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Forest restoration in North Macedonia and Albania

According to Global Forest Watch, North Macedonia lost 5,5% and Albania 6,5% of total tree cover in the last 20 years while recent local analysis confirmed this trend by showing concerning losses of 6.78% and 4.88% of non-degraded forests over the last 12 years. Similar negative trends are recognizable in high biodiversity value regions like core habitats of the Balkan Lynx, critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and other endemic species. Some of the direct and indirect degradation drivers include poor management of key biodiversity landscapes in protected areas that did not sufficiently prevent forest losses. Moreover, illegal logging has been a long-lasting problem in the Balkans, coupled with rapid urbanisation, land use changes and the climate change consequences.

The implementation of Nature-based Solutions, such as Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) on around 40 hectares of degraded forest land in “Bukovikj” in North Macedonia and “Pashtrik-Morina” in Albania will largely contribute to biodiversity and connectivity, including in surrounding protected areas. These FLR interventions will have multiple benefits such as carbon sequestration and ecosystem resilience, while halting biodiversity loss by improving habitat conditions for the Balkan Lynx and other threatened endemic species. The project also aims to raise national capacities and commitments to future restoration efforts and sustainable management of forests by involving relevant stakeholders and decision-makers.

The project is supported with SEK 6 900 000.


What does the project deliver?

The project will promote sustainable forest management and forest landscape restoration in Albania and North Macedonia by initiating restoration work in key biodiversity landscapes to enable multiple long-term ecological and societal benefits. It will improve knowledge and capacities of around 100 policy makers and protected area managers for sustainable forest management. Furthermore, the project will increase the exchange and bilateral dialogue towards raising commitments to FLR and sound management of forests in both countries.


Why do we support this project?

Contributing to restoration and sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems will improve efforts for sustainable forest management in Albania and North Macedonia, and enhance capacities and commitments to restoration and sustainable forest management while reducing degradation. The project is part of the Northern Forest Initiative.


Project time status

60%

This project started in January 2023 and ends in July 2025

For more information: https://www.iucn.org/our-work/region/eastern-europe-and-central-asia/our-work