In a historic development that holds immense significance for the future of Protected Areas (PAs) in Albania, a coalition of 51 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) – both national and international – and academic-research institutions specializing in natural sciences, have come together in a united front. This alliance represents an unwavering commitment to influence political and decision-making bodies, prioritizing environmental protection on their agendas.
This collective effort is driven by several critical objectives:
- Halting Inappropriate Decision-Making: The coalition aims to put an end to inappropriate decision-making in areas crucial for biodiversity preservation.
- Combatting Environmental Crime: Fighting against environmental crime, which poses a grave threat to Albania’s natural heritage, is a paramount goal.
- Enhancing Transparency and Stability: Increasing transparency and stability in environmental decision-making processes is essential to ensure that the interests of nature are safeguarded.
- Capacity Building: Strengthening the professional capabilities of institutions engaged in monitoring, studying, and protecting nature is a cornerstone of this initiative.
- Monitoring and Assessment: The coalition is committed to closely monitoring and assessing the status of habitats and species of national and international importance.
- Strengthening Civil Society Cooperation: Collaborating more closely with Civil Society is seen as instrumental in promoting sustainable decision-making.
The coalition stands firm in its support of fundamental principles:
- Freedom, Rule of Law, and Democracy: Upholding the principles of freedom, the rule of law, and democratic values is fundamental to ensuring that environmental decisions are made transparently and in the best interests of all stakeholders.
- Territorial, Social, and Ecological Integrity of PAs: The coalition vehemently opposes any unilateral actions or attempts to alter the status or reduce the surface area of Protected Areas. The stability and prosperity of natural resources must be preserved.
The 51 organizations and their partners pledge to continue their resolute and determined efforts. They will work tirelessly to advance these principles, both within Albania and on the international stage, always adhering to national laws and international conventions.
Collectively and individually, the coalition members are dedicated to strengthening their collaboration with multilateral institutions. Their shared priorities include improving the well-being of natural resources, enhancing the legal framework for environmental sustainability in Protected Areas, and fostering a comprehensive and transparent approach to environmental decision-making.
In this historic moment, Albania takes a significant step forward in its commitment to preserving its natural heritage and upholding environmental stewardship. The unity of these organizations and institutions signals hope for a more sustainable and ecologically responsible future.
The activities are part of the “NGOs for Biodiversity Conservation” project, supported by #GreenAL. Funding for this project comes from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), with contributions from the Swedish Government. The project is implemented by Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development, in collaboration with CISP Sviluppo dei Popoli, VIS Albania, and COSV – Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo.