Using Land Cover to Calculate some Nature Indicators of the Republic of Albania

ZYDI TEQJA 1*; ENKELEJD LEKAJ 1; NIKOLLAQ BARDHI 2

1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

2 Department of Crop Production, Agricultural University of Tirana,. Tirana, Albania

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Abstract

The idea that contact with nature can promote health and well-being is well accepted worldwide and based on this idea there are many initiatives that try to use the therapeutic powers of nature. The health status of an individual or group can be measured by means of health indicators. Measures of the presence, amount or quality of green space or other land cover categories in a certain area are commonly referred to as green space or nature indicators. Just like health indicators, nature indicators can be assessed in an objective or subjective manner. The aim of this paper is to explore the changes of land cover in Albania during last decade and to calculate nature indicators, valuable to study the relationship between nature and public health. This research showed that the territory of the Republic of Albania is characterized by high variability of land cover. This variability is a precondition of identifying significant relationships between nature indicators and health indicators. Though 51 land cover indicators are studied, just artificial surfaces, agricultural areas and forestry and semi natural areas for 61 municipalities are analyzed in this paper. These indicators will be used as independent variables to identify any relationship between nature and public health indicators. The results can be used also by local and national governmental agencies in policy making.

Keywords: nature indicators; land cover; maps.

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