pollute water and soil; coasts, completely covered with buildings, will completely loose “Despite its large potential, the development of the their appeal and become subject to landslides, tourism sector is conditioned by weak infrastructure in collapses, and floods. some areas, the lack of efficient systems of solid waste treatment, the lack of strict controls over informal If the current situation continues, the territory construction, low funding for the protection and will soon enough enter a regression process maintenance of zones with environmental and cultural interest, insufficiently trained human resources [...], and loose competitiveness, hence becoming a lack of cooperation between the public and private degraded place to live and work. Tourists both sectors and lack of a single private sector umbrella local and foreign will probably choose other organisation.” destinations, where landscapes are still intact 2007-2013 National Strategy for Development and Integration The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 1 UNSUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE  Uncontrolled construction activity  Construction activity under control, effective  Air, water & soil pollution from wastes, soil management and territorial planning involving health risks for people and  Effective waste management animals  Quality network of tourist resources  Hydro-geological instability and safety risks  Integration between coast and hinterland  Low life quality levels  Integration between tourism and other  Low accommodation standards sectors  “Monoculture” development of Sun, sea &  Protection of the environmental assets sand tourism, growing marginalization of the  Competitive “Vlora Region” tourist product hinterland  Increase of tourist attractiveness  Deterioration of landscape as tourist attractor  Loss of tourist attractiveness STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 71
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Scenario 2 Rural development & agro-business Present situation: potentials, • Incomplete value chains and lack of food processing problems and opportunities • Producers resistance to create and/or join for rural development associations. In order to address these structural problems, Albania has an old and valuable tradition in the Albanian Government included rural agriculture, which is still the main income and development as a key area of intervention in employment generating sector for the largest the 2007-2013 National Strategy for part of the population. In that respect, Vlora Development and Integration and prepared two Region reflects the same tendency. Rural specific strategies: the Agriculture and Food activities represent an important part of regional Strategy (AFSS) and the Inter-Sectoral Rural culture and identity. They also are sustainable Development Strategy of Albania (ISRDSA). means to preserve traditional landscapes. The Priorities and objectives of these thematic rural areas are also a repository of natural strategies can be summarised as follows: assets, traditions, crafts and tastes that can be • Increase financial support for farms, powerful attractors for tourists. The main agriculture and agro-processing strengths of the regional territory in this area are: • Improve marketing of agricultural and • Genuine agro-food products, traditional cuisine; processed products • Potential value chains already identified and • Increase competitiveness of agriculture, mapped: olive oil, sea-fishing and agribusiness and forestry through: aquaculture, herbs, honey, fruits and modernisation of agriculture, to increase vegetables, milk, wine and distillates productivity; increase the value added and • Unspoilt natural and rural landscapes quality in production and processing, to • Strong sense of identity and belonging. ensure higher food safety standards and Besides these positive aspects, the regional product quality; sustainable, efficient forest rural sector displays some major problems such management; increase of competence level as the following: • Preservation of cultural landscape and • Lack of basic infrastructure (water supply, environmental protection, also through sanitation systems, solid waste management environment-friendly agricultural practices systems) and sustainable land management • Uncontrolled use of natural resources • Improve the quality of life in rural areas and • Inadequacy and/or poor condition of road promote diversification of economic activities network, increasing the marginality of rural to increase employment, income and living communities standards, through: creation of employment • Widespread poverty, especially in remote opportunities in activities complementary to areas, often the cause of migration farming such as tourism, processing, and • Small and fragmented family farms, impeding crafts; improvement of the quality of life the development of credit market for farmers, (villages renewal, basic services etc.) of agricultural and agro-processing marketing, • Develop capacities of local institutions to as well as of foreign direct investment in manage rural development programmes, agriculture through participatory rural development. • Unclear property rights The sector will benefit from the government • Lack of food quality standards (especially in programme on rural roads, from planned olive oil and milk production) and of food investments in irrigation and drainage, and from security the support to development to be offered by the • Lack of collective infrastructure for farmers European integration process. (slaughterhouses, warehouses...) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 72
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” can cause the loss of typicality in local “A single-sector economy based on tourism is a productions and reduce territorial attractiveness. vulnerable economic development strategy; as such it is not envisaged. To this end, the revitalization of The challenge is, therefore, to mainstream traditional primary industries such as agriculture (...) overall environmental sustainability in regional and fisheries (...), together with programmes to support local arts and crafts and low-impact rural activities, balancing innovation and industries is envisaged. tradition and enhancing the quality and the security of typical local products. This could Albania Southern Coast Development Plan allow to recover/improve an harmonic relationship between rural activities and environment, which Possible developments can represent the regional brand and a powerful resource for tourism development, too. of the present situation Sustainable rural development, properly integrated with other productive sectors such as Environmental issues related to the rural sector tourism and craftsmanship, and supported by such as lack of water, wastewater and solid waste management systems and uncontrolled use of infrastructure upgrade and specific policies to natural resources should be addressed boost producers’ association, can make regional products appropriate for regional, immediately or else their persistence could cause national and even international markets. The water and soil pollution and high health risks for “sustainable side” of the Scenario can find people and animals, also affecting breeding and farming activities. Additionally it could cause fertile ground in the Region: this is irreversible damages to the environment, which is demonstrated by realities such as the Shushica Valley, where biological agriculture is already a potential source of income for rural areas, widespread and the authenticity of local through the impact it has both on food products products is a source of pride for the population. quality and on tourism attractiveness. Another risk in the development of the Scenario is “uncontrolled modernisation”, that could lead “Markets and food quality standards are still not developed in Albania and increased production needs to a massive use of pesticides and other to be supported by improved marketing, in order to be chemical products to increase agricultural sustainable. Therefore, support for farm modernisation productivity (thus causing further pollution and market development will be of great importance.” problems) or to the introduction of non- ISRDSA 2007-2013 indigenous varieties of agricultural products, that The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 2 UNSUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE  Investments in rural tourism without  Qualifying typical local products (brands) addressing waste & water management  Associating producers to enhance problems: air, water and soil pollution from competitiveness uncollected wastes, health risks for people  Protecting land from pollution & erosion and animals, hydro-geological instability (landslides and floods)  Organic agriculture  Use of pesticides and other chemical  Environment protection to prevent health products risks  Depopulation of rural communities,  Differentiation of rural activities - tourist emigration hospitality, renewable energy production, food processing  Irreversible deterioration of rural landscapes as tourist attractors and identity marks  Connecting with markets - rational and upgraded road network, ICT  Technology and innovation for a few entrepreneurs  Preservation of rural landscape and identity  Products with no bearing on the local  Balancing innovation and tradition context  Integration with tourism and handicraft sectors STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 73
    • Scenario 3VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Services, networks & light industry Present situation: potentials, ensure equal access to them, especially in rural and remote areas. problems and opportunities for infrastructure and services The main priorities in that regards are already included in the 2007-2013 National Strategy for development Development and Integration and in national thematic strategies, such as the 2008-2013 This Scenario deals with a number of issues: Sectorial Strategy of Transport, for instance: tangible and non tangible networks (basic • Transports - Complete major investments on services, energy supply, transports, ICT), health the national road network, including the and social care services and light industry North-South corridor, the East-West corridor (mainly regarding small and medium-sized (Corridor VIII), tourism roads (e.g. the enterprises in the manufacturing sector). These Dhermi-Saranda road, the access road to aspects are strongly interconnected, because Butrint) and border crossing points roads (e.g. networks and public services represent the basic the Saranda-Konispol); improve local and supply for a territory to be a fertile ground for rural road network in cooperation with local entrepreneurial development. The transportation governments; establish the intercity and and ICT networks provide a mean to move international bus terminals in the most people, goods and information, whilst energy important Albanian cities; develop ports on the and basic services networks allow enterprises to basis of master plans for their functional efficiently use natural resources. Additionally, specialisation and harmonised development; efficient social care services and effective social develop domestic air transport. inclusion policies are essential to ensure equal • ICT - Development of information technology opportunities to enter the labour market. in urban centres and subsequently in rural Vlora Region experiences a lack of basic areas, and distribution of telecommunications services networks: water supply and wastewater and internet services across all regions. management systems, waste management • Energy - Encourage the efficient use of systems, energy supply networks, ICT energy, also by promoting the use of modern networks, roads and railroads are either non- technologies in industry, services and existing or in very poor conditions, hence agriculture for efficient energy supply; increase negatively affecting living and working energy supply based on the concepts of least conditions. Infrastructure problems have a cost planning and lowest environmental strong negative effect on economic activities, impact; diversify energy sources and increase which can not develop without adequate energy the use of renewable energy. supplies and reliable communication networks. 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 74
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” • Water - Increase the coverage of water supply, implementation of strategies and concentration sewerage and wastewater treatment services. on short-term outlooks, losing sight of the overall • Environment - Improve solid waste sustainability and coordination of interventions. management (i.e. by creating landfills that In particular from an environmental point of view, comply with EU standards and rehabilitating delays and lack of coordination and of a long- contaminated land); foster industries term vision can cause considerable damages. technological improvement. The impact of uncontrolled economic growth could increase air, water and soil pollution • Health & social care services - Decentralise resulting from uncollected waste, untreated social care services; institutionalise relations wastewater, industrial activities and traditional with NGOs; transform residential services into energy production, thus irreversibly deteriorating mobile and community based services; natural attractors. Also, the improvement of the increase social inclusion of disadvantaged road network can worsen hydro-geological groups. instability, and create socio-economic unbalance • Economic activities - Define an industrial when not accompanied by the creation of job policy aimed to increase competitiveness, opportunities in remote areas. The best way to modernisation, diversification and keep this development Scenario under control is specialisation; promote foreign investment to keep all its components constantly and exports; strengthen SMEs: develop coordinated, so that all sector policies converge entrepreneurial culture; improve training; on the same objectives and are consistent. support business development through one- stop shops; improve business services quality; facilitate technology transfer; improve “Infrastructure must be designed to minimise financial support; support internationalisation. negative environmental impacts and be prioritised and phased to facilitate development objectives, consistent with available resources.” Possible developments Albania Southern Coast Development Plan of the present situation “Increasing the opportunities of the Albanian economy, in order to adapt to the logic of internationalisation and integration into the world markets, requires Ongoing policies acknowledge the necessity to diversification of existing products and services and upgrade the infrastructure and services networks production of output with high added value.” on the national territory, with a constant focus on 2007-2013 National Strategy for environmental sustainability. The risk is that the Development and Integration lack of financial resources causes delays in the The 2 possible “sides” of Scenario 3 UNSUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE  Pollution from uncollected wastes, industrial  Pollution control and renewable energy activities and traditional energy production production  Growing competition from developing  Quality productions with more added value Countries in traditional manufacturing sectors  Business innovation and internationalization  Industrial development, causing growing  Integration among all productive sectors energy supply problems  “Green economy”  Internal migration and depopulation of remote areas  Sustainable mobility and ICT development  Landslide risks if the road network is poorly  Equal access to resources for development designed and built  Control of the territory and improvement of  Out-of-control building activity with no urban quality in towns and villages attention to urban quality, causing low  Environment as a resource for development quality of life in towns and villages  Deterioration of the environment as a tourist attractor STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 75
    • CHAPTER 2VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK A view of the coast in Ksamil 2.1. Methodological introduction The Vision for the future development of Vlora Therefore, the Vision conveys the local actors desires Region, and the Strategy proposed to achieve it was and needs, directly or indirectly expressed during the drafted starting from and according to: meetings and participatory events, and harmonises • the survey of plans and programmes currently them with the current situation of the territory, operating in the regional territory, with a special ongoing programs and national policies and goals. focus on the Albanian Southern Coast The result of this processing activity is an image of a Development Plan possible, desirable future for Vlora Region – an image • the survey of researches and sector analyses that can direct all future development initiatives. conducted so far Both Vision and Strategy were discussed with • the information collected during the territorial regional and local actors during two meetings held in surveys December 2010: a restricted meeting with a panel of • the results of the meetings (with national, regional experts chosen by the Regional Council staff and a and local authorities, County Partnership Council, public consultation, where the draft versions of Vision international cooperation bodies) and participation and Strategy were presented, debated and reviewed events (Kick-Off of the strategic planning initiative, with local stakeholders. Therefore, the following Open Days in Vlora and Saranda, public debates) Vision and Strategy should be considered as fully organised in the framework of the strategic shared and agreed upon by the whole regional planning process. community. The Vision and the Strategy for regional development VISION STRATEGIC GUIDELINES ACTIONS Future image Directions to follow To fill the gap of the Region, directing to achieve the Vision between present & future development policies STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 76
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 2.2. Participation in the strategy definition Open Days and Public Debates In order to outline a regional development 4. Rural development and diversification of strategy shared by most territorial actors, this rural activities phase of the participation process included two Each workshop started with a brief explanation steps: of the objectives of the debate and a • the Open Days, aimed to identify critical presentation of a photographic SWOT analysis territorial issues and start the joint definition of and of possible development Scenarios, aimed Vlora Region development strategy to introduce the talking point and support and stimulate discussions. It was then followed by • the Public Debates, where the draft Vision public debates, which were led using a variation and Strategy for regional development of the participative methodology EASW (prepared by Strategic Planning experts (European Awareness Scenario Workshop). At based on the Open Days results) were the end of the meetings, conclusions were shared with all territorial actors. drawn, identifying the keywords of the debate and the main results achieved. Open Days The debates involved more than 100 participants. The Open Days were also important to re- 17-19 November 2010 discover and confirm the importance of traditional culture in the Region. The meetings After the Kick-Off events, the Open Days were enlivened by short iso-polyphony represented the second step to foster concerts, held by groups of local musicians and democratic discussion on development issues singers, which were highly appreciated by the and outline shared sustainable development participants. In addition to that, traditional strategies in Vlora Region. costumes were displayed. In order to improve the involvement of all regional Boards explaining the main discussion topics actors in the process, two Open Days were held (in English and in Albanian) were prepared for in November, one in Vlora and one in Saranda. each workshop, and a sheet containing the The specific objectives of these public rules to observe during the debates was discussion events were to: distributed to participants in order to regulate • Bring together and foster collaboration among discussions, together with a glossary explaining territorial actors the main technical terms used in the strategic • Stimulate democratic discussions on topics planning process. 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. 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 77
    • The Open Days Thematic WorkshopsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Main discussion topics THEMATIC WORKSHOP 1 THEMATIC WORKSHOP 4 Environment and Agro-food production infrastructure networks and diversification of for sustainability rural activities • Environment and landscape protection • High quality agro-food products: • Waste management certification and brands • Water and wastewater management • Short production and distribution chains • Innovative vocational training and job • Producers associations opportunities in the sectors of "clean" • Sustainable rural tourism energy and environmental services • Innovative vocational training and job • Environmental awareness opportunities in the sectors of • Energy production and industrial activities agriculture, breeding, food processing, marketing and rural tourism • Sustainable mobility: road network and public transportation • Environmental awareness of producers • Urban quality: public spaces, green • Infrastructure for production 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 78
    • Open DaysVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Outputs and achieved results Vlora which need to be properly connected with urban road and services networks. 17 November 2010 • Potential role of the strategic plan as a multi- level platform where local and national During the meeting, moderated by SP experts development policies can meet and coordinate. and by AULEDA, were presented the current • Preservation/creation of green areas in the city. status of the strategic planning process, the • Reorganisation of the road network in Vlora for main discussion topics and the possible regional more effective traffic control. development scenarios. Participation to the workshops was satisfactory Workshop 2 (about 50 registered participants) whilst all Cultural heritage and tourism actors proved to be interested and willing to highlight critical aspects of the regional territory • Accessibility of cultural heritage: training of to be addressed by the Strategic Plan. tourist guides, tour organisation, reorganisation of the management of museums and cultural The main issues and objectives discussed, heritage sites, enhancement of networks which will represent the “skeleton” of the regional (roads, lighting, etc.). development strategy, were the following. • Maintenance, restoration and management of monuments and sites. Workshop 1 • Craftsmanship development: many crafts are Environment protection and slowly disappearing because of the infrastructure networks for sustainability competition with other developing countries, emigration, taxation system that does not • Solid waste management – Development of support artisans. Some proposals: outline separate collection of solid waste and fast national tax breaks policies; foster craftsmen creation of a waste management system (i.e. associations; boost handicraft quality and by creating landfills in suitable territories). promote a register for artisans; identify spaces • Preservation of natural areas, which represent to sell craftsmanship products, especially in a resource for tourism development. tourist areas; encourage the development of • Effective urban planning and control, art galleries, also to support local artists. especially in coastal areas. • Integration of cultural tourism, ecotourism, sport • Promotion of environment-friendly industrial tourism, in order to differentiate the tourist development. product and make tourism less seasonal; • Drinking water sources, water and wastewater integration among different economic sectors. management, sewage system. The many • Enhance quality (of environment, of sources of drinking water in the region are accommodation facilities, of services) to satisfy subject to high pollution risks and purification foreign tourists and enter international tourism plants are urgently needed, to preserve sea- market. water and foster tourism. • Vocational training and university education in • Connections between the port of Vlora and the the culture and tourism sectors; integration urban asset of the city: the project for the between education and business world. renewal of the port (funded by the Italian • Valorisation of iso-polyphony as a resource to Cooperation and scheduled to start within next preserve and transmit to young generations. It year) envisages 2 distinct zones, a commercial is a mark of local identity and can represent an zone and a marina, with 2 separate accesses, attractor for cultural tourism. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 79
    • www.artgold.undp.org.al AGA2 www.auleda.orgVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Workshop 3 HISTORICAL BUILDINGS Social issues • Increase structures to deliver social care services, especially for children, people with disabilities, and elderly; implementation of Ali Pasha Caste in Porto Palermo management the Social Plan funded by Regione Emilia Romagna. • “Child-friendly strategic plan”. • Encourage donations and investments in CULTURAL HERITAGE Narta 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 Zvernec monastery salt-works LANDSCAPE employment programmes. • Assistance to graduates in search of employment. CULTURAL HERITAGE folklore • Collaboration among associations, municipal offices and regional labour office. • Integration between education and training policies and the business sphere. POLYPHONY Shushica Valley TRADITIONS Workshop 4 Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities HANDICRAFTCulture & identity Textile • Improve water management and canalisation systems to irrigate fields. • Encourage producers associations to ceramics tradition overcome the problems of land property fragmentation and scarce productivity. KNOW-HOW • Improve export agricultural products quality through brands creation, marketing and certification; improve consumers awareness ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES and food security. • Enhance food processing for fruits, honey, etc. • Development of agro-tourism. • Match production and market demand, giving history tourism producers the opportunity to access market IDENTITY BUTRINT analyses. • Economic and financial support to farmers. • Coordinate with the national policies in the rural development sector. ARCHAEOLOGY accessibility excavations 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; ORIKUM Tourist information AMANTIA coordination and association (among producers, institutions, government levels, etc.). Uncertain Above: An extract of the poster displaying a land property rights resulted a major issue that protographic SWOT analysis prepared for Workshop 1 can hamper development in all sectors. MILITARY AREAS submarines STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 80 accessibility mines pollution DECAY
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Saranda • Sustainability of tourism, also in respect to the residents quality of life. 19 November 2010 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 on- the-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 Workshop 3 highlight critical aspects of the regional territory, and propose concrete initiatives to address Social issues them. The debate on Social Issues was • Women empowerment - Project proposals to especially heated and productive. increase women occupation: create a handicraft enterprise in Saranda, to produce The main issues discussed were the following. artistic souvenirs for tourists; recover past experiences in food processing businesses Workshop 1 (fruits, bakery, etc.) carried out in rural areas; Environment protection and define employment programmes in the sector infrastructure networks for of the maintenance of public spaces; foster sustainability familiar tourism projects; create a help centre • River system as a resource for local economy for women (victims of violence, disadvantaged, - Need for monitoring to avoid floods. returnees from emigration, etc.). • Fight hydro-geological instability - Need for • Mental health care – Project proposal: monitoring and specific interventions to creation of a rehabilitation centre. prevent landslides and fight erosion. • Services for the elderly – Project proposals: • Develop services networks to preserve natural enhancement of home care; improvement of resources: waste management system, professional training; creation of “tradition sewage systems, water treatment plants. schools” or “crafts schools” to valorise the • Plan urban development in Saranda. elder’s knowledge and skills in order to pass • Preserve forests (especially in Butrint area). them to young generations and to encourage • Valorise healing waters in the Butrint lake area. the creation of handicraft enterprises, to be • Increase harbours for fishing boats. supported by AULEDA. • Enhance connections with Greece and other • Child protection – Project proposals: regions, as an opportunity for development. transform the residential centre for children in • Coordination with national policies. Saranda into a temporary guest house to take care of children whose mothers are Workshop 2 employed in the tourism or agribusiness Cultural heritage and tourism sectors; creation of playgrounds; “Child- friendly strategic plan”. • Training tourist guides specialised in cultural • Social integration of Roma ethnic minority – heritage and cultural tourism. Project proposal: school integration of Roma • Improve transport networks and services. children and sensitisation of their families. • Effective waste management as a crucial issue for tourism development. • Health services – Project proposals: upgrade • Foster investments in cultural tourism and Saranda hospital and purchase new qualify infrastructure and services for the equipments; create a maternity hospital; improvement of “sun, sea & sand” tourism. training of young specialists; adaptation to EU • Valorisation of monasteries and archaeological standards for health services; increase sites (still to be fully excavated). community health centres in small communes. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 81
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Workshop 4 • Improve differentiation, packaging and marketing of local products. Agro-food production and diversification of rural activities At the end of the day, a plenary discussion was • Water monitoring and management to held, to draw conclusions of the meetings: the prevent floods. keywords identified in the first two workshops • Increase of specialised personnel and were “capacity building and training”, infrastructure in the veterinary sector. “coordination”, “road network”, “rivers”, • Direct productions towards quality standards “territory” and “waste management”, while in to make them fit for export. the other two the focus was on the social integration of disadvantaged people, and on • Qualify the mussels-farming sector and the orientation of local productions towards create the related food processing plants. quality standards to foster international export. • Development of the fishing sector. STRATEGIC PLANNING OF VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” DITE E HAPUR OPEN DAYS Nentor 2010 November 2010 SEMINARE TEMATIKE THEMATIC WORKSHOP Prodhimet bujqesore Agro-food production dhe diversifikimi i and diversification aktiviteteve rurale of rural activities Prodhime agro-ushqimore të cilësisë High-quality agro-food products: së lartë: certifikimi, markat certification and brands Mungesë prodhimi dhe rrjete shpërndarjesh Short production & distribution chains Shoqatat e prodhuesve Producers associations Turizmi rural I qëndrueshëm Sustainable rural tourism Kurse kualifikimi dhe mundësi Innovative vocational training and punësimi në sektorët e bujqësisë, job opportunities in the sectors of marketimit, përpunimit ushqimor, agriculture, breeding, food marketingut dhe turizmit rural processing, marketing, rural tourism Infrastruktura prodhuese Infrastructure for production 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 AULEDA www.auleda.org STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 82
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 83
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” cfare ndodh tani: what happens now: cfarë është bërë deri tani: what happened so far: DUKE VENDOSUR DEFINING KONTAKTE CONTACTS SKENARE SCENARIOS STRATEGJINE THE STRATEGY Analizat e kryera takimet e Analyses conducted and meetings Diskutimet kane si qellim ndarjen Discussion aims to share and mbajtura ne kuader te procesit held in the framework of the dhe rishikimin e nje hipoteze review an hypothesis of regional te planifikimit strategjik kane strategic planning process allowed strategjie per zhvillimin rajonal development strategy: mundesuar identifikimin e 3 to identify 3 possible scenarios for skenareve te mundshem per regional development: zhvillimin rajonal: 1 Vizioni: Qarku i Vlores si 1 Vision: Vlora Region as nje "Zero Emision Territor" a “Zero Emission Territory” SCENARIO 1. 9 Udhëzime Strategjike: 9 Strategic Guidelines: SKENARI 1. TOURISM ZHVILLIMI I TURIZMIT DEVELOPMENT PLANIFIKIMI STRATEGJIK STRATEGIC PLANNING Komuniteti bazuar tek turizmi Community based tourism QARKU VLORE VLORA REGION Produktet tipike rurale Typical rural products “Drejt një Zhvillimi të Qëndrueshëm” “Towards Sustainabe Development” dhe artizanati and handicraft Peshkim dhe akuakulturë Fishing & Aquaculture UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania DEBAT PUBLIK PUBLIC DEBATE SKENARI 2. SCENARIO 2. tel./fax +355 4 2373913 per diskutimin e strategjise to discuss the regional Arsimi dhe trajnimi Education & Training ZHVILLIMI RURAL DHE RURAL DEVELOPMENT website: www.artgold.undp.org.al se zhvillimit rajonal development strategy AGRO BIZNESI AND AGRO-BUSINESS Rritja e trashëgimisë Enhancement of regional Dhjetor 2010 December 2010 kulturore rajonale Cultural Heritage Mjedisi dhe ruajtja e Environment and landscape rehabilitimi i peisazhit preservation and rehabilitation Rrjete materiale e Material and nonmaterial AULEDA SKENARI 3. SCENARIO 3. jomateriale dhe energjia networks and energy tel./fax +355 33 222664 SHEBIME, RRJETE DHE SERVICES, NETWORKS Përfshirja sociale Social inclusion e-mail: auledavlore@yahoo.com INDUSTRI E LEHTE AND LIGHT INDUSTRY website: www.auleda.org Plani strategjik i fëmijëve The strategic plan of UNDP ARTGOLD 2 Albania AULEDA dhe adoleshentëve children and teens www.artgold.undp.org.al AGA2 www.auleda.org 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 Todh tani: what happens now: 5. Rritja e trashëgimisë kulturore rajonale 5. Enhancement of regional Cultural HeritageDOSUR DEFINING STRATEGJI: STRATEGY: UDHËZIME STRATEGJIKE DHE VEPRIME STRATEGIC GUIDELINES & ACTIONS 5.1. Njohje, ruajtje, restaurimin dhe kualifikimin e aseteve historike, 5.1. Knowledge, preservation, restoration and qualification of historical assets, KOEGJINE THE STRATEGY nëpërmjet menaxhimit inovativ dhe krijimin e rrjeteve të integruara through innovative management and the creation of integrated networks 5.2. Fuqizimi i zinxhirëve te vlerës te lidhur me produktet kulturore dhe te trashegimise, 5.2. Empowerment of the value chains connected with cultural production and 1. Komuniteti bazuar tek turizmi 1. Community based tourism duke përfshirë zejtari artistike, muzikë tradicionale dhe artin bashkëkohor heritage, including artistic craftsmanship, traditional music & contemporary artqellim ndarjen Discussion aims to share and 1.1. Komunikimi turistik dhe fuqizimi i marketingut 1.1. Tourist communication and marketing empowermente nje hipoteze review an hypothesis of regional 6. Mjedisi dhe ruajtja e rehabilitimi i peisazhit 6. Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation 1.2. Kualifikimi dhe diversifikimi i strukturave të akomodimit 1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structuresvillimin rajonal development strategy: 6.1. Mbrojtja dhe zhvillimi i qëndrueshëm i zonave natyrore dhe peisazheve 6.1. Protection and sustainable development of natural areas and landscapes 1.3. Vlerësimi dhe integrimi i identiteteve kulturore dhe i burimeve 1.3. Valorisation and integration of cultural identities and landscape and peizazhike dhe mjedisore për zhvillimin e turizmit dhe diferencimin e tij environmental resources for tourist development and differentiation si dhe ruajtjen e biodiversitetit and preservation of biodiversity 1.4. Përmirësimi i infrastrukturës dhe i shërbimeve për turizmin 1.4. Improving infrastructure and services for tourism 6.2. Ruajtja e burimeve te ujit dhe menaxhimi i ciklit të ujit 6.2. Preservation of water springs and water cycle management lores si 1 Vision: Vlora Region as 6.3. Menaxhim i eko-qendrueshem i mbeturinave të ngurta 6.3. Eco-sustainable solid waste managementTerritor" a “Zero Emission Territory” 6.4. Mbrojtja e territorit nga rreziku hidrogjeologjik 6.4. Protection of the territory from hydrogeological risk 2. Produktet tipike rurale dhe artizanati 2. Typical rural products and handicraft 2.1. Promovimi i produkteve tipike dhe fuqizimi i konkurrencës të 2.1. Promotion of typical products and empowerment of competitiveness bazuara ne cilësi për eksport based on quality for exportation 7. Rrjete materiale e jomateriale dhe energjia 7. Material and nonmaterial networks and energytegjike: 9 Strategic Guidelines: 7.1. Rritja e rrjeteve të transportit për të përmirësuar aksesin territorial dhe 7.1. Enhancement of the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility 2.2. Inkurajimi i grupimit te prodhuesve 2.2. Encourage producers’ grouping konkurrencën, në kuadër të projektit të Korridorit VIII and competitiveness, in the framework of the Corridor VIII project 2.3. Stimulim dhe mbështetje ne aksesin e kredive të ndermarrjeve 2.3. Incentivize & support enterprises credit accessibility for farmers, per fermerët, blegtorët, artizanët breeders, and craftsmen 7.2. Teknologjitë e Informacionit dhe Komunikimit (TIK) 7.2. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)uar tek turizmi Community based tourism 7.3. Promovimi i energjisë së rinovueshme dhe i kursimit të energjisë 7.3. Promotion of renewable energy and energy savinget tipike rurale Typical rural products 3. Peshkim & akuakulturë 3. Fishing and aquaculture STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”dhe artizanati and handicraft The two 8. Përfshirja sociale 8. Social inclusion 3.1. Finalizimi dhe vlerësimi i zinxhirit te vleres se produkteve të peshkut 3.1. Finalization and valorisation of fish products value chainse akuakulturë Fishing & Aquacultureof sides the 8.1. Forcimi i integrimit social dhe lufta ndaj varfërisë përmes programeve të 8.1. Strengthening social integration and fighting poverty through work U 3.2. Ruajtja e ekosistemeve te lagunave 3.2. Lagoon ecosystems conservation nxitjes se punësimit placement programs i dhe trajnimi Training Education & brochure 3.3. Fuqizimi i porteve tokësore dhe zhvillimin e shërbimeve të integruara te ankorimit 3.3. Empowerment of land ports & development of moorings integrated services 8.2. Përmirësimi dhe sherbime te reja per kujdesin social 8.2. Improving and innovating social care services w 3.4. Racionalizimin dhe fuqizimin e prodhimit duke mbështetur sistemin e 3.4. Rationalization & empowerment of production supporting infrastructure 8.3. Improving public health services trashëgimisë Enhancement of regional to prepared 8.3. Përmirësimi i shërbimeve publike shëndetësore infrastrukturës në një vizion të integruar system in an integrated visionurore rajonale Cultural Heritage 8.4. Rritja e pjesëmarrjes së komunitetit lokal në politikat e zhvillimit rajonal 8.4. Increasing participation of local communities in regional development policies support i dhe ruajtja e Environment and landscape 4. Arsimi & trajnimi 4. Education and trainingtimi i peisazhit preservation discussion and rehabilitation 9. Plani strategjik i fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve 9. The strategic plan of children and teens 4.1. Vlerësim të arsimit ekzistues dhe aktiviteteve trajnuese duke forcuar 4.1. Valorisation of existing education & training activities, strengthening lidhjet e tyre me sipermarjet kombetare dhe nderkombetare their links with national and international enterprises 9.1. Promovimi i autonomise se fëmijëve 9.1. Promoting children autonomy te materiale e nonmaterial Material and within the 9.2. Promovimi i pjesmarrjes aktive te fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve ne 9.2. Promoting children and teens active participation to urban planning ande dhe energjia networks and energy 4.2. Fuqizimi i qasjes në arsim dhe trajnim përmes financimit dhe bursave 4.2. Empowerment of accessibility to education & training (funding, scholarships...) Public planifikimin urban dhe menaxhimin management 4.3. Fuqizimi dhe promovimi i programeve ndërkombëtare të trajnimit dhe shkëmbimit 4.3. Empowerment and promotion of international exchange training programsfshirja sociale Social inclusion 9.3. Rritja e përfshirjes së fëmijëve dhe adoleshentëve në aktivitete sociale 9.3. Increasing the involvement of children and teens in social and cultural e- debates in 4.4. Edukimi dhe trajnimi i personelit ekspert në planifikim dhe krijimin e shoqatave 4.4. Education & training of experts in planning and association creation dhe kulturore dhe në zbulimin e trashëgimisë kulturore activities and in the discovery of cultural heritagegjik i fëmijëve The strategic plan of 4.5. Fuqizimin e Arsimit dhe trajnimit në sektorët kyc te zhvillimit rajonal 4.5. Education & training empowerment in regional development key sectors 9.4. Përmirësimi i qëndrueshmërisë së mjedisit dhe i cilësisë urbane në qytete dhe fshatra 9.4. Improving environmental sustainability & urban quality in towns and villagesdoleshentëve December children and teens 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 84
    • Public DebatesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Outputs and achieved results The round table with intellectuals and experts the creation of a University centre for the and the following public consultation meeting protection and sustainable development of involved nearly 100 persons (36 for the round sea and wetlands, or through the table with experts, 61 for the public consultation). empowerment of University education in the cultural heritage sector) During the meetings, the proposed regional development Vision and Strategy were widely • social issues deserve more attention, and a shared and approved. The strategic planning focus on the elderly, children, and the process received a very positive feedback: all increase of day care centres and cultural territorial actors appreciated the fact that the centres is needed draft development strategy considered and • more opportunities for industrial development incorporated all suggestions and proposals should be identified coming from the local community and discussed • urbanisation control in rural areas should be during the previous meetings. promoted The Regional staff showed increased ownership • protected natural areas should be increased, of the SP, and the consistency between the to get closer to EU models proposed Strategy and the National Government • special attention should be paid to the objectives was emphasized. protection and enhancement of cultural The need of recognition of the draft strategy by heritage sites in the hinterland, which are the all regional municipalities was one of the issues most neglected emerged from the discussion: every Municipality • the creation of a health care centres network should have a designed group to contribute to should be included in the SP. 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 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 85
    • 2.3. Vision for regional developmentVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The Vision for regional development is: reject “mass tourism” and choose to meet the growing global demand of culture tourism eco- tourism and rural tourism. Vlora Region 2020: Moreover, in order to promote more sustainable “Zero Emissions Territory - ZET” kinds of tourism, environmental sustainability and quality criteria should be applied to all aspects of the territory: tourist accommodation, By 2020, Vlora Region should become a transports, solid waste management, water and territory where sustainability is on focus in all wastewater management, productive activities, sectors of human activity and where all building activities, etc. development policies and initiatives are In this way, the Region can become a “Zero coordinated and synergic, thus positively Emissions Territory” (ZET), where environmental affecting the whole regional community. protection is not a limit but an opportunity to In this Vision, the strong potentials of the Region foster innovation, socio-economic development as a tourist destination (cultural heritage, natural and professional growth. sites, hospitable people, traditional cuisine, In the long run, this leads to an increase in typical agro-food products...) are fully taken qualified employment and to the preservation of advantage of and enhanced as a network. the main attractors of the Region, thus The Vision represents a complete overturning maintaining and increasing tourist flows. of the current trends, because it is based on the By adequately enhancing all its potentials, the idea that, in order to be really attractive (to Region can become an integral part of the tourists, but also to residents and entrepreneurs), tourist product “Albania to discover” outlined by a territory has to offer well-preserved cultural the National Tourism Strategy; it can improve and natural assets, a strong and peculiar and coordinate its offer of nature, traditional identity, qualified human resources, efficient and biologic products, cultural and sports services and social cohesion. activities, in order to entice tourists to spend The development model followed so far should more days in the region and to fully experience be completely transformed: the Region should local lifestyles. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 86
    • From the Scenarios to the VisionVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Towards the ZET As for the transition from the Scenarios to the highlighted the regional actors willingness to Vision, the “Zero Emissions Territory” represents choose the “sustainable side” of each Scenario. the evolution of the possible development In this sense, the Vision provides an answer to scenarios the regional actors wish for. the question, expressing the Region choice for The strategic planning process pondered on the sustainable development. kind of development model the Region The diagram below synthesises the path envisaged for its own future, and public debates covered from the Scenarios to the Vision. The transition from the Scenarios to the Vision • Building activity under control, soil management and territorial planning • Effective waste management • Quality network of tourist resources Sustainable • Coast-hinterland integration SCENARIO 1. • Integration between tourism TOURISM and other sectors DEVELOPMENT Unsustainable • 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 Vlora as a SCENARIO 2. • Biological agriculture Zero Sustainable • Environment protection Emissions RURAL • Differentiation of rural activities Territory DEVELOPMENT • Connecting with markets - (ZET) AND AGRO- Unsustainable rational road network, ICT BUSINESS • Preservation of rural landscape and identity • Balance innovation and tradition • Integration with tourism sector • Pollution control, promotion of renewable energy • Quality productions - more added value • Business innovation & internationalization SCENARIO 3. Sustainable • Integration among all productive SERVICES, sectors NETWORKS AND • “Green economy” Unsustainable • Sustainable mobility and ICT LIGHT INDUSTRY • Equal access to resources for development • Territory control, improved urban quality • Environment as a resource for development STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 87
    • 2.4. Strategic Guidelines and ActionsVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” The Strategy for regional development consists structural funds in the Italian regions as a of: reference model. This was done to ensure that the development programme for Vlora Region • 9 Strategic Guidelines (SG), addressing the fits European Union standards. In this way, the main critical aspects of the Region. Each SP shall work as a shared basis and a model to Guideline is subdivided into Actions, for a prepare structural funds programmes when total of Albania becomes a EU member. • 33 Actions, each of them including a number The 9 Strategic Guidelines are listed below. of categories of intervention, which specify and explain the Action scope. Issues such as gender equality, legality, social and environmental sustainability, etc. should be Guidelines and Actions were prepared also considered as cross-cutting issues and general using the programmes for the allocation of EU 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 88
    • 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 89
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 90
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 91
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 92
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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.) STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 93
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 94
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 eco- friendly building criteria. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 95
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 96
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 97
    • 2.5. Synergies among Strategic GuidelinesVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 98
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Synergy matrix of the Strategic Guidelines Environment The for the development of Vlora region Community Typical rural Enhancement & landscape Material & strategic of regional Social based products & Fishing & Education preservation nonmaterial plan of aquaculture & training cultural networks and inclusion tourism handicraft and children and heritage energy rehabilitation teens SG1 SG2 SG3 SG4 SG5 SG6 SG7 SG8 SG9 SG1 Community based tourism         SG2 Typical rural products & handicraft         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 The strategic plan of children & teens        STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low 99
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 1 Community based tourism Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) 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 2. attractors for tourists, especially for those who are willing to discover all aspects of Typical rural products ••• a territory, learning about local cuisine, buying typical products, etc. The development of synergies among tourism, agriculture, and handicraft could help & handicraft 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 3. Fishing & aquaculture ••• 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 4. Education & training ••• 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 5. enhancement is crucial to develop a sustainable tourism based on local Enhancement of regional ••• assets. Valorisation and innovative management of regional monuments can boost cultural tourism development, thus helping the tourism offer cultural heritage 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 6. Vlora Region. Therefore, their preservation is essential to maintain and Environment & landscape preservation 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, rehabilitation 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 7. energy supply systems, wastewater treatment and solid waste management are Material & nonmaterial networks and ••• 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, energy 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 8. Social inclusion •• from improved health services; and a region with growing social cohesion & life quality will be more attractive and safe, for tourists as well. 9. SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will The strategic plan of •• help to enhance the overall urban quality and to make towns and villages more attractive to tourists. Moreover, tourists travelling with children and teens children & teens will find in Vlora Region a territory that satisfies their needs. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 100
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 2 Typical rural products and handicraft Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) 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, 1. which are powerful attractors for tourists, especially for those who are willing to Community based tourism ••• 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, 3. Fishing & aquaculture ••• 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 4. Education & training ••• 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 5. attractiveness and helps to recover and reinforce the regional community Enhancement of regional ••• 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 cultural heritage 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 6. landscape. Rural activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a Environment negative impact on the environment, polluting water and soil with wastes and & landscape preservation and •• pesticides and reducing biodiversity with inadequate culture selections. It is crucial to develop strong synergies between the 2 Strategic Guidelines, and to rehabilitation 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 7. quality of the road network; Material ••• − an efficient basic services network (water and energy supply, wastewater & nonmaterial treatment, waste management) positively affects rural life quality and networks and working conditions and reduces pollution caused by rural activities; energy − 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 8. Social inclusion •• improve life quality in rural communities and effectively support farmers and their families in fighting isolation and poverty. 9. The strategic plan of children & teens • 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 101
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 3 Fishing and Aquaculture Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) Community based tourism can represent an opportunity to diversify productive activities connected to sea and wetlands; these ecosystems, if 1. Community based tourism ••• 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 2. Typical rural maintenance, preservation and sustainable valorisation) and all sectors share products & handicraft ••• 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 4. Education & training ••• 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 5. background of know-how, crafts and traditional products, that is strongly Enhancement of regional • interconnected with the regional community culture. Therefore, enhancing these activities helps to recover and reinforce the regional community sense cultural heritage of identity and belonging, increasing the regional attractiveness. Fishing and aquaculture have an important role in the maintenance of sea 6. and wetlands habitats, and these activities, if not developed in a sustainable Environment & landscape preservation and ••• 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 rehabilitation go hand in hand, to ensure overall sustainability. The development of material and nonmaterial networks is crucial for fishing and aquaculture development because: 7. − the access of local products to markets depends a lot on the extension and Material quality of the transport network (roads, ports); & nonmaterial networks and ••• − an efficient basic services network (water and energy supply, wastewater treatment, waste management) positively affects life quality and working energy 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 8. Social inclusion •• improve life quality in coastal villages and effectively support fishermen and farmers in fighting poverty. 9. The strategic plan of children & • SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will help to enhance the overall life quality in coastal villages. teens (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 102
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 4 Education and training Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) The development of community based tourism must be accompanied by an adequate training of human resources, to make them able to offer EU-standard 1. services as tourist guides, tour operators, personnel in accommodation structures, Community  bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, etc. Also capacity building in the based tourism 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 2. adequate training of farmers and breeders, to enable them to modernise and diversify Typical rural  productions, introducing quality systems, develop their enterprises, etc. The products education system shall have a leading role in this, also by developing connections & handicraft 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 3. diversify productions, protecting the environment, introducing quality systems, Fishing  develop their enterprises, etc. The education system shall have a leading role in & aquaculture 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: 5. − Promoting research on cultural heritage Enhancement − Promoting the development of high education on cultural heritage restoration, of regional  communication and management cultural − Disseminating knowledge and awareness about regional cultural heritage, heritage starting from schools. Education and training can play an important role in the environment protection 6. sector; in fact, they can: Environment − Increase the population environmental awareness and encourage eco-friendly & landscape  behaviours, starting from children in schools preservation − Create researchers and professionals in the sector of eco-friendly technologies and for waste management, energy production, architecture, engineering, etc. rehabilitation − Train human resources in the field of environmental certifications Enhancement of education & training is interconnected with networks’ empowerment in the following respects: 7. − Improvement of ICT is essential to develop internet-based education and Material training programmes and to make them available to a wider population & nonmaterial  − Education & training can help developing digital literacy, skills and inclusion, networks and especially in rural and remote areas, and train ICT experts (see Action 7.2) energy − 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 8. capacity to earn their living Social  − Vocational training of social workers, to enhance the quality and the amount of inclusion 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 9. teenagers. The implementation of SG4 and SG9 should be coordinated, in order to: The strategic − Take into consideration the children and teens needs to enhance the education plan of  and vocational training system and the school infrastructure; children & − Develop education and vocational training programmes aimed to increase teens social inclusion of disabled children and teens, by improving their autonomy. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 103
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 5 Enhancement of regional cultural heritage Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) 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 1. local assets. Valorisation and innovative management of regional monuments can Community  boost the development of cultural tourism, thus helping tourism offer based tourism 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 2. Region attractiveness and helps to recover and reinforce the regional community Typical rural sense of identity and belonging. That is the reason why the 2 Strategic Guidelines  products partly overlap, e.g. SG5 includes the support to artistic handicraft and the & handicraft 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 3. wetlands habitats, and these activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can Fishing  have a negative impact on the environment, for example by reducing biodiversity. & aquaculture 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; 4. − Promoting the development of university-level education on cultural heritage Education  restoration, communication and management; & training − Disseminating knowledge and awareness about regional cultural heritage, starting from schools. 6. Cultural and environmental heritage are essential parts of territorial identity and Environment are both powerful tourist attractors. Therefore, they are strictly interconnected, & landscape  and, for example, the protection of nature and the maintenance of the landscape preservation surrounding an historic site should go hand in hand with restoration activities, and archaeological excavations, etc., in order to keep the site’s attractiveness intact. rehabilitation 7. The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, in a tourism development Material perspective, requires a work of strengthening transport networks, to make & nonmaterial  historical sites and monuments more accessible. Moreover, cultural heritage can networks and benefit from an improvement of ICT, which can provide innovative ways to energy 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 8. the management of historical sites, or can use them as a “showcase” for rural and Social  craftsmanship products, in coordination with the sites’ management. This could inclusion 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 9. will have to deal with the preservation and management of cultural heritage in The strategic order to transmit them to future generations, therefore it is important to sensitise plan of  them right now. Therefore, possible synergies between the SG5 and SG9 can be children & developed through Action 9.3 ”Increasing the involvement of children and teens in teens social and cultural activities and in the discovery of cultural heritage”. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 104
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 6 Environment and landscape preservation and rehabilitation Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) Environment and landscape represent one of the main tourist attractors in Vlora Region. Therefore, their preservation is essential to maintain and increase 1. tourist flows, and ensure safety from pollution, landslides, and floods. It is also Community  important to rehabilitate polluted and/or degraded areas, so that they do not based tourism 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, 2. and rural activities, if not developed in a sustainable way, can have a negative Typical rural impact on the environment, polluting water and soil with wastes and pesticides and  products reducing biodiversity with inadequate culture selections. It is crucial to develop & handicraft 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 3. interconnected with the regional community culture. Therefore, enhancing these Fishing  activities, like enhancing regional cultural heritage, helps to increase the & aquaculture 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 4. behaviours, starting from children in schools; Education  − Create researchers and professionals in the sector of eco-friendly & training technologies for waste management, energy production, architecture, engineering, etc. − Train human resources in the field of environmental certifications 5. Cultural and environmental heritage are essential parts of territorial identity and Enhancement are both powerful tourist attractors. Therefore, they are strictly interconnected, of regional  and, for example, the protection of nature and the maintenance of the landscape cultural surrounding an historic site should go hand in hand with restoration activities, heritage 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 7. efficiency and safety of transport infrastructure and the maintenance of unspoilt Material landscape as a tourist attractor. High-level synergies can be developed between & nonmaterial  the 2 SGs also through Action 7.3. “Promotion of renewable energy and energy networks and saving” and Action 7.1, which includes the development of infrastructure and energy 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 environment- 8. related sectors, such as waste management, renewable energy production, Social  maintenance, protection and management of natural parks, business services to inclusion 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 9. suitable for this role, it is important to sensitise them on environmental issues. The strategic Synergies between SG6 and SG9 can therefore be developed through Action  plan of children 9.4. “Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and & teens 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 105
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 7 Material and nonmaterial networks and energy Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) 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 1. management are essential to meet the tourists’ basic needs without spoiling the Community  environment and polluting tourist attractors; tourists should have the possibility of based moving around safely – that is why the transport infrastructure are essential, too; tourism 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 2. quality of the road network; Typical rural − an efficient basic services network positively affects rural life quality and working  products conditions and reduces pollution caused by rural activities; & handicraft − 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: 3. − the access of local products to markets depends a lot on the extension and Fishing  quality of the transport network (roads, ports); & − efficient basic services networks positively affects life quality and working conditions aquaculture 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 4. programmes and to make them available to a wider population; Education  − Education & training can help developing digital literacy, skills and inclusion, & training 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. 5. The enhancement of regional cultural heritage, in a tourism development Enhancement perspective, requires a work of strengthening transportation systems, to make of regional  historical sites and monuments more accessible. Moreover, cultural heritage can cultural benefit greatly from improved ICT, which can provide innovative ways to heritage disseminate and promote regional culture worldwide. Networks development should be conducted in strong coordination with environment 6. protection policies, with special attention to the balance between the efficiency and Environment safety of transport infrastructure and the maintenance of an unspoilt landscape as a & landscape tourist attractor. High-level synergies can be developed between the 2 SGs also  preservation through Actions 7.3. and Action 7.1, which includes the development of infrastructure and and services for sustainable mobility. Moreover, ICT development could help rehabilitation 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 8. ICT networks can give isolated communities the chance to reach workplaces, Social  services, job opportunities and education facilities in a quicker and safer way, thus inclusion improving life quality. Possible synergies between the two SGs can be developed through: 9. − Action 7.1, including empowerment of public transport services, promotion of mobility The strategic planning and development of sustainable mobility, should be implemented with an plan of  eye to the children needs, in coherence with the Action 9.1 goals; children & − Action 7.2., which aims to enhance digital literacy, skills and inclusion in local teens communities and involves, first of all, the young generations. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 106
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 8 Social inclusion Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) 1. SG8 aims to improve social care and health services: tourists will also benefit Community  from improved health services; and a region with growing social cohesion & life based tourism quality will be more attractive and safe, for tourists as well. 2. Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can Typical rural  improve the quality of life in rural communities and effectively support farmers products and their families in fighting isolation and poverty. & handicraft 3. Decentralisation and empowerment of social care and health services can Fishing  improve the quality of life in coastal villages and effectively support fishermen & aquaculture 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 4. improving their autonomy and their capacity to earn their living; Education  − Vocational training of social workers, to enhance the quality and the amount & training 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 5. visitors flows, can provide job opportunities to the whole population. The latter Enhancement can be involved in the management of historical sites, or use them as a  of regional “showcase” for rural and craftsmanship products, in coordination with the sites’ cultural heritage management. This could also give marginalised communities a source of income and help alleviate poverty. 6. The implementation of SG6 can create new job opportunities in environment- Environment related sectors, such as waste management, renewable energy production, & landscape  maintenance, protection and management of natural parks, business services preservation to increase enterprises’ sustainability, etc. This could help increasing social and inclusion and fighting poverty and marginalisation. rehabilitation 7. Networks development can help increase social inclusion: empowered road Material and ICT networks can give isolated communities the chance to reach & nonmaterial  workplaces, services, job opportunities and education facilities in a faster and networks and safer way, thus improving their life quality. energy 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 9. urban planning and management” is directly connected with (and a part of) The strategic  Action 8.4. “Increasing participation of local communities in regional plan of children development policies”; & teens − 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. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 107
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” Strategic Guideline 9 The Strategic Plan of children and teens Synergy Synergic SGs Justification and remarks level (*) SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will 1. help enhance the overall urban quality and make towns and villages more Community  attractive to tourists. Moreover, tourists travelling with children and teens will based tourism find in Vlora Region a territory that satisfies their needs. 2. Typical rural SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will  products help enhance the overall life quality in rural villages. & handicraft 3. SG9 aims to improve the quality of public spaces and green areas. This will Fishing  help enhance the overall life quality in coastal villages. & aquaculture 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: 4. − take into consideration the children and teens needs to enhance the Education  education and vocational training system and the school infrastructure; & training − 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 5. they will have to deal with the preservation and management of cultural heritage Enhancement in order to transmit them to future generations, so it is important to sensitise  of regional them right now. Therefore, possible synergies between the SG5 and SG9 can cultural heritage 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 6. suitable for this role, it is important to sensitise them on environmental issues. Environment Synergies between SG6 and SG9 can therefore be developed through Action & landscape  9.4. “Improving environmental sustainability and urban quality in towns and preservation and villages”, which includes, among the categories of intervention, the promotion of rehabilitation “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 7. promotion of mobility planning and the development of sustainable mobility, Material should be implemented with an eye to the children needs, in coherence with & nonmaterial  the goal of Action 9.1 to promote children autonomy; networks and − Action 7.2. “Information and Communication Technologies”, which aims to energy 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 8.  of) Action 8.4. “Increasing participation of local communities in regional Social inclusion 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. (*) Synergy level: : high; : medium; : low STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 108
    • 2.6. Consistency of the strategyVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” with regional development policies In order to maximize the results of the SP and level programmes in the crucial regional make its implementation feasible, the development sectors, on one hand, and the consistency of the identified strategy with the Strategic Guidelines and Actions of the regional ongoing development policies at regional level SP, on the other. was verified, by comparing the main goals of The tables clearly show that the Strategic the regional plans and programmes with the Guidelines and Actions of the regional Strategic objectives and contents of the SP. Plan respond to the main objectives of the The following tables synthesise the results of regional level programmes and are therefore this activity, by identifying the relationships consistent with the regional policies and goals. between the main goals shared by the regional SECTOR 1: ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORKS Consistent Strategic Main goals Reference regional programmes Guidelines and Actions Waste Management: - Waste Management Plan in SG6. Environment and Locate landfills for urban waste storage Vlora Region landscape preservation and and treatment, purchase waste - Strategic Plan for Tourism rehabilitation management machinery, promote Development - Qender Commune Action 6.3. Eco-sustainable education on urban waste, rehabilitate - Development Plan - Xarre solid waste management existing illegal dumpsites, organize - Development Plan - Orikum separate waste collection. - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan Water supply and sewage system: - Structural Plan - Vlora SG6. Environment and Water supply technical rehabilitation, - Development Plan - Xarre landscape preservation and technical rehabilitation and extension of rehabilitation - Development Plan - Orikum the sewage system, new systems for Action 6.2. Preservation of sewage and water supply, connection of water springs and water cycle every household to the sewage system. management Environment and natural resources - Management Plan Vjosa-Narta SG6. Environment and protection: Landscape Protected Area landscape preservation and Increase population environmental - Management Plan Complex rehabilitation awareness, conservation and management Llogara Action 6.1. Protection and of natural resources, soil conservation and - Study Lumi Vlora sustainable development of anti-erosion measures, build up local natural areas and landscapes - Vlora Regional Strategy for the capacities in planning, management and and preservation of monitoring of natural and biological achievement of the MDGoals biodiversity resources, capacity building on environment assessment, preparation of promotion materials. Infrastructure: - Structural Plan - Vlora SG7. Material & nonmaterial Definition of transport strategies, improve - Pre Feasibility Study on the networks and energy accessibility in different villages, development of the Railway Axis Action 7.1. Enhancement of arrangement of all road networks. - Development Plan - Xarre the transport networks to improve territorial accessibility - Development Plan - Orikum and competitiveness - Strategic Plan for Tourism Development - Qender Commune - Albanian Southern Coast Development Plan STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 109
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” SECTOR 2: CULTURAL HERITAGE Consistent Strategic Main goals Reference regional programmes Guidelines and Actions Preservation and enhancement of - Structural Plan - Vlora SG5. Enhancement of cultural heritage: regional Cultural Heritage Restoration and conservation of Action 5.1. Knowledge, historical, cultural buildings and typical preservation, restoration and houses. qualification of historical assets, through innovative management and the creation of integrated networks SECTOR 3: AGROFOOD PRODUCTION AND RURAL TOURISM Consistent Strategic Guidelines Main goals Reference regional programmes and Actions Agriculture development: - Development Plan - Xarre SG2. Typical rural products Efficient use of agricultural land by - Development Plan - Orikum and handicraft improving irrigation and drainage system, - Study Lumi Vlora Action 2.2. Encourage credit and support to agricultural producers’ grouping specialists for the implementation of Action 2.3. Incentivize and services in agriculture, pre-feasibility study support enterprises credit for a market in Saranda, creation and accessibility for farmers, strengthening of agro-production breeders and craftsmen enterprises, encouraging farmers in organizing themselves in associations or groups, protection of traditional craftsmanship, crafts and local traditions. Agro-food production: SG2. Typical rural products Certifications of products, promotion of and handicraft local products, organization of fairs with Action 2.1. Promotion of typical agriculture and livestock products, products and empowerment of creation of a brand for productions. competitiveness based on quality for exportation Rural tourism: - Development Plan - Xarre SG1. Community based Construction of new touristic villages tourism (Psimeno). Action 1.2. Qualification and diversification of accommodation structures SECTOR 4: SOCIAL ISSUES Consistent Strategic Guidelines Main goals Reference regional programmes and Actions Social inclusion: - Vlora Regional Strategy for the SG8. Social inclusion Improve the quality of life of the disabled achievement of the MDGoals Action 8.1. Strengthening social persons, improve level of education, - Development of Special integration and fighting poverty improve health services. Pedagogy Section at the through work placement programs University of Vlora 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 110
    • 2.7. Consistency of the strategyVLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” with national development policies The SP is a renewal platform that aims territorial important and useful for the predisposition of growth involving the entire cultural, the SP of Vlora Region. environmental, social and economic components • Step 2: identify the main strategic goals for each of a region to attain a sustainable development National Strategy, to provide an overview of the by using participatory techniques. This platform current priorities of Albanian Government. also aims to connect and harmonise national level policies with local level programmes and • Step 3: confront the national strategies with interventions. This can be achieved by the Strategic Guidelines for Vlora Region and developing and transferring to local level the verify their compatibility. national goals and strategies, in order to This study is useful to demonstrate how the guarantee coherence and compatibility between strategic planning can be an appropriate and different levels of territorial governance. valid instrument for the achievement of the This passage, essential to maximize the National Government targets. strategic planning benefits and results, was This SP, once approved, can serve as a best carried out in three steps: practice for the development of other Albanian • Step 1: identify and prepare a list of the main regions and of local development in general. National Sectorial Strategies, the most 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 111
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 112
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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, child- friendly 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 STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 113
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 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. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 114
    • CHAPTER 3VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” ACTION PLAN A view of the coast in Vlora 3.1. Methodological introduction The Action Plan is an integrated system of projects, processing the participative process outcomes and proposed mainly by local actors and set in a interpreting the regional community wishes). consistent, vision-oriented frame, which must be Subsequently, collected projects and ideas were implemented in order to attain the SP goals. appropriately connected to the Strategy and grouped in 10 “Project Boxes”. Methodologically, a Project Box is The Action Plan aims to: a sort of container for projects that are strongly • Achieve coordination and consistency among interconnected because of the specific issues they development initiatives at local, regional and address and/or of the areas of intervention. national levels • Improve regional community leadership in the 2. Set up the Project Boxes pre-feasibility, by management of development policies tracing possible procedures to implement the projects • Identify resources and procedures to implement and proposing possible partnerships, with a special and manage development initiatives focus on the role of institutional and private actors in • Support the matching of specific needs and the implementation process. In that respect, efforts demands of the territory with the available financial were made to realize whether projects were suitable to resources, aiming at their optimization and efficient be implemented by public institutions alone, by public- employment. private partnerships, or by private investors that can somehow be supported, also through AULEDA). The Action Plan for Vlora Region sustainable development was defined through the following The Action Plan was developed through the active activities: participation of territorial actors during Focus Groups 1. Collection of project proposals from territorial meetings. Therefore, the information that follows actors at all levels, either directly (through project should be considered as fully shared and agreed upon forms to be filled in by the proposers) or indirectly (by by the regional community. STRATEGIC PLANNING IN VLORA REGION “TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 115
    • VLORA REGION 2020:”ZERO EMISSIONS TERRITORY-ZET” 3.2. Participative projects devising Round of meetings with shared and agreed upon; • Collect and coordinate concrete projects Local Authorities (beyond the priority projects already proposed and drafted by the TSG) to implement the 9-12 March 2011 Actions, with a special focus on projects involving the creation of networks (among Meetings were held with representatives of 18 resources, places, institutions, etc.); Municipalities and Communes of Vlora Region. • Encourage territorial actors to collaborate and These meetings aimed to present the SP and implement development initiatives, i.e. by the draft of the Sustainable Regional promoting the creation of public-public and Development Strategy, as well as carry out public-private partnerships. surveys on possible projects or project ideas to be included in the SP. The purpose was to Meetings were held in Vlora and in Saranda, in increase participation of local governments and order to continue and enhance the involvement of promote the leading role of the Regional all regional actors in the process. Six FGs (three government in the process. All meetings took in Vlora and three in Saranda) were organised, place upon the Chairman of Region request focused on the Strategic Guidelines (appropriately and included an exhaustive presentation of the grouped), to underline the operative approach of ongoing Strategic Planning process, with a the discussions. The FGs were named: focus on its final step that is, the definition of  FG1: Actions for tourism, culture and development projects. During the meetings, an environment, aimed at discussing and SP expert was constantly accompanied and developing the Actions of the Strategic supported by the ART GOLD 2 Local Guidelines 1, 4 (as per education and training Coordinator, by AULEDA staff and by two on tourism, culture and environment), 5 and 6 members of the Regional staff.  FG2: Actions for productivity, regarding the Actions related to Strategic Guidelines 2, 3, All territorial actors who participated in the 4(as per education and training related to meetings expressed their approval and agribusiness and fishing sectors), and 7 appreciation towards the Strategic Planning  FG3: Actions for social development, focused process and willingness to submit project on the Actions related to Strategic Guidelines proposals to implement it. 4 (as per education and training related to the social sector), 8 and 9. Focus Groups A brochure was created for the occasion explaining thoroughly the SP Actions and 18 and 19 April 2011 categories of projects (both in English and in Albanian) and was then handed out to Following the Kick-Off event, the Open Days participants, alongside with a project form (in and the round of meetings with Municipalities Albanian), to be filled in with project proposals and Communes, the Focus Groups and ideas to be included in the Strategic Plan. (FGs)represented a further step towards fostering democratic discussions on the As a result of the approaching administrative integrated developmen