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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.

National Conference On Land Degradation And Protection In Albania

Tirana, 22 - 23 April, 2003

On 22-23April, 2003 the Soil Research Institute, the Forest and Pasture Research Institute and the Soil Science Association of Albania organized, under the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Environment, the National Conference Land Degradation and Protection in Albania. The 120 participants in this Conference came from various research institutes, Agricultural University of Tirana, Academy of Sciences, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Territory Planning and Tourism, from Kosovo, IAM Bari – Italy, the Polytechnic University of Zurich – Switzerland and other Non-governmental organizations and foreign projects that operate in Albania, and discussed on the status of degradation and the alternatives of land protection in Albania.

In the opening speech Prof. Sherif Lushaj, Director of Soil Research Institute and at the same time President of Albanian Soil Science Association, presented the need for organization of this event in the conditions when many problems exist related to land degradation such as physical degradation, chemical degradation, soil and water erosion, forest cutting, gravel mining activity in the river channels, urbanization without criteria, over-grazing, etc.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Agron Duka, greeted the Conference and presented the priorities of the Albanian Government for land and territory protection from degradation. In addition, the Minister of Environment, Prof. Lufter Xhuveli, in his speech emphasized the need for amelioration of legislation and of the protection plan. The Deputy-Minister of Agriculture and Food, Prof. Vjollca Ibro, presented the need for a comprehensive evaluation of land resources. The Rector of Agricultural University of Tirana, Prof. Velesin Pesuli, emphasized the importance of coordination between different institutions for resolution of complex land related issues.

Thirty presentations were made in the Conference on physical degradation, chemical degradation, irrigation, watershed management, erosion, effects of deforestation, impact of forest cover on land protection, rehabilitation of vegetation, implementation of desertification convention, monitoring of soil fertility and pollution, forest cover and land degradation, etc.

In the two main presentations, respectively Land Degradation problems, alternatives for protection and control made by Prof. Dr. Sherif Lushaj, and Sustainable Management of forest-pasture eco-systems and Land Protection from degradation made by Dr. Hajri Haska, Director of Forest and Pasture Institute, were made evident the major degradation problems, forests and pastures and the measures for protection of land eco-systems.

At the end of Day One of the Conference was discussed the draft strategy for land protection plan. In Day Two was organized a field trip along the Shkumbini River Valley, in which the participants discussed the evident problems in different areas, the negative effects of degradation, the alternatives for protection and best local practices for the sustainable management of land. The proceedings of this Conference were broadcasted by 7 TV stations, both public and private ones.

Prof. Dr. Sherif Lushaj

Director of Soil Research Institute
President of Albanian Soil Science Association