Beaches may not be the first thing that comes to mind when picturing Albania, but nonetheless the country boasts some of the last stretches of pristine Adriatic coastline: kilometres of shore without a tourist resort or tanning beachgoer in sight. Just occasional fishermen, a cow or two, and a few Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius running along the shore.
Some sections of Albanian coast are home to a remarkable ensemble of biodiversity that has lived in harmony with people for many centuries. But whilst rich in nature, Albania is not so rich economically. As the country develops and aspires for EU membership, can its pristine coasts be protected from the irreversible damage seen in neighbouring Balkan nations?