Nexus Assessment in Albania

Albania’s economy is deeply tied to water and land resources. The country relies almost entirely on hydropower for electricity generation. At the same time, agriculture is both a key employer and an important social buffer for the Albanian economy. Biomass in the form of wood is the most utilized energy source for heating, but it is mostly used in an unsustainable and inefficient way. Wood logging, often unauthorized, led to a widespread problem of forest degradation, which led the Government to impose a 10-years moratorium on logging in 2016 (with exceptions for fire wood for local populations). When it comes to environmental protection, Albania is advancing with the development of appropriate legislation, in line with transposing the EU Acquis. In the water services sector, utilities face significant infrastructural and financial challenges. Notably, almost 2/3 of drinking water consumed is non-revenue. The issue of financial sustainability of utilities makes it difficult to invest in a much-needed infrastructural modernization and expanding wastewater treatment.

Given Albania’s significant water resources and the critical role that water has in the country’s food and energy security, water is a reasonable entry point for applying a Nexus approach. The National Nexus Assessment being prepared under the SEE Nexus Project will identify trade-offs and synergies across the Nexus sectors, including in relation to gaps in terms of institutional settings, policy integration and data management, aiming to assist towards a higher degree of inter-sectoral coherence in the implementation of the National Sectoral Programme on Water, while identifying concrete priority opportunities for joint, coordinated action that generate cross-sectoral benefits.

The development of the Assessment will be informed also through a participatory process. In that regard, a Nexus Consultation Meeting, gathering a broad range of stakeholders from the Nexus-related fields, is held in December 2020, aiming to facilitate discussion and sharing of sectoral perspectives and up-to-date policy-related information, as well as perspectives regarding inter-sectoral benefits or trade-offs, and any barriers, conflicts or gaps for addressing them.

Further to the development of the Nexus Assessment, the Project’s activities in Albania include:

  • The drafting of a Nexus Roadmap, outlining key steps and actions from a Nexus perspective to enhance cohesion and synergy in national policy implementation and decision making in natural resources management.
  • The preparation of Project document(s) for at least one priority intervention/investment of cross-sectoral relevance, to be identified through the Nexus Assessment and the Dialogue process.

For more information on related activities, see news items below