Mjedisi Sot 156 – Issue 156

Mjedisi Sot 156

Exploitation / Conservation

July 2018 | Print | Periodical

This weekend I thought of escaping the usual routine of tanning at the beach and I wanted to experience something unique. This desire becomes even more difficult to achieve if you want to focus on what is left of the Albanian nature. I rummaged through various package tours that the Albanian touristic agencies offered and that of the Shala River drew my attention, as it has been promoted numerous times as a distinctive destination, often calling it as an exotic stop among the Albanian Alps. I wasn’t the only one. During the boat ride towards that miracle, I learned that hundreds of people would visit it on the weekends to enjoy the unexplored nature, the beauty of the mountains and the water, the coolness under the green trees, and practicing sports in nature. For years we have said that the beautiful Albanian nature is priceless. The harm done to a part of it due to the intense construction among the coasts, deforestation, or the unrestricted developments has led to an increase in pressure of other areas which still preserve the pristine beauty. The uncontrolled influx and the rampant services which are offered without a development planning or specific standards hazard the course of development of these regions and might cause a turn of events: overexploitation, destruction, and invasion of natural values. An abundance of such regions, even those labeled as protected, lack the concept of management where the visit and the amenities offered must include extra costs that need to be paid by visitors, in order to allow for a series of protective and preserving actions towards these areas. Up to now, we were pleased with the creation of business opportunities: some boats for transportation, some coffee shops for refreshments, some restaurants or other assisting services. These kinds of regions have grand potential which can bring more profit for the communities and the local businesses if they are coordinated and administrated efficiently, they can even offer a higher service quality for nature loving visitors. At the end of my visit at the Shala River, I was filled with a yearning for the chance to visit it again and with the hope that this exceptionally beautiful nature would remain unharmed.

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