Mr. Lefter Koka

The impetuous urban development, to some extent chaotic, during these long years of transition has caused no little damage to the ecosystem. For a long time, we have learned to coexist with the sustainable economic growth rhetoric by staying too far away from the transformation of this rhetoric into concrete actions.

The latest financial crisis, so as the globally significant increase of the consumption goods prices, has prompted several debates in European and world wide level regarding the actual model of the economic development, a model based from top to bottom in the constant consumption and in the increase of natural resources, without taking in consideration the ecosystem limits.

The problem in our country, regarding the draw up of a sustainable development model, is somehow more complex compared to the European Union countries. Highlighting that during the last years there has been a significant approximation of the Albanian legislation with the European one, regarding the environment issues, but unfortunately alongside of a non-satisfactory level of implementation, is also noticed a low awareness of the stakeholders and factors involved in the process. The difference of the way how the society manages the interaction of the economic sphere with that of the environment seeks the drawing up and implementation of a multi sectorial strategy. My commitment, in the duty of the Minister of Environment, is for a radical rehabilitation for the sustainable protection and development, integrated and responsible for the environment. Notwithstanding as erroneous any undertaken action or not in the past, I believe that are needed several urgent actions to ban some irresponsible actions that very soon can be transformed in environmental disasters. My personal challenge is the prevention of any environmental problem through the coordination and integration of the activity with any other relevant institution involved in the process, so as the constant education of the future generation on the importance of the ecosystem protection. In the framework of the transition toward a green economy, the European Union has designed a strategic plan regarding the environmental policies based in nine essential objectives that should be implemented within the year 2020. What is more important it is related to the continuous increasing awareness of the European Commission, that national borders cannot limit in any way the environmental problems, by giving another value do the addressing of the environment challenges  even beyond the European Union borders.

Another very important step in the process of drawing up and implementation of the necessary environmental policies is also the collection in the right time of a reliable information as regards the main environment components, by introducing so the real condition of the indicators of air, water, earth, biodiversity, noise etc., such an element not very reliable until today, based on the official published data’s.

If we make reference to the latest progress report of the European Commission for Albania, on the environment and climate changes, the implementation of the legislation in force continues to be too low. It is needed a complete and fast integration of environmental policies with other developing policies manly in the field of energy and transport. Cross institutional collaboration and the strengthening of administrative capacities are essential elements in targeting the environmental problems. The actual environmental situation seeks the undertaking of some urgent actions, starting with the expansion of the green surfaces in urban areas, full collaboration with international donators for the prevention of environmental problems that threaten the citizens health and the awareness of the citizens in this aspect, the initiation of an intensive campaign to increase the sensibility toward the environment and the involvement of the youth generations in its good management and development, setting up, with accelerated pace, the campaigns of waste storage and elaboration, starting from big cities to communes levels, banning of uncontrolled forests logging, so as the revival of parks and protected areas.

The ministry, under my direction, is maximally committed in the drawing up of a sustainable model of national environmental development. In less technical terms, mainly the improvement of the implementation of environmental policies would result in a healthier ecosystem and a less polluted environment, in a more efficient use of natural resources so as a greater presence of the bio products for the Albanian consumer.