Appropriate forest management practices for coppice forests
In 2017, CNVP Albania cooperated with the National Federation of Communal Forests and Pastures of Albania (NFCFPA) to organise an intervention in the coppice forests near Kukes, and presented the results to relevant stakeholders. The activity was funded through Sida’s project Forests for Local Economic Development (FLED).
The aims of the exercise were to: compare the current situation of coppice forests with and without the intervention; review the impact of thinning operations on site structure and increment; undertake a new thinning intervention that would involve the state, the municipality and the farmer; provide evidence as to the best models of coppice management, taking into consideration economic and ecological requirements; and use the model as a learning point for awareness-raising in other regions.
A field visit was held on 4 November 2017 in Golaj village, Has municipality, to show participants what had been done, and share experiences concerning the design and implementation of an annual plan for the forests and pastures of the municipality, involving especially the local communities. Participants included representatives of the Forest Service in Kukes, Dibar, Bulqiza, Tropoja, Mirdita, Lezha, Shkodra and Malësi e Madhe, as well as forest engineers of the Regional Forest Federation of Kukes and Shkodra. Contributors included the municipality of Has, the Ministry of Environment, the Territorial Reform Agency, the Faculty of Forestry, the National Federation of Communal Forests and Pastures of Albania (NFCFPA), and CNVP.
The participants identified concerns to be addressed in Albania:
- the Forestry Law needs to reflect all the changes that have happened in the forestry sector;
- a major reform of forest ownership is needed, based perhaps on past agriculture land reform;
- farmers cannot sell their wood products in the market, and therefore cannot profit from their work;
- the lack of forest title, or even a user contract, makes farmers feel uncertain in the forest areas that they have used traditionally;.
- the real forest value is unknown, and forests do not receive as much as they contribute;
- there are limited municipal resources for adequate forestry staff and infrastructure, as well as the design and implementation of forestry management plans;
- the requirements for hiring municipal forestry staff are not respected;
- there is generally low capacity of municipal forestry staff, and limited access to forestry technology; and
- the lack of forest management plans is reinforced by the lack of advice in how to update their preparation.