Project Category
Project Category
Environmental research
Project Description
Project Description
Despite the recent changes into the population structure in Albania marked by the migration towards urban centers, Albania still has a predominant rural population that depends heavily on the firewood as the main source of energy for heating and cooking. The transition period from centralized to market economy and then latter the social unrest associated to the collapse of the pyramid schemes during 1997 were associated with significant and widespread damage into the forest stock mainly as the result large exports of logs and timber products into the neighboring countries. The unsustainable harvesting of forest products was fueled by a very lucrative trade in timber products that was made possible in the general climate of legal and institutional vacuum as well as the unlawful doings of state officials of that time. Since than, progress has been made in the establishment of the state of the law. On the other hand, natural regeneration of the forest in areas with a low population density is proceeding well. Nevertheless, areas close to villages continue to suffer damage and are trapped into a vicious circle of unsustainable exploitation of the forest products with the demand for firewood being bigger than the amount that could be sustainably harvested by the forest. In most cases, villages have at their disposal young coppice forest instead of sufficiently mature ones that could be harvested in a sustainable way. Most of the village houses use chimney and inefficient wood stoves that average at about 30% efficiency. The introduction of the efficient stoves combined with simple low cost thermal insulation of the village housing hold a good promise for having a long term and sustainable positive impact on the forest resources in Albania. This approach will be tested in the Prespa National Park. The location was selected due to a combination of reasons varying from the high biodiversity in the area, the cold climate and high number of people living inside the park borders. An average family in the park consumes about 10-12 m3 of firewood each year. With a combined intervention consisting of efficient wood stoves (85-90% efficient) and thermal insulation, we hope to reduce the firewood consumption to 30-50%.
Our Reference Number
Our Reference Number
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