Agricultural University of Tirana, Kamлz-Tirana, Albania
GRAZHDANI, D., 2014. An approach for assessing ecosystem services with application in a protected area case study: AL-Prespa. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., Supplement 1: 118–124
Nature provides us with the very essentials of life. It gives us clean air and water; enables us to produce and gather food, fuel and raw materials from the land and sea; regulates our climate; stems fl ood waters and it fi lters pollution. It also gives us personal benefi ts from enjoying it that increases our health and happiness. Collectively, these benefi ts are known as ecosystem services. Wetlands provide people with a wide range of benefi ts. Prespa Park is a good case study, as it is a wetland area of high biodiversity and long human history. It is situated in the Balkan Peninsula and is shared among the three neighboring countries Albania, Macedonia and Greece. A study to obtain information concerning ecosystem services issues in the Albanian part of Prespa Park (AL-Prespa) basin, south-eastern Albania, was conducted from 2008-2010. The main aim of the study was providing an assessment of services coming from a range of AL-Prespa ecosystems, and benefi ts of the services under different management scenarios. The problem of how to address and solve the complex issues of assessing ecosystem services is addressed, in this study, using a deliberative process based on citizens’ juries aided by multi-criteria evaluation method of analysis. The main elements of the approach presented in this paper were: an inventory process to focus on sets of ecosystem services in AL-Prespa, and the development of specifi c management practices for management of ecosystems services in AL-Prespa. The next step in the process used a scenario analysis approach to look at the highly ranked issues and services in more detail. This approach presents an important tool in an analysis of ecosystem services and is essential for identifying and prioritizing the relative importance of the services and goods produced by ecosystems in a protected area.