The Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro, presented the activities of the National Calendar of the Year of the Forests, as 2024 has been declared. During public communication with the mayors, in which the Minister for State and Local Government, Arbjan Mazniku, also participated, Minister Kumbaro expressed that the objectives of the year of the forests are part of a broad program of activities that anticipates more than just tree planting.
In her speech, Minister Kumbaro also addressed issues related to the management of forest economies concerning administration by the municipalities, where in 33 municipalities of the country there is not a single reforestation plan. “In these two years of very detailed monitoring that the National Forest Agency and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment have conducted in each of the municipalities, unfortunately, about 8 years since the transfer of forests to the administration of the municipalities, and four years after the enactment of the law on Forests, it turns out that more than half, i.e., 33 municipalities, do not have any Reforestation Plan. There are municipalities that throughout the 8-year period of managing the forests, have not made any expenditure as an investment item in the forest fund. Therefore, the involvement and well-coordination at the highest level of all actors from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the National Forest Agency, to the Forestry Directorates in the municipalities, the Faculty of Forestry Sciences, associations, volunteer groups, and business representatives is the first step to turn the “Year of the Forests” into a national plan and not just make sporadic plantings just to say that we are supporting the year of the forests. And the most important work here falls to the municipalities, not only in defining maps, afforestation, regeneration of forest vegetation but in planning management models,” stated Minister Kumbaro.
On the other hand, Minister Kumbaro also mentioned the encouraging cases of 13 municipalities of the country for investments in the forest fund during 2023, highlighting the model of the municipality of Tirana, Elbasan, Korça, Përrenjas, Kukës, Devoll, Librazhd, Poliçan, Vaun e Dejës, Gramsh, Patos.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Local Government, Arbjan Mazniku, stated that in addition to the vital role of forests in the current situation of Albania and the entire globe, they are also a source of economy. He also presented the supportive program for municipalities, which provides solutions to some of the most acute problems related to forest economies. Besides afforestation activities, the National Calendar of the Year of the Forests includes environmental days, educational activities with schools, and projects related to forests, from establishing a monitoring system to equipping with tools for fire protection.