Albania Geography

Animals and Plants

What is growing in Albania?

The vegetation of Albania differs depending on the altitude of the landscape. There are more than 3,220 species of plants in Albania alone. In the south and in the coastal areas you can find palm, lemon, olive and orange trees. Trees such as firs, beeches, oaks and pines grow in slightly higher areas and hilly landscapes. More than a third of Albania consists of such forests. However, the higher you go, the lower and less the vegetation becomes. At altitudes above 2000 meters, the forest landscape gradually changes into a landscape on which primarily shrubs and grass grow.

Which animals live in Albania?

The steep mountain landscapes and deep forests of Albania are uninhabited by humans and thus also industrially undeveloped. This is an advantage for animals and plants, because their natural habitat is preserved. Wolves, foxes and lynxes still live in the mountains. There are even still brown bears, even if the number of bears in Albania continues to decline.

Wild boars, goats and sheep also live in populated areas and are sometimes still the basis of life, especially in villages. The sea and the coast are also home to many animals. There are turtles and a large number of fish species.

The diversity of birds in Albania is particularly unique. The country has more than 350 native bird species. This includes the Albanian national animal, the golden eagle, but also falcons and kites. In addition, the country offers a resting place for passing migratory birds, which mostly settle in the coastal areas.

Threat to biodiversity

Due to its different altitudes and vegetation zones from the beach and coast to high mountains, the flora and fauna of Albania are rich in species and diverse, but this diversity is increasingly threatened.

Especially poor people with no access to garbage disposal often have no other option than to burn their garbage on the street. The combustion process produces toxic fumes, which is very bad for people and the environment. Some people simply dump the garbage in or by rivers, which pollutes the water. For humans as well as for animals and plants this means the destruction of a healthy habitat.

Challenge to the destruction of the environment

To put an end to species extinction in Albania, the government introduced a two-year hunting ban in 2014. Particularly rare animals such as bears or wolves should be protected in this way. Even if not everyone obeyed the ban, progress was made.

In February 2016, cutting down the trees was banned for the next ten years. The forests in Albania are an important habitat for various species and outside ensure that the climate remains balanced despite increasing air pollution.

Another important step is the establishment of national parks. There are very many of them in Albania, a country located in Europe detailed by a2zgov. They cover almost seven percent of the entire national territory. Unfortunately, the national parks are not adequately protected and are regularly visited by too many tourists at once. The result is again a lot of garbage and pollution.

Albania Animals

Economy

How is the Albanian economy doing?

The economy of Albania has only been market- oriented since 1998. Before that, the economy in the country, which was based on that of the Soviet Union, was a socialist planned economy. Albania’s economy is currently growing steadily. Nevertheless, Albania continues to be one of the poorest countries in Europe. Seven out of 100 people live in so-called absolute poverty. A major problem is the high unemployment in the country, which affects around 12 out of 100 people (as of 2020).

Important economic sectors

The Albanian economy earns most from trade and services. This means that this area has the largest share of gross domestic product (GDP). The textile and shoe industry plays a particularly important role here, but also increasingly tourism. Another important service area is telecommunications.

Mining and energy production also make money in Albania. Many foreign companies manufacture their products, such as shoes, in Albania. However, the people there earn a lot less money than the workers in Germany, for example. We sell the shoes made in this way for little money. And why are these shoes so cheap? What do you think?

Agriculture

Many people in Albania find work in agriculture, namely about 37 out of 100. However, the country earns relatively little money from this sector of the economy. Just 20 percent of Albania’s total income is earned from agriculture. This is mainly due to the fact that people hardly have modern machines to make agriculture more productive and profitable. In the past ten years, agricultural income has halved. This shows that the agricultural sector is becoming increasingly less important.

City and country: great contrasts in Albania

Especially in the cities of Albania, the economy has grown in recent years and many people have become more prosperous. They made more money, they could afford housing, and they did better.

In many remote villages, however, you neither notice nor notice anything. This is mainly due to the poorly developed infrastructure in Albania. The people in the villages also want to participate in the economic growth and that is why many have decided to move to the cities or abroad. More than half of the population now lives in cities.

Corruption in Albania

Corruption is a major problem for the economy, but also for the country’s social climate. It often happens that rich companies or investors bribe the Albanian government with money and the politicians prefer these companies over others and give them advantages. This does not happen in the interests of general prosperity, but mostly only the richer company bosses and certain politicians who earn money from it.

Albanian politician convicted of corruption

For example, former Interior Minister Samir Tahiri was sentenced to probation in September 2019 for abusing his office to protect a drug trafficking ring.

High level of corruption in Albania

The proportion of corruption in Albania is comparable to that in Asian countries such as Nepal or Vietnam. In Europe, Albania is probably the country with a great deal, if not most, of corruption.

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