The Albanian Ministry of Tourism and Environment has started to draft a plan to declare Porto Palermo-Llamani Bay on the Albanian Riviera as a Natural Park.
Natural Park status would mean it enjoys the second-highest level of protection available, second to National Park. While it does prevent some forms of exploitation, it does not completely rule out developments and certain projects.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Environment has started work on drafting a plan for the proclamation of the natural marine ecosystem of the Porto-Palermo-Llamani Bay Natural Park in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Defense, local government bodies, relevant scientific research institutes, and civil society,” the ministry said.
The plan will include steps to protect the natural marine and coastal ecosystem and invited members of the public to contribute with remarks and suggestions.
In 2015, a management plan was put forward for the area which covered a 10 year period and was earmarked to cost over EUR 610,000. The plan was never realised and it is likely the cost would have increased significantly over the last seven years.
The Bay of Porto Palermo includes a small peninsula which includes the well-preserved Castle of Porto Palermo which was built by Ali Pasha of Ioannina. The region was previously in a restricted military zone while under communist rule but today the area is accessible and the castle can be visited for a small fee.