Monday, March 03, 2008

To: Mrs. Camille Nuamah, World Bank Mission in Albania


Kryesia, Tiranë

Nr. Prot. .... /.......

To: Mrs. Camille Nuamah, World Bank Mission in Albania

From: Riviera” Association

Date: February 24, 2008

Subject: Public hearings for the SCDP

Honorable Mrs. Camille Nuamah,

The Riviera Association would like to thank you for the meeting held with us on February 05th, 2008. We appreciate your open and constructive talking with us. It’s our hope that you, as representative of one of most important donor organization operation in Albania, had a better understanding of the real situation of the ownership as result of that meeting.

Representatives of “Riviera” association took active part, with other Himariote organizations, in the two last public hearings organized by the World Bank funded program, the Southern Coastal Development Plan (SCDP). The outcome of these meetings is the reason for writing this letter.

First, we congratulate the World Bank and all the organizers of the public hearings, including our Government, for this democratic and transparent step. This gave to all participants the chances for an open and constructive exchange of opinions. If there is a single recommendation everybody agrees to, is the organization of such meetings.

In both public hearing, representatives of interested parties from the Ionian coast expressed their positive attitude about the potential development for the Ionian coast as result of the implementation of the SCDP. In several of their discussions, they congratulated the efforts of the World Bank funded project for most of the components designed to promote the development of the area. Looking from that constructive perspective, the “Himariote Community”, a Himariote NGO, invited the SCDP to present their interventions in their conference, planned for May 2008, in which various aspects of economic development for Himara region will be discussed.

The issue that was the most contested in both meeting by all speakers that took the floor, was the ownership issue. Himara inhabitants, in both meetings, expressed their firm position that without resolving the ownership issue and the registration of their titles on the Immovable Property Registration System, any efforts to impose development plans, will be detrimental to their interests. They mentioned the other three unsuccessful plans (including PAP/RAC of SCDP) for the developments of the area; the inquiry by the Inspection Panel of the World Bank for the Iali destruction case; and the unsuccessful plans on Kakome Bay in Nivica, Dhrale in Palasa as examples of the worst experience from various governments for imposing such plans without resolving property claims.

Despite various attempts from the Government officials to impose their position, the clearly expressed position by the majority of participants of the Ionian coast was without solving the ownership issue in the Ionian Riviera, that there will be not any successful implementation of development plans.

Our recommendation to both WB and GoA representatives is to solve first the property issue and then proceed with local/regional plans. The way we envision to solve it is by empowering local people and building consensus on the issue. We, as representatives of “Riviera Association”, are committed to contribute to this end.

Sincerely Yours

For the “Riviera” Association

The Chairman, Niko Nesturi

No comments: