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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

Earth Day Celebration In Albania

On April 22, 2005 The Albanian soil Science Association, soil science Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, organized a massive activity dedicated to the Earth Day with participation of scientist i soil science Institute, member of Albanian soil science Association, representatives from various Ministries and international organizations, Agriculture university, local government, research institutes, etc.

In the activity participated Minister of Agriculture and food Mr. Agron Duka, chairman of Albanian science Academy Prof. Ylli Popa, Deputy Minister of Environment Mrs. Etleva Canaj, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mrs. Vjollca Ibro, members of Albanian parliament etc.

The President of Albanian soil science Association and at the same time Director of soil science Institute Prof. Dr. Sherif Lushaj, evoked the history of this day and the responsibilities deriving in the current conditions that Albania has less land.

The overall country’s territory of 2874800 ha, includes 699500 ha (24,4 ), 1062770 ha (36.9 %), 414517 ha pastures and meandrous (14.4 %) and 699013 ha (24.3) for other uses. The agricultural land surface per person is about 0.21 ha. Albania is a mountainous country and only 16 % of the territory is located at elevations of less than 100 m above the sea level. The average elevation (altitude) level in Albania is about 708m, or with elevation above the sea level ranging from 0-2750 m. the high mountain of Albania is with elevation above the sea level ranging from 0-2750 m. The high mountain of Albania is with elevation 2751 m. Annual rainfall level is 1000-2000 mm./year. Agriculture land according to the relief is divided as fellow: field area 43 % (slope till 5 %) and hilly and mountain 57 % (slope more than 5 %).

In these conditions, soil erosion and pollution are problem and has been the focus of the research conducted by various institutions. The major controlling soil erosion factors in Albania area: total rainfall that varies between 900-1800 mm/year. Lack of vegetation cover and rapid increase of bare areas especially in steeper soil. More than half of the territory has slope 25 % and greater. Average altitude is 708 m and only 16 % of the territory is located at elevations of less than 100 m above the sea level. There are seven rivers crossing the western coastal areas flowing to the Adriatic sea. Soil loss studies using watershed sediment assessment methods indicate that the river network transports i a year about 60 million tons of fie and coarse sediment, 1.2 million tons of organic materials, 170 thousand tons N, P.K. salts. The rivers often flood the lower parts affecting around 40.000 ha each year. Deforestation and overgrazing during the transitional period has further aggravated the situation. Lack of apptopriate investment for soil conservation measures has also contributed to this problem. We have some of the erosion forms taking place in Albania: Land slide, river bank erosion, coastal erosion, gully erosion. The coastal erosion has been characterized by increased sediment deposits at the river mouth and eroding beaches further away from the river mouth which has lead to changes in coastal lines. About 45000 ha agriculture land in the oil-rich areas, are found to have concentrations of NI.

Annual soil losses fluctuate from 10 – 40 ton/ha according to area. Wherefore, implementation of mass per erosion protection, flooding, deforestation etc., are principal.

In this activity were presented posters from 12 Main Ministry and institutions that deal with land problems in Albania and distributed books and brochures related to land management.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Mr. Agron Duka evidenced work of Ministry of Agriculture and Food for preparation of law about land administration and protection and addressed to the participation and requested from the government organs and research institutions to follow the priorities for land protection and land use, to intensify the scientific studies and make aware the community of these important resources. He presented the strategy of Ministry of Agriculture and Food for the land. In the end, participants accepted a program for coordination of activities on land.

Deputy Minister of Environment Etleva Canaj, introduced environment situation on environment monitoring, soil and water pollution as well as pesticides pollution. In particular, the work and the plans of this Ministry to fulfill the duty of United Nation convent were introduced.

Prof. Dr. Ylli Popa, Chairman of Albania Science Academy, presented the way of collaboration with all actors and responsible structure to land administration, land protection and environment.

Many participants (representative of society and state structure) proposed legal improvement, institutional collaboration and the media to be more active in treatment of problems related to land protection and environment.

In this activity, the National Plan on land protection presented, because is worked in last two years from Soil Science Institute, Albanian Soil Science Association and Forest Research Institute, with support of Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Environment. The plan will be approved from decision maker’s organs.

This day serve for opinion sensibility and state structure to land protection and environment.

Prof. Dr. Sherif Lushaj
President of Albania Soil Science Association
Director of Soil Science Institute