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 support the community in practical steps for developing their region in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way, as well as to further replicate the model to other communities in the region:
- Empowering locals to realize their business potential and therefore improving economic opportunities from a sustainable business model.
- Influencing policies on environmentally sustainable development.
- Strengthening regional cooperation and creating networks among communities and CSOs from WB and V4 countries.