This initiative aimed to improve the way of assessing the environmental damage caused by illegal acts in Albania. Thus it will assist law enforcement agencies or even civil society organizations operating in the field of environmental protection.
As part of the EU accession process and as a result of the obligations arising from the Stabilization and Association Agreement, Albania has made steps forward in approximating the legal and institutional framework with that of the EU. In this context, the environmental sector has also undergone through a number of legal and institutional changes.
The newest concept is the qualification environmental damage, which is considered an environmental crime and sanctioned in the Criminal Code as amended in 2019.
However, the applicability of the Code is a major challenge due to the lack of bylaws that would specify the bodies and procedure to be followed.
Quantifying the consequences of environmental crime is not an easy task. Currently, data gaps represent the biggest challenge. However, in some specific areas environmental crime data have become available and the numbers illustrate significant damage. Illegal logging is one such case.
Illegal logging began to attract public attention in the late 90s as a result of adverse economic, social and environmental impacts. Illegal logging occurs when trees are usually cut, transported, bought or sold in violation of national and international laws.
This is why Friedrich Ebert Stiftung together with EcoAlbania realized the study in the framework of the project “Property valuation of environmental crime in Albania”.