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Gender Responsive Budgeting Përmet-Këlcyra Municipalities

Milieukontakt Albania with support of UN Women Albania during December 2015 has developed several meetings with inhabitants of Përmet and Këlcyra municipalities on planning and gender responsive budgeting (GRB). These meetings were expanded in all new territories of both municipalities aiming to cover urban and rural areas such as Municipality of Përmet, Administrative Unit of Carshovë, Administrative Unit of Piskovë; Municipality of Këlcyra and Administrative Unit of Ballaban. Active engagement and involvement of public was one of the indicators that Milieukontakt wanted to reach through these meetings. Gender view has a place and should be reflected in the 2016 budget in both municipalities as a necessity not only of men but also of women to represent their ideas into projects that the municipality carries out.

The meetings took place not only with municipal staff, but also with various groups: young people (high school students), women, third age group, reeves and inhabitants. One of the reasons in meeting with various stakeholders was to get as many ideas, thoughts and the needs to be addressed to the respective municipalities. Inhabitants were very welcoming and willing to discuss the management of services provided in the area they live. A large part of the villages, where the meetings were held, for many years felt the lack of investment. Although the focus of the discussion was gender budgeting, people expressed their social and economic problems as a need to share with other people and to find solutions. Majority of the needs in the area were mainly infrastructure investments followed by the employment for both women and men and the lack of social and cultural activities. All needs addressed by inhabitants, especially women and children are recorded and will be presented to the respective municipalities together with a detailed gender analysis of the services. Awareness of citizens to be part of the decision making is a very good motive but often remains on the willingness of municipal employees whether these needs will be taken into consideration in next year's budget or will remain just written on paper.

UN Women will provide training for specialists and councilors of municipalities on gender budgeting and gender statistics. Trainings will be followed by on job counseling for responsible staff for services in the municipality to develop gender indicators as part of municipal development programs. Staff of municipalities (in an integrated manner) will be assisted to develop formats and procedures to facilitate their work in creating a good database disaggregated by gender, in fulfillment of the request and standards of the central government and indirectly in providing better and equal service for women and men.

Gender responsive budgeting is a relatively new tool for gender mainstreaming in municipal budgets. It enables drafting and implementation of policies to take into account the views of women and men and different obstacles they face, and at the same time creating more effective programs for spending public funds on an equal basis.

Informative Workshop SAIMON

Milieukontakt International Albania (MIA) and Regional Council of Vlora, organized on 27th October 2015 at Vlora city the Informative Workshop of project “Satellite Near Real Time Monitoring Network for the Eutrophication Risk for the marine waters over the Greece-Albanian cross border area”. The project is co-financed by the Europian Union and by the National Funds of Greece and Albania under the IPA cross border Program “Greece-Albania 2007-2013”.

The workshop brought together the project partners MIA, Regional Council of Vlora, Epirus Directorate of Water (EDW) and representatives of public institutions: Ministry of Agriculture (MBZHRAU), National Environment Agency of (AKM),Regional Environment Agency (ARM), Regional Administration of Protected Areas (AdZM Vlora), Vjosa Basin Agency, Prefecture of Vlora and Civil Society Organizations. The purpose of the workshop was to present the project SAIMON, informing the scientific community and the general public for the Eutrophication risk of marine waters and technological innovations that the project will utilize in monitoring data in real time on both sides of the border Albania –Greece.

Chairman of Regional Council of Vlora Mr. Sadrit Danaj reflected on the importance of the project implementation in Vlora and institutional cooperation with the three partners of the project said that :

“The experience gained so far in the management of the IPA cross-border projects" Greece - Albania 2007-2013 " opens before us, engagement of local and national stakeholders to establish a joint inter-institutional agency, composed by institutions , associations, businesses and individuals for regional economic development and incrise the quality of life on both sides of the Greek-Albanian border.

Seeing the quality of water as a strong indicator of tourism development in the southern area, projects such as SAIMON need to address problematic issues that may arise. The participation of experts from all relevant institutions in project implementation, it is important that this project serves to the entire area,by adding indicators and other monitoring points.”

Ms.Valbona Mazreku, director of MIA highlighted that coordination at the local level, realized by the Regional Council of Vlora is a promising initiative to take concrete steps that affect reality and address the environmental problems from identification until they are resolved by the relevant authorities. While MIA is taking this coordination at the national level by interacting with institutions such as line ministries, NEA and projects of international organizations to raise the issue from local into central level working together at the same time to raise community awareness.

From Greek partners, the representative of the Water Directorate of Epirus, Mr. Konstantinos Galanis explained the importance of the Water Framework Directive implementation for both border regions and stressed that cooperation in addressing common environmental problems, but also the compliance of the legislation in force of the two countries with the EU Water Framework Directive are an element to raise standards and its effective implementation in Greece and Albania.

Workshop was greeted from representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, NEA and projects in the area, highlighting the commitment for cooperation and synergy between projects.

ENVIRONMENTAL ALTERNATIVE FOR SMALL HYDRO POWER PLANTS (HPPs)

Alternative study on the social, economic and environmental impact of small HPPs in the Albanian rivers.


EXCEUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE STUDY

 

Objective and purpose
The study “Environmental alternative for the small HPPs1 in Albania” is initiated by the Regional Environmental Centre – REC Albania and is prepared by a team of experts from Milieukontakt International, Albania and EPER Centre. It is an alternative study brought by the environmental civil society in Albania, which analyses the rapid growth of hydro power across the country vis-a-vis its actual and expected environmental impact. The study was prepared by a team of experts during the period February – July 2015 using an overarching methodology that consists in: i) research analysis, ii) direct meetings, iii) focus group discussions, iv) questionnaires, v) and consulting sessions with civil society organizations. The study aims to bring into a single document alternative elements of hydropower development which looks not only the demand for energy but rather the negative and positive impact of this development into the social, economic and environmental sectors. The direct beneficiaries of this document are the Albanian communities, civil society organizations, local decision takers, state institutions, private sector and media. At the same time this study – a pilot one - serves the researchers and the academic community as a reference document aiming to advance the scientific research in the field of HPP environmental impact.

 

The methodology


This study was prepared using “expert judgment” in various fields regarding the development process of hydro energy sector, against the actual and expected social and environmental impact. The experts analysed the current institutional and regulatory framework, the current situation and the energy demand trend focusing in HPPs construction, the social, economic and environmental impact by analysing positive and negative study cases from Western Balkan and domestically. A special attention was paid to the cumulative impact of HPP in Albania.

 

The study limitation


The study brings into a single document various elements which were identified by the team of experts and other partners in several aspects of HPP development. It tries to establish an alternative database of the sector development that looks not only the energy demand but also the real negative and positive impact of this development. The study is limited in its scope, time and data. Nevertheless, this study aims to establish a cornerstone for a more in-depth analysis of the impacts which will become more visible in the years to come. At the same time, the study does not focus into a particular river basin or respective hydropower plant; it is rather targeting the development trend of small HPPs at national level.
1 Based on law no 138, dated 2.05.2013 on “Renewable Energy Sources”, article 15, small HPPs are the ones under 15 MW.

 

Main findings


1. The capacity and possible potential of small HPPs development is not based in any research analysis document. There is no any official public document, which could tell the necessity and limitation of HPP development. Hence, there is a lack of clear vision, policy and national strategy regarding this sector.
2. The economic contribution of this sector, against its negative effects is almost irrelevant. The contribution of hydro energy sector due to the licensing of 501 small, medium and large HPPs is supposed to be only 2% of GDP, 2 whereas the total contribution of tourism in the national GDP is supposed to be 13.9% in 2013.3
3. The hydropower development does not take into consideration, in any case the cumulative factors of investment and effects of water accumulation for energy use in the lower part of the river until the estuary segments.
4. The planning and construction of HPPs results to be a process of low or complete lack of concerned public consultation, which has generated conflictual cases since at the start of their constructions.

 

 

 For more information the complete study:http://issuu.com/milieukontakt/docs/alternativa_mjedisore_e_hece_te_veg/1

 

 

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