Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

In the commercial world, national parks are highly sought for.

By knl9j Mar17,2024

The ratification of the much-debated law that would allow constructions to take place in Protected Areas was the sole topic of discussion during the Money show that aired on Euronews Albania this past Saturday.

A total of approximately 18% of the territory of the European Union is comprised of protected areas, and the EU has committed to expanding this percentage until the year 2030. At the same time, this report is being overturned in Albania, despite the fact that protected areas cover 21% of the territory, consisting of 11 national parks and 4 places that are considered to be world heritage sites.

Olsi Nika, an environmental biologist, stated that Protected Areas are also home to powerful states that are dependent on tourism but chose to conserve them with a fervent determination.

It is true that every nation on the planet has some kind of protected area system in place. Even nations that have emerged as tourism powerhouses, such as Greece and Italy, are devoted to the protection of their tourism industries. It is impossible to determine whether or not even the twenty percent of the area that is designated as a protected area is of this size due to management. The reason for this is that the structures and society are to blame, which is why we do not have a network of protected regions, he explained.

“Two or three days before this law was passed, a law was approved in the European Parliament for the restoration of up to twenty percent of degraded areas in Europe,” said Lavdosh Ferruni, an activist for environmental conservation, in an interview with Money.

In other words, the world is going to restore those regions that have been degraded, while we are going to continue to destroy those ones that are protected. Therefore, it is a huge piece of rubbish, and I am confident that the time will come when it will be brought down,” he stated.

According to a study that was conducted not too long ago, investments in environmentally friendly infrastructure and the preservation of protected areas have the potential to boost the local economy by an average of 2.4% through tourism and sustainable economic activity. This is in contrast to the 1.2% that is offered by urban development that is not sustainable. In the event that construction is permitted within protected areas, Albania runs the risk of losing this potential for sustained economic growth.

In an interview with Money, Taulant bino, the President of the Ornithological Society, stated that Protected Areas are being utilized to boost the value of strategic investments.

Increasing the value of the investment is being accomplished through the utilization of protected areas as an asset. Consequently, the exploitation of nature as an asset to boost the price of the property is something that virtually any investor who is going to invest in a PA will do.

One of the advantages is the cost of the property in this case. If it were a naked space, it would not have the same value as it does now. “Therefore, let us make use of this nature that has been preserved by successive generations and powers, make use of it as an asset to increase the value of one’s property,” he stated.

If there is a clear indication that Albania will develop, then we are not opposed to progress. I am unable to determine whether or not 80 percent is sufficient; but, there is no room for compromise when it comes to the protection of the natural world.

The limit has to be adjusted. Those who have not yet arrived can also take advantage of ZM’s services. A biologist by the name of Olsi Nika made the following statement: “If they take away the natural assets, you can earn ten Lek today, but tomorrow the next generation will have twenty Thousand Lek.”

The European Union has stated that it will keep a close eye on the manner in which the law will be adopted in protected areas. In the response that it presents to the Albanian parliament, the delegation states that it would closely observe the implementation in accordance with the legal framework for environmental protection that is established by the European Union and Albania’s international responsibilities.

When a high-profile proposal to privatize some services at national parks was made public toward the end of the previous year, the response was swift.

A committee consisting of representatives from the leisure industry was established by the Department of the Interior in 2017, which is responsible for managing the majority of federal land.

In the month of October 2019, the committee advocated the privatization of campgrounds, the restriction of discounts for senior citizens, and the addition of extended Wi-Fi, food trucks, and distribution from Amazon. The plan was met with such opposition from environmental organizations and the general public that the department made the decision to terminate the committee less than two months after it was initially proposed.

In the course of a contentious discussion that has been going on for decades, this was only a flare in the dispute. There is a nearly $12 billion repair backlog at the National Park Service (NPS), which is struggling to make ends meet. The recreation sector has stated that it is capable of managing certain park services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Furthermore, environmental organizations are advocating for a more thorough examination of privatization plans in order to preserve the parks’ primary role of protecting their resources and preserving the parks themselves.

In the meantime, the pandemic caused by the coronavirus is causing disruptions in the conversation, and it may even completely upend the debate.

It is a difficult matter that has been the subject of passionate debate ever since the establishment of the very first national park.

It is possible to define certain instances of privatization as successful. For instance, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma is able to safeguard significant plant and animal species in large part because the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit organization, was able to purchase land from ranchers who were ready to sell it when the National Park Service was unable to consummate a contract.

The state of Alabama was forced to close a state park in 2015 due to budget shortages, and a corporation known as Recreation Resource Management (RRM) was awarded a contract to reopen and manage the park. However, privatization is frequently met with a great deal of resistance: New proposals for a vast prairie reserve in Montana that will be privately funded have infuriated people who feel as though they are being forced off the land that they have worked on for generations.

Being able to weigh a position is extremely difficult due to the fact that privatization itself can take so many different shapes. Despite the fact that some protected areas are comprised of land that has been privatized, national parks are made up of public land that is dependent on services that are provided by private companies.

These services, which include campgrounds, restrooms, lodging, cuisine, equipment rentals, and other amenities that are necessary for the operation of a park, were the primary emphasis of the proposals that were made by the group from the Department of the Interior.

“Does the National Park Service really have to run the lodge? What are the requirements for running the campground? Does the cleaning of the restrooms need to be done? Warren Meyer, the proprietor of RRM, which manages over 150 recreation places on public property, inquires as to whether or not it is necessary to pave the roads. “There are a lot of things in there that isn’t necessarily required to be done,” the speaker said.

When it comes to the fight over privatization, campgrounds, of which the NPS manages 1,421 of them, frequently form the front lines. Glamping, tiny rental homes, and cottages are some examples of the new amenities that may be located in a private campsite, according to Meyer. In addition to regular maintenance, guests could also anticipate new amenities.

On the other hand, Emily Douce, who is the director of operations and park funding at the National Parks Conservation Association, argues that a park might want to continue operating its own campgrounds in order to maintain its ability to engage with visitors and monitor their operations.

As stated by Douce, “The presence of a park service ranger has many benefits, ranging from educating to seeing what’s going on and making sure that people are being responsible.” He also mentions that the privatization of ranger positions would be a matter for concern.

They are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the resources are safeguarded and that the visitors are provided with information regarding the site. And as a result, there is a risk that some of that might be lost if you were to privatize those,” she says.

Meyer is in agreement that although private corporations may handle certain activities, it would be extremely difficult for the National Park Service to take over the management of wilderness areas or the duties of park rangers.

Who then has the authority to make the decision? According to Douce, it is up to each national park to decide which privatization strategies are most beneficial for the management of resources as well as the enhancement of the experience of visitors. Meyer places a strong emphasis on the significance of allowing the general public to have a say in decision-making.

“If the public is not going to retain management of the use and access and character of the land, then they might as well sell it,” he argues. “He is saying that they might as well sell it.” “There is no point in giving up that because once you give up that, why do you even have the land in the first place?” there is no point in giving up everything.

By knl9j

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