Apr 27, 2022
This event focused on co-creation of activities for assessing the ecosystem services in the lagoon, as part of the implementation of the future scenario vision for 2024.
Location: ‘Begu Restaurant’; Kune Vaini lagoon
Organisers: Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development
Who attended the event?
The event gathered 33 stakeholders from local and regional government, civil society organizations focused on environmental knowledge and protection, academic institutions, and local businesses (fishermen and restaurant owners in the protected area) discussing on the methodology that will be used for the evaluation of ecosystem services, based on the findings of the 1st workshop. The scope of the workshop was to agree on overall methodologies on how to assess these services, and how to channel this evidence-based knowledge into policy-influencing.
What happened at the event?
Session 1: Knowledge-Making on Lagoon Values and Visioning Futures
The session was moderated by Rudina Toto (Co. Pjetër Toni, Director of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas, Lezhë), who gave a welcome speech to the participants, emphasizing on the importance of application of evidence-based decision-making for the management and administration of the protected area.
Following, Elvana Ramaj briefed the participants on previous research experiences of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment in the Kune Vain area, by outlining the project for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the Lagoon, financed by UNEP/GEF.
Besiona Simoni (RAPA Lezhë) presented a general overview of main characteristics of the Kune Vain lagoon in terms of biodiversity, land use and recreational activities. The discussion was followed by Taulant Bino (Albanian Ornithological Society) who gave an in-depth analysis of main bird habitats nesting/passing by the lagoon, and their importance for the acknowledgment of the lagoon as Important Bird Area (IBA). Jak Gjini, environmental expert, presented the main features of the lagoon biodiversity in terms of vegetation typologies and the coastal hydrogeological formations.
Finally, Skender Luarasi and Llazar Kumaraku (Polis University) presented the research work conducted with PhD students, focused on “Spatial Proposals for the Post-Pandemic city in the territory of Lezhë”, from a wholistic perspective.
Session 2: Co-design of actions for the implementation of the anchor initiative
This session was focused on presentation and validation of the services that will be mapped and assessed and the respective methodology to be employed.
Rudina Toto, Kejt Dhrami, Besmir Gëziqi, and Rea Muka (Co-PLAN) presented the current action plan, which is focused on a combined mapping and evaluation approach, according to the international TESSA protocols. The following services will be evaluated:
- Provision of fishery
- Purification of water from agricultural irrigation channels and waste water
- Mitigation of coastal flooding and extreme tides
- Carbon sequestration from land and aquatic vegetation, soil and water
- Recreational and cultural services
The experts explained the methods that will be used for the evaluation and mapping, the importance of citizen science in the production of such knowledge, as well as for science education.
Finally, the participants agreed on a preliminary action plan, consisting of the following actions:
Action 1. Complete the co-development methodology for ecosystem services mapping and assessment based on the co-design process (April-May 2022)
- The methods of mapping the selected ES, including the participatory mapping;
- The methods of assessing the selected ES, including TEV and the specific methods for specific ES.
- The methods of engaging stakeholders (community, fishermen, local businesses and RAPA) in the ES mapping and assessment.
- The establishment of the knowledge background (including existing mapping layers) that will support the implementation of action 2.
Action 2. Implement the co-development methodology for participatory mapping and the TEV survey with the community and local businesses. (April-June 2022)
- Implement the TEV appraisal with all households in the area, the fishermen and the local businesses. This process will enable public engagement in the generation of knowledge for ES in the lagoon and subsequently will serve as an awareness raising process for them.
- Map the vegetation/habitats, extreme flood events exposure, waste water discharges, tourism land use (bird watching sites, coast, sports and trekking). This will provide an open database for RAPA and the research community to improve R&I governance in the management of the protected areas.
- Assess the value of fisheries (market-based), carbon sequestration (direct sampling for vegetation and IPCC data for land), moderation of extreme flood events (direct measurements), and waste water treatment (direct sampling in water discharge and exchange points), and optionally tourism (travel costs for tourists entering Vaini). In this process RAPA will have its capacities raised to conduct assessments regularly and incorporate the results in its activities of the management of the lagoon.
Action 3. Test the results of the co-development process by conducting the mapping and assessment of the selected ES and establishing a platform of ES for the Kune-Vaini Lagoon. (June 2022-October 2022)
Process the information produced out of the co-development activities for mapping and assessment of lagoon ES.
- Examine the results of the co-development process against the initial strengths and challenges identified in the SOWT analysis of the R&I and STI for the region.
- Analyse the contribution of the knowledge on ES in the lagoon to the achievement of the future scenario selected by the stakeholders.
Action 4. Organise a stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the results of the ES mapping and assessment, as well as the achievements and challenges of public engagement for citizen science. (February-March 2023)
Action 5. Co-design with RAPA recommendations for an institutional action plan to include ES knowledge in the management of protected areas, climate change actions, and in territorial planning. (October 2022– February 2023)
The planned activities are subject to adjustments in the upcoming period through the consultation process on the draft document, intended to be further shared with the stakeholders prior its finalization by the end of April 2022. During the implementation of the anchor initiative, the quadruple helix actors will stay in close cooperation with the project partners.