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GOES TO ALBANIA ď Š Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


PALM TREES AND GOLDEN EAGLE By Sandra Antonovic

I don’t know why I was so surprised that Albania has palm trees. For a Mediterranean country that has a coast on the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, palm trees would have to be the first thing that comes into my mind. The thing is, even though Albania is so close to us (Croatia), not many people from Croatia ever visited Albania, so there is some kind of vagueness about it.

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


Let me share some interesting things I learned about it:        

It is less than 72 km (45 miles) from Italy (across the strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea Has 3 million people (and the capital Tirana about 700 thousand) Is considered as a poor country by Western Europe standards Was chosen as the top country in Lonely Planet’s list of ten top countries for 2011 Its name may derived from the Illyrian tribe Albani (according to Ptolemy ) Was a communist country until 1990 (I actually knew this one) Is a full member of NATO since 2009 Has applied for EU and the application has been set as a priority one by the European Commission (I was impressed with the ‘priority status”, was not aware)

I arrived to Tirana with this new knowledge, and immediately went to the National Library of Albania (a 10:10 building since summer last year). Their staff was a great help in organizing the 10:10 presentation – many many thanks!

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


I was so amazed by the turnout, about 70 students came to hear what 10:10 and 10:10 Teen are all about and how can they participate. Some of them found us on the internet and came prepared - they shared these great photos (which will also be posted on 10:10 Teen blog):

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


“This picture is taken in the city hall of Tirana. Tirana is the capital of Albania, a country in the midst of Europe but very unknown to Europeans. The boxes are meant for recycling. In most other places in Albania recycling works differently: people simply throw away things and others collect them in the streets. The three boxes shown here seem to be a more colorful and more efficient way, though...� (Anita, age 17, Tirana)

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


“I took this photo near the town of Skoder, on the south of Albania. We have a beautiful nature, and we should do everything to preserve it. Reducing our carbon footprint seems like a simple and efficient way to do that. We should all do that.� (Enver, age 16, Skoder)

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


“This is something we normally eat at home. Albanians eat a lot of rice, potatoes, vegetables. I think we should promote less meat and more vegetables. It is easier for people to become vegetarians or vegans in Mediterranean countries, so we should take advantage of that.� (Ana, age 18, Tirana)

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


“We should invest in containers to collect recyclables, like cans or PET bottles. People don’t know where to take them, so they just throw them. Sometimes poor people collect cans, like on this photo, and take them to the recycling collection center, and they get paid a small amount of money for them, which is a good thing.” (Ismail, age 17, Tirana)

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


“I like what our Mayor Edi Rama is doing. His Clean and Green project in 2000 resulted in the production of 96,700 square metres of green land and parks in the city and the planting of nearly 1,800 trees. He also ordered the painting of many old buildings in what has come to be known as Edi Rama colours (very bright yellow, green, violet). Rama is a former artist, and in December 2004, he was named the World Mayor 2004, in an international competition that took place over one year, based on direct voting by Internet, organized by the non-commercial organization CITYMAYORS, located in London. Rama was chosen by Time Magazine to be one of the 2005 European Heroes, a tribute to 37 people who are changing the world for the better.� (Beri, age 18, Tirana)

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


Great stuff!! And I am happy to say that we are trying to find the best way of incorporating 10:10 and 10:10 Teen into Tirana’s and Albania’s environmental plans – keep your fingers crossed! There are so many reasons here to reduce carbon emissions:      

Although a small country, Albania is distinguished for its rich biological diversity The total number of plants is over 3250 species, approximately 30% of the entire flora species found in Europe Over a third of the territory of Albania is forested and the country is very rich in flora About 3,000 different species of plants grow in Albania, many of which are used for medicinal purposes Some of the most significant bird species found in the country include the golden eagle – known as the national symbol of Albania The north and eastern mountains of the country are home to the last remaining Balkan Lynx – a critically endangered population of the Eurasian lynx

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011


Also, a very interesting fact: 

The Albanian population is relatively young by European standards, with a median age of 28.9 years

How are we going to use this to reduce carbon? Here is what was agreed during a debate with students in Tirana:  8 students volunteered to get more signups and engage friends in 10:10 teen project  all students liked the idea and the concept of 10:10 teen and agreed to participate  our hub will continue to approach the city of Tirana and other official institutions in Albania in order to promote 10:10 on a national level  we will come back soon and organize more debates and workshops in Tirana, but in other towns as well, to share experiences and knowledge with all those who may not have internet access So, it’s full steam ahead and it is so inspiring! Thank you Tirana and thank you Albania – we will meet again!

This visit was financed by the “Connect through art” programme carried out by www.nektarinanonprofit.com

Notes from 10:10 visit to Albania / March 2011

10:10 visit to Albania  

10:10 Teen team visits Albanian students and debates on possible ways to reduce carbon emissions

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