Albania is Biodiversity: new campaign kicks off to encourage protection of the natural environment

Article, 02.10.2023

A campaign supported by Switzerland, the EU, Germany and Italy kicked off at Tirana’s main square to support biodiversity education in the country

Mural depicting Albania's endangered species unveiled in Tirana's main square, 02.10.2023
Mural depicting Albania's endangered species unveiled in Tirana's main square, 02.10.2023. © Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Under the watchful eyes of around 200 attendants a large size mural was unveiled with the message ‘Albania is Biodiversity’. The 30x10 meters banner made of recycled material mirrors the large mosaic at the National Historical Museum next to it, except that instead of the human figures representing Albania’s history, it depicts endangered species present in the country.

"Our lives, health and well-being are linked to biodiversity. This campaign – starting from today – will aim to make known to the public and authorities issues and solutions", said Philipp Arnold, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland.

"I was told that around 30 per cent of the entire flora species that exist in Europe can be found in Albania only. This is one of Albania’s greatest assets. This is what makes Albania so attractive in the eyes of so many people across Europe and beyond. At the same time, as we know, Albania’s biodiversity is under pressure", said Luigi Soreca, Head of EU Delegation in Albania.

During several weeks the campaign will aim to encourage curiosity and understanding of nature, eco-systems, endangered species and the need to conserve and protect them. Targeting especially the younger generation and school children, several discussions, film screenings and performances will convey the message that we need to and can take measures to safeguard eco-systems and biodiversity.

Despite a relatively small size, Albania has a high rate of biodiversity in plants, fish, birds, and animals. However this is under threat due to human activity, deforestation, erosion, uncontrolled land use, construction and pollution. Awareness raising and active measures can mitigate this threat and reduce pressure on natural habitats and ecosystems.

‘Albania is Biodiversity’ is an initiative of the NGO ‘Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania’ – PPNEA – and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. In addition to Switzerland and the EU, other supporters of this campaign include the German and Italian embassies and Vodafone.