Lorela Lazaj is an MIP fellow, currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
She was born and raised in the southern part of Albania, in a small coastal city called Vlora, where the nature landscapes, it’s wilderness and diversity are hard not to be appreciated. Always attracted by the nature, she followed her studies on "Environmental Biology" for five years at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in the capital city and right after she worked at a local organization committed on environmental education and sustainable economic development called “Auleda, Local Economic Development Agency”.
One year later, in April 2014, she starts working at the “State Inspectorate of Environment, Forestry and Water”, a public institution created then for the first time aiming to address the problematic of law enforcement.
In 2015 she was nominated to be part of the new team of the Agency of Protected Areas in Albania as the director of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas Vlore. This institution was established for the first time in Albania in February 2015 and it will represent a new era on the management of the protected areas in Albania. In addition, together with her team, they evaluate new areas in Vlora region that should be protected, they maintain Fauna and Flora inventory, work towards the conservation of natural habitats, organize and promote sustainable activities within Protected Areas and develop an education program regarding nature protection.
She has participated in intensive capacity building programs on Sustainable management of Protected Areas in USA organized by Center for Protected Area Management (CPAM) at Colorado State University (CSU), together with the U.S. Forest Service.
In 2015 she has been awarded a full scholarship for a Master of Science in Geoinformation in Environmental Management, at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania where she successfully completed the first year of the master of about 60 credits.
Together with her colleagues are promoting Protected Areas as fundamental systems for nature and biodiversity conservation, but at the same time, having in mind their touristic potential and the possibilities for sustainable and eco-tourism development, they are trying to promote specific and very well-defined activities that can be implemented in these areas.