Forum and Study Visit in Tirana: “Environmental awareness: Practical discussion of environmental law implementation for young students”

European Movement in Albania in partnership with the Embassy of Slovak Republic in Albania with the distinguished participation of the Deputy Head of Mission of Slovak Republic in Albania, Mr. Milan Selecký, organized on April 20th, 2017 in the framework of National Convention on EU Integration, , a study visit in Tirana followed by a discussion forum focused on Environmental awareness: Practical discussion of environmental law implementation for young students .

The event was held at the surroundings of the Plastic Recycling Company “Everest” in Kashar, where the participants were received by the specialist of this company, Ms. Daniela Lika, who introduced them to the recycling company and its activities. She made a presentation of the how recycling process works, the innovations it has brought, and the problems encountered in the framework of the Albanian legislation.

Then along with Mr. Elton Qendro, Environmental Expert, the participants visited Tirana River attesting its pollution.. During the discussion forum he introduced the concept of environmental crime, the problems, and how it can be reduced by sensitizing and sharing information to the public. Mr. Qendro presented the G.N.K.M (Mandate Group in Support of the Response to Environmental Crime), its structure and membership, strategies and objectives for 2017. He emphasised the fact that environmental issues should be tackled not through the final links of the judgment or punishment under the Criminal Code, but through alternative methods with greater and longer-term effects such as civic awareness.

Av. Holta Ymeri, Environmental Expert presented the Aarhus Convention and three fundamental rights running from this Convention, while she explained how this Convention is implemented on the Albanian context. Three pillars of the Aarhus Convention include: 1) Public access to information about the environment; 2) Public participation in certain environmentally relevant decisions; 3) Access to courts of law / tribunals in environmental matters. To Mrs. Ymeri, Albania is a country that has ratified this Convention, implying that the Albanian authorities and the Albanian legislation should respect and implement it.

Mr. Florian Xhafa, lawyer and expert in the field of Consumer Protection, analyzed the structure and elements of the legislation that this field contains. He emphasized the role of the state as a manager which balances the rapport between environment and individuals, and how important it is to protect the environment as a legacy that is left over generations and that directly and indirectly affects the consumer.

Mr. Gledis Gjipali, Executive Director of European Movement in Albania thanked all the participants for their cooperation and commitment and invited them to the next activities. The event was followed by questions and comments among the participants, who were interested to discus on practical and theoretical dimension of the topic.