Tirana, March 2024 – The Citizens’ Forum for Protected Areas convened its first meeting on 4 March 2024, following a public call for concerned citizens to address the escalating threats to environmental conservation posed by recent legislative actions. The meeting, which brought together a diverse array of professionals from various fields, aimed to strategize and coordinate efforts to oppose legislative changes endangering Albania’s protected natural areas.

The forum discussed the approval of the controversial law concerning Protected Areas, “On some additions and changes to law no.81/2017 On Protected Areas,” voted in the Albanian Parliament on February 22, 2024. Participants expressed profound concerns about the potentially irreversible damage to Albania’s natural heritage.

During the meeting, attendees discussed various strategies to counteract the detrimental effects of the legislation, including legal challenges, diplomatic appeals, media campaigns, and public protests. Emphasis was placed on the need for a unified and multi-faceted approach to protecting Protected Areas and preserving Albania’s nature.

Key outcomes of the meeting included:

  • Agreement on the urgency of the situation and the necessity for immediate action.
  • Identification of specific actions, such as writing letters to ambassadors, organizing protests, and engaging with media outlets.
  • Recognition of the importance of collaboration between environmental organizations, governmental bodies, and citizens.
  • Commitment to continued engagement and advocacy to raise awareness and mobilize public support.

Participants emphasized the critical role of citizen pressure in influencing legislative decisions affecting environmental conservation.
The forum concluded with a resolution to continue mobilizing citizens and amplifying efforts to oppose the legislation threatening Protected Areas.

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