Project Goal: Every Year Earth Day brings together individuals, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and government officials in an attempt to improve the relationship between people and the planet. In this ambit, during April 2021, UNAA co-designed and implemented a series of activities in cooperation with both national and international partners, aiming to explore and highlight ways in which Albanian youth can maintain a healthy and sustainable relationship with nature.
Project Description: The initiative was designed as a multifaceted range of activities, offering participants a multidimensional experience. The activities served as a space for the Albanian youth to engage with key environmental concerns, as well as potential solutions, which can provide ample opportunities for socio-economic development, while having a minimal impact on the environment. Some of the topics covered included better implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, investments in “green energy”, and the development of infrastructure for sustainable tourism. First, two thematic movie screenings were organized, in cooperation with ECO Albania, a national environmental organization, and the informal group “ATA”.
Following a non-formal education approach, a Treasure Hunt game was also organized under the Project’s framework. Climate activists and representatives of environmental organizations, such as Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), ECO Albania, and EDEN Center, partnered with teams of young people. They guided participants through different locations in Tirana with hints and short quizzes, testing the participants’ knowledge on biodiversity protection, species conservation, and the climate change impact in Albania, while familiarizing participants with their efforts to tackle these issues. Each location was chosen deliberately in relation to the Earth Day theme-Participants visited the National Sciences Museum, the Grand Park of Tirana, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
Finally, the winning team, which finished the Treasure Hunt first, visited the residency of the H.E. Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Albania, and the offices of the UN Country Team in Albania. Designed as a best-practice sharing activity, participants were introduced to programs and policies of the Dutch government aiming at nature preservation and restoration, as well as similar initiatives of the United Nations in Albania.
Combining knowledge of the Albanian context with relevant international experience, approximately 30 young people were equipped with tools to meaningfully contribute to a more sustainable human-nature interaction in Albania.