The interrelations between the marine environment and human activities in Albania
Coastal and marine areas are key resources for economic development in Albania, with tourism being an important and growing sector, especially on the Adriatic coast. Human activities, however, are both highly dependent on the health of the natural environment and the possible sources of its degradation. To ensure the future stability and resilience of marine ecosystems, it is important to understand the complex interrelationships between human and natural elements. For example: urban areas, industries, transport, fishing and tourism can generate waste, which can be released into the sea and in turn affect the productivity and quality of human activities themselves, such as tourism and fishing.
Identifying the main economic factors, pressures and impacts, as well as planning responses for their mitigation, are therefore important steps in assessing the state of the marine environment to achieve Good Environmental Status. These complex interactions should be evaluated continuously, in a cyclical process of review and discussion.
The status of marine environment in Albania
GEF Adriatic has mapped the interrelations between the different components of the marine and coastal ecosystem in Albania, both natural and human: the results are highlighted in the infographic below. It includes references to the eleven Ecological Objectives (EO) that determine the environmental status of a marine area, as defined by the the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and Related Assessment Criteria (IMAP):
• EO1 – Biodiversity
• EO2 – Non-indigenous species
• EO3 – Harvest of commercially-exploited fish and shellfish
• EO4 – Food webs
• EO5 – Eutrophication
• EO6 – Sea-floor integrity
• EO7 – Hydrography
• EO8 – Coastal ecosystems and landscapes
• EO9 – Contaminants
• EO10 – Marine Litter
• EO11 – Energy, including underwater noise