Albania Completely Bans Logging In The Country For The Next 10 Years

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Albania Completely Bans Logging In The Country For The Next 10 Years

A forest in Tropoja in northern Albania
A forest in Tropoja in northern Albania. One of the few remaining forests in the country today.

Albania is the first country in the world to ban logging in the country for the following ten years. And not only logging but all commerce and exports regarding timber. This decision comes after the country has seen a dramatic decrease in its forest areas over the past decades.

“We are forced to take this, so called, drastic measure because of the dire situation we are in and have been over the past 40 years,” said the Albanian Environment Minister Lefter Koka. He went on to say that the exploitation of its timber resources had been excessive during this period.

This new forest law in Albania is in use since January 1st, 2016 and will be in operation for at least the following ten years. In 1991, Albania had over 1.5 million hectares of forest. Since then, hundreds of thousands of hectares have been cleared, 200,000 of which are in an irreversible state. The main causes for these losses of forests are in large part due to poor management, illegal logging, illegal constructions in forested areas and frequent fires.

This is a huge step for the country and an absolutely necessary step in preventing what’s left of the country’s natural beauty and ecosystems. But Albania is not the only country in a similar situation. Many others both in Europe and elsewhere are having the same problems.

Forests are not only important because of their beauty and as ecosystems to wildlife, but are also an important element of the water cycle in nature. Without forests, the land is prone to desertification and ground water depletion. Moreover, forests are the key to battling climate change and eliminating the large quantities of CO2 from the air.

(Source)

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