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What is Ecodibra ?

The ecological club in Dibra region was founded in April 1996,from a group of people with different backgrounds. It was a branch of the Albanian Ecological Club with headquarters in Tirana.

Seeing that the range of its activities was limited under such a status, we decided to get independence from the center and in November 1999, we expanded our activity over the whole Dibra Prefecture. 

There are a lot of environmental problems in our region which come as a result of the poverty and the limited number of alternatives to earn a living. So, the locals have not much to choose but to deal with stock-breeding which basically asks to make use of the forests. 

During the communist regime, whole surfaces of forest were converted into arable land decreasing this way the forests surface in the amount of 3600 hectares. It used to be mainly low oak forests, situated close to the villages. 

The current environmental situation has worried the civil society because they are aware of the great importance and influence that the environment has on everybody's health.

In Ecodibra's mission are defined concrete activities regarding the community awareness on the protection of the existing flora, common public spaces or private. We have foreseen even the activities that should be implemented in order to intervene and prevent the negative impacts on the environment. 

From the very beginning of its foundation as a branch of the Albanian Ecological Club, Ecodibra has taken part in a lot of seminars and meetings organized in Dibra and elsewhere.

Experts from different fields and with different backgrounds have been involved. They are people with high interests in the environment and i could mention only a few of them such as: Mrs. Violeta Kola, Sabri Laçi, Shkendie Kaba, Veli Shehu, Munir Hoxha, Ivzi Roshi, Hekuran Toçi, Valentina Alku, Abaz Hoxha, Luan Leka, Haxhi Nesimi, Admir Kaba, Albina Shehu etc.

Ecodibra has played its part in the process of sensibilising the schoolchildren for the environmental problems. Leaflets and "International Friends of Nature" magazine, were delivered on such days as The Environment Day etc. Ecodibra has even published its own magazine. 

The biggest success of Ecodibra has been the increase of the  number of Ecodibra members coming from different areas of Dibra. In Lura, Bulqiza, Melan, Tomin, Sllove, Kala e Dodes and Arras, there are volunteers, who in coordination with Ecodibra, organize activities to sensibilize the community towards the protection of the forests and green areas in general.

There are special areas where, as a result of the erosion, the life of the dwellers is in real and constant danger. The most endangered areas are the villages of Kishavec, the land alongside the stream of Peshkopi ,the stream of Kusare in Luzni. The Drini River threatens the arable lands in Gjorice, Portgorce, Ushtelenxe, Selane, Muhurr, Rrethas, Fushe Alie, etc.Advanced erosion

It is estimated that about 100 m3/hectare is lost every year because of the erosion and the structure of the soil is seriously damaged.  

Most of these surfaces have become acid lands and have been abandoned by the farmers.

Ecodibra has carried out several surveys and has accomplished regional studies. We could mention one of the most important studies, "Completion of the environmental strategy",  SEA, in which the forestry specialist studied the problems created to the environment as a result of the cutting of the woods, livestock breeding and erosion-related problems. 

Ecodibra has played a great role in the awareness process for the transfer of forests and pastures into communal use. 

Meeting with the communityIn these four last years we have done an intensive job to terminate this process through the implementation of different steps. This brought up the rehabilitation of thousands of hectares of beech and oak-tree forests all around the communes. In concrete terms we have implemented such a project in the communes of Tomin, Melan, Kastriot, Arras, Sllove, Kala e Dodes etc. It proved to be effective and currently we have massive forests being regenerated.  

In the realization of these projects we have surely had the support of various donors such as  the Forestry Project of World Bank, REC (Regional Center of Environment in South East Europe, USAID, and the Organization for International Development , Novib, ( Netherland `s Organization for International Development and Cooperation )Delivery of the leaflets

The project for Erosion Prevention in the village of Zimur, in Tomin Commune, was funded by SNV, Peshkopi. Through this project were planted 2 hectares of acacia and 70 m3 of river dams and fences against erosion were built.

The Norwegian Embassy funded a project of the same kind for the stream of Melan where dry-walls, double fences and 120 m3 of dams were built.

 During the autumns of 2001 and 2002, Ecodibra made possible the planting of 75.000 acacia saplings and 20 hectares of Canadian poplar. We created plantations in the village of Kishavec,  an area which was in real danger. 

Ecodibra has been an active participant in national meetings related to the environmental issues. 

Our specialists have attended training sessions run by REC, APFDP, PNUD, SNV, ANNTARC, Partners of Albania, and now they are able to conduct training and run activities in the protection of the environment. 

We have cooperated with the local NGO-s and have organized common activities. One out of them is the celebration of "International Environment Day" on the 5th of June, which was organized in cooperation with the local Environmental NGO ‘Agimi".

We have a close cooperation with the regional environmental NGO-s, for example the environmental Association "Deshati" in Debar, and the Association for the Protection of Nature in Struga, both of them in Macedonia.

We have cooperated for the compilation of common project with environmental  Associations in Bulgaria, and Hungary.

Ecodibra has determined its present and future objectives, which include concrete plans on the protection of the natural environment and over.

Photo: information network among NGO-s in Bulgaria. In the context of awareness Ecodibra has published several problematic articles in the "REC" magazine called "Environment today".  

Short Term Objectives

Concrete support to the community and the most problematic environmental areas.

-To achieve the cooperation among the Association-Community-Local Government on environmental issues. 

- Study on the forests and pastures which are to be transferred into communal use.

- Study on the social-economical situation of the areas in focus. What relation do they have with the environment. 

-Study on possibility of management of the water recourses in this area considering the fact that they are natural, running and drinking waters. 

-Community awareness on the protection of the wild animals and plants which run the risk of being driven to extinction because of the global warming.  

-Economic and institutional strengthening through sensibilization and finding donors. 

-Definition of the tourist spots and development of the family eco tourism in Dibra.

Analysis and definition of environmental Strategy in Dibra Region (sensibilization of public opinion towards pollution/potentials and possibilities).

Organization of massive activities on international days (Earth Day, Environmental Day, Biodiversity Day, etc).

Middle term objectives:

Compilation of strategic plans for the environment in Dibra. 

-Selection of the communes where the forests and pastures will be transferred.

 Study on the natural sources and flora potential and wild animals in danger of extinction.

Definition of the branches and membership in the environmental endangered areas.

Long-term objectives of the ecological club are:

# sensibilization and involvement of the community all over the region in the solution of the environmental issues.

-Protection and increase of the forestry surface by involving the community in the process of communal transfer. 

-Protection of biodiversity by protecting the flora and wild fauna in danger of extinction.

-Growth of number for members at the ecological club particularly those of women and girls in the process of decisions.

-increase the number of the members of the Ecological Club prioritizing women and girls participation in decision making. 

-Study of the erosion and taking control over it. 

Ecodibra will continue on the way of protecting the environment in order to accomplish its mission. 





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