NES Albania: Good Practices from a Multi-Stakeholder Platform
NES Albania is supported by CSOs, MPs, academic institutions, the World Bank and SIDA. The Government considers it a credible and trustworthy point of reference to consult on issues of land and forest governance. How did NES Albania get there? First, the identification of common challenges in land and forest management and use by a number of stakeholders laid strong foundations for the NES in 2013, when a scoping paper—later on the basis of the NES Strategy—was produced.
Secondly, the NES has created a linkage between the grassroots and the policy-making level. Advocacy is strongly evidence-based. Claims are not only reinforced by the fact that inputs are gathered directly from rural and forest communities (meetings are often held with local level administrators, forest associations and regional forestry federations), but also supported by research institutions and academia. Field visits are arranged for MPs to see with their eyes the living conditions and needs of forest communities. In public hearings and informal meetings with government officials, NES representatives are listened
to and their statements and requests are considered wellgrounded and influential. The platform is currently guided by a Coordination and Consultative Committee (CCC) bringing all NES stakeholders together in regular meetings. Its legitimacy is demonstrated by the fact that at present the CCC also includes the MPs who are part of the working group currently drafting the new forestry law in the parliament.
Finally, the NES has gained trust across the board by using the expertise it could mobilise for capacity building in local government units and awareness raising on women’s land rights participation in forest users’ associations.