A mission to expand green areas in Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 12, 2019 13:24

A mission to expand green areas in Albania

Story Highlights

  • “[...] a healthy life comes from a healthy environment.” The aim of this initiative and its organizers isn’t only the preservation of these ares, but also their management and utilization for guaranteeing a stable tourism in the region of Shkoder.

Related Articles

TIRANA, Mar. 4- In the north of Albania there is a recent initiative being taken titled “Create your oxygen, plant five trees” for combating deforestation and air pollution. The largest forest areas are located in these regions of Albania, however after 1991 the woods have received multiple damages to this national treasure due to mismanagement, illegal cutting, and massive fires. Five thousand trees were planted recently mainly in the areas of Puke and Malesi e Madhe, in initiative taken by schools, local public institutions and the community.

“Greenery is an absolute necessity, and now everyone knows that a healthy life comes from a healthy environment. In these two days we hope to be able to plant the goal of five thousand trees, starting from Fushe Arrez, Puka, Shkodra and Malesia e Madhe,” said Cesk Midhja from the prefecture of Shkoder.

The regional authorities urged people for this initiative to be undertaken. One thousand and five hundred trees were built only in the area of Malesi e Madhe. Midhja said that people should become more accountable to protecting trees and this initiative may very well serve as an awareness campaign for the citizens.

One thousand trees are currently being planted around the natural reservoir surrounding the lake of Shkodra. This information is stated by Agim Dardha who serves as director of the National Agency for Protected Areas for the region of Shkodra. He said that the aim of this initiative and its organizers isn’t only the preservation of these ares, but also their management and utilization for guaranteeing a stable tourism in  the region of Shkoder.

“Fortunately our region has many option for tourism, starting with the sea, lake, river, and the mountainous areas. With the melting of the snow which will allow the opening of the roads, we will be sending 20 thousand other saplings to plant along, so we can increase the greenness in that area” said Dardha.

The forest damages caused in the mountainous areas of Malesi e Madhe for more than 20 years, has affected both the life of the region inhabitants and their economies. Thus, its mayor Tonin Marinaj has urged in all the residents to be involved in the initiative “create your oxygen, plant five trees.”

He said that Malesi e Madhe has a large woodland space, but over the years it has been damaged, regardless of the pricey fines imposed on individuals who have committed illegal woodcutting. Thus, the four big municipalities of the region of Shkoder have united in this fight to save the north’s forest, and as a result its environment.

In the territory of Malesi e Madhe are included the Albanian Alps with Kelmend, Vollga or Razem, which are highly touristic attractions for their scenery. These areas have attracted more tourists in the recent years due to improved infrastructure. This has positively affected the economy of the area and its residents, but the deforestation could potentially lead to decreased visitors.

“I urge all the residents and villagers to plant trees, starting from the garden of their houses, the streets of their neighbourhoods in the city or village they inhabit,” said Marinaj.

According to data Albania is supposed to have 1,5 million hectares of forests within its borders. Due to deforestation and damages from the past 20 years, only 400 thousand hectares of forests are left. Many of these lands are desolated, barren and to some others the ecosystems are highly harmed.

Due the lack of state control in the vandalism to our ecosystems has affected in the river and lake draughts, extinct animals and plants, and high levels of smog and carbon dioxide. Tirana especially was the fourth most polluted city in Europe for 2018, with 79.14 pollution index. That number became higher in 2019, at 82.83 pollution index, ranking Tirana the 38th most polluted city in the world. This is especially strange as Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj has been going around the city planting trees, the gas prices have increased, and the government passed a law imposing higher taxes on cars older than 10 years (produced earlier than 2009), which emit high carbon dioxide.


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 12, 2019 13:24