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This project relates to a four year collaborative programme of communal (now called municipalities) forests and pastures capacity building and organisational strengthening of forest and pastures users associations, their federations and communes (now Administrative Units-AUs). The project consolidates, replicates and builds further on earlier programs and investments to the forestry and natural resources sector in Albania. Sweden has made an important contribution to promote more effective decentralised management of natural resources in Albania, more specifically to communal/municipal forest and pastures. In partnership with CNVP, the Swedish Development Cooperation has supported the strengthening of civil society organisations, promoting better representation and accountability in the forest sector, providing for a more enabling policy, legal and institutional environment, sustainable management of forests and pastures, contributing towards more equitable and sustainable development of rural areas.

The project addresses communal/municipal forestry and its stakeholders throughout Albania with a specific geographic area of nine regions of Kukes, Dibra, Korça, Elbasan, Shkodra, Gjirokastra, Lezha, Tirana and Berati/Vlore - strengthening existing networks and organisations, with new engagement of the Local Government Units to meet their responsibilities according to existing legislation. The duration of the project is 4 years and half, from 28 August 2014 to 31 December 2018 (according to amended agreement of 17 May 2016). CNVP will finance the project (14%) as a cooperation partner with Swedish Development Cooperation (86%).

The project’s main objective is: Improved decentralised and sustainable Communal Forestry providing increased production, service and income to rural communities. This will be achieved through the following 5 outcomes:

Outcome 1: Improved decentralised CFP area management; which include:

Improved capacities of LGUs to manage CFP areas in collaboration with FPUAs; Secured property rights at LGU level and secured user rights for CFP users; Online database with cadastral maps linked to forestry related data such as: biomass, forest carbon stock, biodiversity and other data; Strengthening the functioning of stakeholders related to CFP management through regional core groups (existing and new)

Outcome 2: Enhanced relevance and sustainability of at least 24 FPUAs, 9 Regional Federation and National Federation

Improved structure and functioning of FPUAs, Regional Federations and National Federation through necessary institutional changes and democratic elections; Increased capacities of targeted FPUAs; Increased service delivery of targeted Federations; Improved civil society actions for anti-corruption issues in support of enhanced forest governance

Outcome 3: Forest and NTFP value chains (further) developed and strengthened

which will lead to the following results: Producer groups organized and strengthened in structure, functioning and marketing capacities; Enhanced relations and networks among key actors in NTFP value chains; Information awareness on marketing forest products according to EU standards

Outcome 4: Strengthening multi-objectives forest management approaches (incl. wood biomass for renewable energy and carbon sequestration) and increase understanding and acceptance to stakeholders, in particular of policy makers and regulators.

This outcome area will lead to the following results: Family forest and common forests and pastures appropriate forest management practices are improved, developed and replicated; Production of wood biomass for renewable energy (e.g. for heating) promoted; Generation of good practices related to measuring carbon sequestration in CFP areas; Relevant aspects of CFP management (including gender) integrated in education programmes.

Outcome 5: Improved institutional, policy & legal framework for communal forestry with special attention to governance principles.

This outcome will lead to the following results: Support to revision of forestry and renewable energy legislation and policies to become more supportive to CFP users; Capacities of National level stakeholders increased through involvement in national level core group; Learning and knowledge development on specific issues; CFP Federations make use of regional networks to share and learn in the region.

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