Human impact on the coastal environment
of Durrësi bay

Merita Dollma

Geographic Studies Centre, Academy of Sciences, (AL)

Durrësi bay has been inhabited since the ancient times, due to its favorable geographical position, natural resources (the sea, the plains along the rivers of Erzen and Ishmi, the surrounding hills from the north to the east, the mild Mediterranean climate etc.). Ever since this bay has remained the main Albanian harbor gate which is accessible through the Italian harbors and by automobile and train from Tirana and other cities from the north and south of Albania.
The population of this zone is increased continuously throughout the centuries, but the highest increase of the population has happened after 1990 due to the migration from the rural mountainous zones, in the scope of the free movement. In these conditions the natural environment of the coastal area is changing rapidly into artificial environment.
Durresi bay is rich in biodiversity and sandy beaches which make this zone one the priority zones in Albania for tourism development.Today, the coastal area of Durresi represents a space of complex phenomena, influenced by a combination of social, economical and environmental factors. The coastal natural environment is facing the consequences of the human impact on the environment of the past and present time. Due to the fast urbanization of the coastal area, the natural Mediterranean bush forest and artificial pine forest is being lodged, the dunes are being disappeared, the sand is being taken for construction and the natural landscape in general is changing rapidly.
Human impact on the coastal environment from 1945-2005; land use change; damage of the sandy beaches and coastal forests; the current state of the coastal environment of Durresi bay; the Albanian legislation concerning the coastal environmental protection; the institutions responsible for the management and development of this area; national policies and strategies for the future development of this coastal zone, will be the core of this poster.