Environmental Centre for Administration and Technology in Tirana



Albania is a Mediterranean country in the South-Eastern Europe on the North borders with Montenegro and North-East with Kosovo, on the East with Macedonia, in the South and South-East with Greece. It covers a surface of 28.748 km2. Coastline is 427 km and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Albania’s coastline is one of its greatest assets.

Albania is a relatively small country, although it is very rich in biological and landscape diversity. This is due to its geographical position, geological factors, hydrology, climate, and soil conditions.
The Albanian relief is mostly hilly and mountainous rising to 2700 m. It is well known for its rich and complex hydrographic network composed of rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, and seas. The main rivers are the Drini, Buna, Mati, Shkumbini, Semani, Vjosa, Erzeni, Ishmi, Bistrica, and Pavllo, and their courses have an important effect on the country's coastal biodiversity. The natural lakes of different types and dimensions, and a considerable number of artificial lakes, are located inside the country.
Among the more important ones are the transboundary lakes of Shkodra, Ohrid, and Prespa, the most important and largest ones in the Balkans with European and international significance.

In the coastal area of Albania there are wetlands such as Karavasta, Narta, Patoku, Viluni, Kune-Vaini, Orikumi characterized by high biodiversity. The lagoons are separated from the sea by rather narrow sandy spits, which continuously change in size and shape. They are generally characterized by brackish waters, being connected with sea through one or more channels. Generally, wetlands display a large number of biotopes with enormous diversity of aquatic flora and fauna. More over they are important especially for wintering of migratory birds. Wetlands areas have a very substantial economic potential for tourism.
Along the whole coastline, in the lowland area from Shkodra to Vlora, there are numerous beaches with healthy Mediterranean climate.

The central Mountain Region lies in the Eastern and South-Eastern part of the territory. Here the relief is more complicated and horst - grabber type prevails. It is characterized by a rich Mediterranean and continental vegetation.
The Southern Mountain Region consists of mountain ranges, slopes and separated mountains which are interwoven with gorges, hilly and pre-mount systems and valleys providing it the features of a grand mountainous region. This region is permeated by numerous streams. The coastal area of this region, for the magnificent beauty it represents, has been named Albanian Riviera.

The Northern Mountain Region has mainly an Alpine relief characterized by a cold climate, alpine karst hydrograph and with partially endemic, but rich vegetation. The Alps of Albania resemble a big cupola. They have pyramid - shaped peaks (Jezerca 2694 m) and deep valleys, numerous rivers and glacial lakes which impart a magnificent beauty to the region. The abundant snow falls during winter create very favorable natural terrain for the development of white tourism, for those who love skiing and other winter sports.


ECAT Tirana was established in October 1995 by the logistic and financial support of the European Commission General Directorate for the Environment, the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection of the German Land of Thueringen, the Albanian Ministry of Health and Environment.
ECAT Tirana has implemented a significant numbers of projects focused on the Environmental Management, Nature Protection, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, Water administration, Waste management, soil and Recourse Efficient and Cleaner Production, financed by EC (Phare, LIFE, ECHO, CARDS, SYNERGY, INTERREG III CADSES), World Bank, UNEP, UNICEF, USAID, WHO, SIDA, German Government, UNIDO, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
Also, it is to be highlighted that ECAT Tirana has excellent networking and outreach skills, with the ability to speak convincingly with local central and/or regional authorities, academia, civil society organizations, community-based groups, and media.
ECAT Tirana is to be seen as an Albanian reliable partner along with its associated experts in the project related fields putting forward the best local relevant experience.
This is also based on ECAT Tirana prominent role in the country, good spirit of co-operation and working links with related Albanian local and central, national and international, governmental and non-governmental institutions and bodies.
ECAT Tirana has implemented about thirty environmental projects, identified as national priorities on the government environmental programme.
Also, ECAT Tirana has organized about the same number (thirty five) of international, national and local workshops, seminars, trainings and study tours within the country and abroad, with the participation of the senior level administrators and experts or the main officials from the Central and Local government, regional services, different ministries, research and educational institutes, NGOs as well as representatives of Mediterranean organizations.
ECAT Tirana has an established track record of developing evidence-based policies that benefit Albania’s rapidly advancing economy.