Environmental and legal organizations win the first legal battle, gaining legitimacy to legally challenge the Council of Ministers’ Decisions that reduced areas of value from Protected Areas

Tirana, 20/09/202. A rightful step towards protecting our environment and our heritage of natural resources, the Administrative Court of Appeals has accepted to legitimize 11 civil society organizations, known for their pro-environmental activities, to challenge the decisions that have reduced areas and lowered the status of some of our country’s Protected Areas.

Two of the Decisions that have been legally challenged, DCM no. 59, dated 26.01.2022, “On the Approval of the Change of Status and Area of Natural Ecosystems of the National Park (Category II) of the Environmental Protected Areas” and DCM no. 60, dated 26.1.2022, “On the Declaration of Natural Ecosystems, Natural Reserves of the Managed/Natural Park (Category IV), and the Approval of the Change of Status of Existing Areas of Protected Areas belonging to this Category”, have raised significant concerns for environmental CSOs, and the general public, regarding the long-term consequences for Protected Areas. By recognizing the legitimacy of the 11 organizations, the court acknowledges the importance of the voice of civil society in national environmental issues.

During the court session (c) AOS

The legal center Res Publica, in collaboration with the mentioned civil society organizations, invites the public and any other interested party to support and actively participate in this strategic litigation. Aiming for the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and good governance, and by reviewing these decisions in the light of the existing environmental legal framework and international conventions, we strive to protect the inalienable rights to preserve and enjoy our natural riches for present and future generations.

The 11 civil society organizations that are parties to the lawsuit and authorized to pursue these matters are:

  1. AOS ALB
  3. PPNEA
  4. EDEN
  6. REC
  8. ACEG
  9. KUJRI