Fighting for vultures in the Balkans

25.06.2018
© VCF

The LIFE project “Egyptian vulture New LIFE” took part in two national seminars in Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, organized by the Balkan Anti-poison project (BAPP), coordinated by VCF and dedicated to the greatest threat to vultures not only in the Balkans, but all over the world - the poison.

The first national workshop took place in Tirana on the 15th of May, organized by the Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) – also local partner of the “Egyptian vulture New LIFE” project. The main goal of this meeting was to gather basic knowledge of issues related to vulture and wildlife poisoning in general, and more importantly to ensure governmental engagement and support in tackling this threat through establishment of a National Anti-poison Working Group (NAWG). Some of the most important stakeholders from Albania attended the meeting, including representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, National Inspectorate of Environment and Forestry, Faculty of Science "University of Tirana", Regional Administrate of Protected Areas-Gjirokastra, Regional Administrate of Protected Areas-Berati, Regional Administrate of Protected Areas-Vlora, Food Safety and Veterinary Institute and representative from the hunting sector. The Albanian nature conservation NGOs of were also there: Albanian Ornithological Society (AOS) and Protection and Preservation of Nature Environment in Albania (PPNEA), both organizations partners within the Balkan Anti-poisoning Project (BAPP), coordinated by VCF and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

 

After constructive debates, and through thorough gap analysis, several important conclusions were made, which will serve as a solid foundation for future work related to combat the use of poison in Albania. Unclear and somewhat inadequate national legislation, absence of proper protocols, as well as very low awareness of general public and relevant institutions regarding wildlife poisoning are probably the first obstacles that we need to tackle in order to prepare a national road-map or strategy to fight poisoning in Albania. The almost complete lack of data on poisoning incidents, as well as very low capacities for toxicological analysis have also been recognized as priority issues.

A significant breakthrough has been made in establishing cooperation with relevant government institutions in Macedonia towards combating wildlife poisoning. A National Anti-Poisoning Meeting took place at the 17th of May in Skopje, which was attended by all relevant national stakeholders, including representatives from the ministry of environment, environmental inspection agency, ministry of interior affairs, forensic service agency, universities, veterinary inspection agency, ministry of agriculture and the veterinary institute. The meeting was organized by the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), also local partner of the “Egyptian vulture New LIFE” project..

 

The meeting aimed at establishing a National Anti-poison Working Group, which will actively work on the preparation of a national road-map against wildlife poisoning. Through intensive and detailed debates, existing gaps in the investigation of poisoning incidents, toxicological analysis and legal proceedings were identified, with concrete recommendations made.

 

During the two meetings in Skopje and Tirana the BSPB presented the project “Egyptian Vulture new LIFE”, with a focus on the activities to be implemented in Macedonia and Albania.

 

One of the objectives of the Balkan Anti-poison project (BAPP), an integral part of the Mediterranean Anti-poison project funded by the Mava Foundation and coordinated by VCF, is to develop national anti-poison road maps in  5 countries (Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina & Croatia).

© VCF
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