06 May 2024
Interreg IPA ENGAGE training in Albania

Interreg IPA ENGAGE training in Albania to enhance protection of nature and biodiversity of the South Adriatic


In the second week of May (from 7 to 10 May 2024), the first activities of ENGAGE project will take place in the capital city of Albania, Tirana. This project know by its acronym as ENGAGE, is entitled “Enhancing protection of nature and biodiversity of the South Adriatic Ionian Strait in the programme area”. It is a project financed by the Interreg IPA South Adriatic Programme, which aims to capitalize the results of Interreg Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community project and, in particular, the “Policy paper for the definition of a governance framework for the South Adriatic-Ionian Straight Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area (EBSA)”.

The "South Adriatic Ionian Strait“ is an EBSA between Italy, Albania and Montenegro, identified by Conference of the parties (COP) during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was held on 2014 in Pyeongchang (Republic of Korea). This Mediterranean EBSA is located in the centre of the southern part of the Southern Adriatic basin and in the northern part of the Ionian Sea. It includes the deepest part of the Adriatic Sea on the western side and it encompasses a coastal area in Albania (Sazani Island and Karaburuni peninsula). It also covers the slopes in near Santa Maria di Leuca. 

The Policy Paper identified a pathway to engage key-stakeholder and decision makers to involve in the SAIS-EBSA process. The policies emphasise the importance of the capacity building for the development of skills for the assessment of the economic value of the region taking into consideration the ecosystem services. Moreover, given the type of pressures identified by experts, the policy paper highlights the need to identify key leading bodies and develop motivational hooks, including economic strategies, to ensure meaningful and equitable engagement.

To reach these results, ENGAGE project will organize a) one cross-border training courses of 30 hours in Albania, b) three workshop, in Albania, Montenegro and Italy with the involvement of the key-stakeholders and experts and c) one incoming event in Montenegro.

From 7 May to 9 May in Tirana (Albania), the Albanian partner in this Interreg IPA South Adriatic, Albanian Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development (ACEPSD) will organise a training to strengthen the skills of key experts and stakeholders in the marine protected areas (MPAs) of the South Adriatic. This intensive target training will build capacities of competent institutions to be able to develop specific actions on the marine species and habitats preservations. Trainings will be more specified based knowledge and skills needed for implementing a transboundary marine protected area, and analysis of current capacities within the relevant institutions. It includes topics about Fisheries, Aquaculture, Marine Protected Areas, Climate Change, Cetaceans, Sharks and Rays, and other interesting ones. The trainers from the ENGAGE project partners and other invited experienced trainers from Albania and other Mediterranean countries will exchange the best practices and experience on the conservation measures and concrete actions on MPAs protection. From an online application, it was possible to select 10 trainees from Albania, 5 trainees from Italy and 5 trainees from Montenegro. 

The other initiatives to be held in Albania, regarding the ENGAGE project, is represented by the international workshop on EUSAIR Strategy with key stakeholders and decision makers. Adriatic and Ionian Seas basin as a Region is considered to be the home to more than 70 million people; the Region plays a key role in strengthening geographical continuity in Europe. The Strategy builds on the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and forms close cooperation with it.

On 10 May in Tirana (Albania) ACEPSD will organise this cross-border workshop, which aims to collect recommendations from decision makers and key stakeholders on the theme of preserving the ecological integrity of "South Adriatic Ionian Strait" EBSA area of the Adriatic, through a synergy of intent and objectives, and to exchange good practices to implement beyond the end of the project. Among the topics will be analyzed the threats to the conservation, the risks of protected areas, and will be promoted opportunities to collaborate for the creation of cross-border marine protected areas in the South Adriatic and the objectives underlying the Jointly Action Plan, which is in the phase of preparation actually. More specifically, in this workshop will be presented in details the “State of the Art” regarding the "South Adriatic Ionian Strait" EBSA area of the Adriatic Sea, by including the important aspects about the biodiversity, habitats and the interactions with the human activities.

Download agenda for May 7 8 9, 2024

Download agenda for May 10, 2024