International Environment Day was marked on the 5th of June. The warm Saturday afternoon was dedicated this year to promoting environmental protection – one of the hottest environmental topics in climate change. Albania remains on the list of the most endangered European countries when it comes to climate change, and one of the cities facing the worst impact of extreme climate is Durrës. Its citizens regularly witness short and intense rains that constantly flood the city, which are made worse by massive concreting and reduced water absorption capacity.
Durrës turns into a sweltering city during the long, two-season summertime. The habit of burning waste creates concerns for human health and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change in this area. The constant erosion of the surrounding hills caused by the lack of massive plantings is also a problem. Intense fossil fuel emissions from transport remain a polluting and breathtaking plague of this once beautiful ancient city.
Having all these problems in mind, a group of young activists used this day to draw attention to environmental problems in their city and discuss the solution to these issues! The demands of the young activists were clear:
- increase the awareness of local authorities for the environmental protection
- give a solution to the sewage and water system in the city
- improve public transport and make it more eco-friendly
- increase the number of vehicle charging stations and create more bicycle dedicated lanes that would reduce the intense transportation emissions in the city.
Through the manifestation in the city’s main streets, with the message “Act for the Climate Now ”, the young people of Durrës showed that they are the ones who will fight for and guarantee the protection of the environment now and in the future. They seek support from the authorities and the broader community of the city. This activity was held with the help of the Institute of Environmental Policy in coordination with local organizations Bicycle Durres, Active Durres, and Amfora.al.