Tropoja in North-East Albania is one of the poorest districts, held back by unemployment (79%), historic isolation, poor level of education, lack of access to information and a history of government corruption which has led to widespread apathy. Nature-based tourism is considered to be the realistically profitable economic hope for the region. However with increased access the habitat destruction due to unsustainable mining and hydropower developments threaten to degrade the very nature which is the area’s greatest asset for economic development while the local population remain either unaware of the long-term threats to their livelihoods or unable to do anything about their very real fears. Tropoja can benefit from communities in the Visegrad Four countries who turned threats to livelihoods in new sustainable opportunities.
By basing itself locally in one of the most undeveloped regions of Albanian, this project adopts an approach of not only interacting directly with the community, but drawing on the community‘s human resources to implement. In addition, by bringing community members together, the project will foster a united regional voice. Ultimately, we hope to propagate a faith in grassroots efforts by working directly with local communities or CSOs that directly invest in communities, and proving an immediate result, in form of a replicable model of community revival and community participation.
We aim to contribute to the sustainable livelihoods of rural communities affected by environmental degradation through their empowerment and strengthened capacities of civil society to increase communities’ participation in environmental decision-making through:
- Developing a model of empowering rural communities affected by environmental degradation to identify and pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities.
- Increasing the capacities, skills and knowledge on participation in environmental decision-making and in working with affected communities of civil-society in Albania and in V4 countries through networking and exchange of experience.