Assessing the relationship between biodiversity conservation and slow food culture in selected protected areas in Albania




Abstract. Shumka S, Berberi E, Kulici M, Muçaj S, Vladi F. 2022. Assessing the relationship between biodiversity conservation and slow food culture in selected protected areas in Albania. Biodiversitas 23: 1319-1326. Information on the knowledge, uses, and abundance of natural resources in protected areas can provide insight into conservation status and strategies in these locations and human attitudes. The slow-food concept is introduced to accommodate agriculture and food production with strong consideration on environment sustainability, biodiversity conservation and social justice. This paper investigates the slow food knowledge, perception, and contribution to nature conservation in Albania's five protected areas. The performed work is based on a field survey and structured questionnaire aiming to link the current stands within slow food, biodiversity conservation and perceptions of the tourism sector in the protected areas. Our integrated analysis found that the coverage of food biodiversity items related to slow food culture that are relevant to prescribed management plans of the protected areas was at the low level from 4-9 out of 17 considered categories. This was directly related to the low level of conservation at the mid-term assessment that varied from 0 to 62% of originally planned ones. The data also confirmed that the visitors were imposed to a situation of readiness for paying extra for the consumption of the locally based product (i.e., in line with slow food concept) within a specific protected area with their response ranging from 0 to 18%. The information can be used towards generating sustainable use and conservation plans that are appropriate for the local communities and protected areas.


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