Environmental Education

Watershed Environmental Education in Albania

In the last decades, various natural phenomena such as desertification, flooding, habitat destruction, species extinction, pollution, misuse of natural resources issues have become very concerning. Today environmental issues are a local and global challenge for many institutions. Thus, more efforts should be undertaken to increase environmental consciousness through education and awareness activities with children in schools.

In this regard, EcoAlbania has developed contemporary curricula over the years and it has successfully implemented the Environmental education activities with school children in particularly remote regions in Albania

The FiKiBio is one of the key instruments to conduct environmental education activities. It consists of a combined method of theoretical and practical terms. The theoretical part is compressed in a guidebook developed by EcoAlbania while the practical aspects are supported by a mobile laboratory with, well-equipped with the necessary instruments for the conduction of the experiments.

The overall objective is to enhance environmental awareness through education of youngsters in Albania.

The specific objectives will be:

  • to conduct environmental education program in a systemic way by covering all the 12 districts of the country (36 schools)
  • to conduct trainings with primary-secondary school teachers on implementing FiKiBio modules and environmental education

Expected results from this project would be:

Children will be more aware of the environmental issues and good practices for nature protection.

o Initiatives of environmental clean-up and reforestation will be practiced by primary-secondary school children.

o New generation will gain additional knowledge on nature protection, that will impact their attitude towards environment in the future;

o Albanian school teachers will be more aware about environmental issues and how to use interactive teaching practices in environmental education.

Planned project execution period: 1 February 2023 – 31 June 2024

Financed by: US Forest Services International Programs


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Save the Wetlands event held in Narta Lagoon with children from Vlorë

Today, on the World Wetlands Day, the Save the Wetlands event took place in the Narta lagoon. Forty students from the city of Vlora travelled just north to the Vjosë-Nartë Protected Area to participate in a morning of birdwatching and other educational activities led by EcoAlbania’s project team in cooperation with Protected Areas Administration of Vlorë.

Standing on the shore of the lagoon in the dazzling winter sunlight, biologist Betilda Ahmeti introduced the children to the many avian species that call Narta home during the winter, including egrets, flamingos, the Dalmatian pelican and other waterbirds. Passing round binoculars and enjoying their first chance to use professional birdwatching telescopes, the 6th– 10th grade children from “Reald School Vlorë were thrilled by the great variety of wildlife living just a few kilometres from their home city. While many of the children had visited Zvërneci monastery on the south side of the lagoon, closer to the Vlora metropolitan area, few had ever had a chance to get this close to the birds feeding in the shallow waters of the lagoon and the saline pools to the north of the city, and their enthusiasm was clear.

In a question-and-answer session coordinated by EcoAlbania colleague Marjana Çereku, the children and their teachers expressed their own views on the current situation of the area, which faces an uncertain future due to plans for the construction of an airport within the zone. Although there have been many aesthetic improvements to the roads and walkways of Vlora in recent times, the Save the Wetlands event also aimed to demonstrate the value of having such a beautiful natural site within easy access of the city, both for its eco-tourism potential and as a vital habitat for its non-human inhabitants.

After a short break, the event relocated to another area of the wetlands for a final round of activities, and finally the class returned to school with pleasant memories and hopefully the ability to impress their friends and families with their new knowledge of the magnificent local birdlife.


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Environmental education activities along the Vjosa valley

As part of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” project, EcoAlbania has visited six elementary and secondary schools in the Vjosa valley to educate students from the ages of 10 to 18 about environmental issues. Besjana Guri and Robert Shahini gave presentations in the classroom about the importance of ecosystem health, after that they carried out activities and experiments to draw attention to topics such as pollution and nature conservation. Since late December they have been to Selenicë, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Përmet, Këlcyrë and Qesarat.

The presentations in the classroom dealt with six main topics: air, water, soil, forests, waste management and energy efficiency. In class the students were encouraged to share their previous knowledge on these issues. After that they were taught about these subjects in order to develop environmental awareness already from a young age. In addition, the students carried out various outdoor activities. On one such occasion they were divided into groups and were told to collect objects from nature, such as leaves, rocks or flowers, and make a pizza with it. Then they collected all the trash they could find and added it as a topping. After they were done, the students were asked which pizza they liked better; the answer was obvious – the pizza without any trash. In this way, the negative impact of littering on the beauty of nature became apparent to everyone. They also were part of other experiments like: air quality observation, soil and gravel properties, role-playing, etc. All the experiments were selected carefully by the team, from the FiKiBio modules book that was prepared by EcoAlbania in 2018.

Through this program, the students acquired knowledge about the most important environmental issues in Albania and the problems that are caused by it. Furthermore, they learned about ways to save the environment by reducing their environmental impact and that change begins with the actions of an individual. With the help of concrete examples they were given advice on what to do in their everyday life and were encouraged to inform others about it as well. The hopeful outcome is an increase in environmental awareness of the younger generation in the visited communities.

The following schools were chosen for this project:

  • “Jonuz Gora” Elementary School Selenicë, visited on the 17th of December 2019
  • “7 Marsi” Elementary School Tepelenë, visited on the 19th of December 2019
  • “Nimete Progonati Bënja” Elementary School Memaliaj, visited on the 16th of January 2020
  • “Meleq Gosnishti” Elementary School Përmet, visited on the 23th of January 2020
  • “Kamber Bënja” Elementary School Këlcyrë, visited on the 24th of January 2020
  • United School “Ormen Selami” Qesarat, visited on the 25th of February 2020

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How do you imagine your future city? – Vocational high school students’ ideas on “Smart Cities”

Eris Ibra from "Gj.Canco" school explaining the elements of the "Smart City" © V.Kabili

Eris Ibra from “Gj.Canco” school explaining the elements of the “Smart City” © V.Kabili

Tirana, May 28th, 2018. Vocational high school students presented today to Tirana’s citizens their ideas on cities of the future. Through the exhibition of two “Smart city” models, students from the Technical-Electrical school “Gjergj Canco” in Tirana, and “26 Marsi” vocational high school in Kavaja, showed their vision for the development of cities bringing environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Student’s focus was on using the most innovative “Smart city” techniques in their models. “Gjergj Canco” pupils’ city contained a street lighting network that operates with motion and dusk to dawn sensors. Natural lighting and pedestrian crossings determined the lighting of lanterns, as well as the percentage of their lighting. The students went even further, presenting the use of a Wi-Fi network in cases of accidents. If an accident is to occur in the city, the car GPS system would send a signal of the location where there is need for intervention to the city traffic control center.

Pupils explaininig the elements of the "Smart City-t" to the citizens © V.Kabili

Pupils explaininig the elements of the “Smart City-t” to the citizens © V.Kabili

The Kavaja “26 Marsi” school pupils too presented their idea regarding the smart city. The electricity supply to the whole city will be carried out through solar panels installed on the buildings’ roofs. The need for transportation will be guaranteed with electric vehicles that have zero emission to the environment.

Tirana’s citizens joined this exhibition by expressing interest in models developed by the students. Best practices to meet the need for electricity, transportation, and to make their city energy efficient were at the forefront of conversations between students and citizens. Also, interest shown by people of different ages on topics of improving the exciting infrastructure and cities’ sustainable development was high.

upils explaininig the elements of the "Smart City-t" to the citizens © V.Kabili

upils explaininig the elements of the “Smart City-t” to the citizens © V.Kabili

This exhibition was a demonstration of young professionals’ ideas in relation to the cities where they live and was preceded by a series of lessons on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, green professions and entrepreneurship. Implementing their future professions with a friendly approach to the environment can create the basics for developing these models in our cities.

The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, supports the programme SEEDLING implemented by REC Albania.

This project is implemented by EcoAlbania and is financially supported by REC Albania in the frame of the SEEDLING programme.

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