Capacity building of CSOs (advocacy and watchdog for energy and climate issues)

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Capacity building of CSOs (advocacy and watchdog for energy and climate issues)

Throughout October 2021 - February 2022, EDEN Center organised a tailor-made training programme for environmental CSOs, with the purpose of building the capacities of CSOs to enhance their participation and involvement of CSOs in energy and climate issues, in the frame of the EU integration process of Albania, through environmental watchdog, advocacy coalition actions, etc.

The entire training programme was designed to build capacities of CSOs representatives on issues and tools such as - environmental watchdog, climate and energy policies, Chapter no.15 energy, advocacy and participation in the environmental decision-making process - to scale up their contribution and activism in the EU integration process of Albania.

More than +23 CSOs (focused on environmental, energy, climate and EU integration issues) benefited from the training programme. In addition, the training programme was attended by +15 free-lancer activists, experts, non-formal groups, etc.

The initial two training sessions took place in October 2021, with a particular focus on building a successful environmental watchdog campaign. During these training sessions, CSOs representatives were introduced to the main steps in embarking on a watchdog campaign - how to identify a problem that could be converted to a watchdog campaign, legal opportunities to scale up their participation in the environmental decision-making processes, planning and tools. (read more on the detailed article here)

The third training session took place on the 18th of March, with a particular focus on chapter no.15 Energy, Climate and Energy policies. The third training session was designed to provide an overview of the Albanian institutional set-up in charge of climate and energy policies and respective public documents (laws, strategies, action-plans, international duties, etc). The CSOs representatives were introduced to the challenges and opportunities of the progress of climate and energy policies according to the EU acquis. Following this, CSOs representatives worked with each other on drafting possible advocacy/watchdog campaigns to intervene for the improvement of these policies through coalition advocacy actions, campaigns, etc., by combining their previous experience with the gained knowledge during the training.

In order to ensure a sustained transfer of knowledge among environmental CSOs in Albania, an e-manual on "Environmental Watchdog" will follow up this training programme. 

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The capacity-building programme for the CSOs representatives “Trainings on watchdogging, EU integration and energy chapter (15), participation in decision making and advocacy” comes as part of the "Empowering Civil Society Activism and Concrete contribution into EU accession negotiation process in Albania", implemented by EDEN Center and EDMI, with the financial support of the European Union in the frame of IPA 2017 program.

FoE Press release: IPCC New climate report

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Friends of the Earth International Press Release

Monday 28 February

IPCC: New climate report shows accelerating impacts, yet behind the scenes rich countries shamelessly worked to try and water down text relating to loss and damage, and finance for adaptation in developing countries.  

AMSTERDAM, February 28, 2022 - Attempts by the US and developed countries to remove key climate finance terminology from the IPCC’s highly-anticipated Working Group II (WG2) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) have been condemned by global experts and activists as a desperate bid to evade responsibility. In what should have been a scientific, not political, process, rich countries battled to erase references to key concepts like loss and damage and to water down references to the scale of  finance needed for adaptation. According to today’s report, climate impacts are occurring faster, and will worsen even sooner than previously predicted, necessitating an urgent increase in finance to help address climate change in developing countries.

 Activists and experts from Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation, gave their responses.

Meena Raman, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, commented:

“It is a disgrace that decades of cowardly decisions by rich industrial nations have led us here, to the brink of climate catastrophe laid bare in this latest IPCC Assessment Report. The United States in particular must accept its role in creating the climate impacts we’re experiencing right now.

Developed countries’ attempts to remove the concept of loss and damage, and the finance for it from the IPCC report, was largely thwarted, but we condemn this resistance by those most responsible for the climate crisis. This has been a shameless attempt to wriggle off the hook.

Scientists have confirmed that much more finance must urgently flow from developed to developing countries, to enable the latter to adapt and adjust to irreparable damage from climate impacts. This funding is necessary to secure the wellbeing of their citizens and economies. Without it, our hard-fought progress for equity, equality, rights and justice will unravel.”

Hemantha Withanage, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, based in Sri Lanka, said:

“Climate impacts are already happening everywhere, faster, and with worse consequences than ever predicted. We are already witnessing extreme weather events that scientists didn’t expect to see until 2100. After COP26’s false front of flashy announcements, this report is a stark reminder of the reality: Climate chaos is knocking at the door. System change must happen now. Real emissions reductions, real solutions, must happen now.”

Amos Nkpeebo, Friends of the Earth Ghana, added:

“This new IPCC report confirms that some damage is beyond repair and it will be impossible for many communities to adapt, especially if the 1.5 degree threshold is breached. We’re facing the potential of hundreds of millions of people being displaced from their homes within this century, and swathes of farmland turning to dust. We urgently demand finance for adaptation and for loss and damage, to help vulnerable populations.”

Vulnerability to the crisis is shaped by the ongoing legacy of colonialism, as well as intersecting processes of marginalisation, such as gender, Indigenous identity, health, poverty, conflict, and education, according to the report. The science reiterates that the most vulnerable and marginalised must be prioritised when implementing solutions.

Anabela Lemos, Friends of the Earth Mozambique, explained:

“For the 3.3-3.6 billion people living in highly climate-vulnerable countries –almost all of whom are in the Global South – this report is not news[1]. Those of us on the frontlines of the climate crisis have been shouting this from the rooftops for decades. Africa faces some of the worst impacts, and the hottest regions are already becoming intolerable. We will not allow our lives, lands, and cultures to be sacrificed to the bad-faith politics and short-term profits of the global elite.”

Regions in the Global South will struggle to adapt to the impacts extreme weather events will have on food production, according to the report. Scientists warn in the underlying report that the Summary for Policymakers is based on, that this will prevent achieving UN SDG 2 for ‘Zero Hunger’ in regions such as Africa, South Asia, and Small Island States. 

The report also emphasises that Indigenous rights and knowledge are indispensable to tackling climate change. 80% of the planet’s shrinking biodiversity is on Indigenous land, and changes to ecosystems are having immediate impacts on Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Ricardo Navarro, CESTA / Friends of the Earth El Salvador, added:

“We are witnessing the first climate-driven extinctions, and some forests, permafrost and peatlands have already transformed, from sinks into sources of carbon. These shifts are irreversible. Thriving ecosystems that once helped us apply the brakes are now accelerating the crisis, buckling under conditions that have no precedent over the past millennia. Only a total ramp-down of fossil fuels and dirty energy can prevent us hitting more tipping points.”

The IPCC report also warns of some of the dangers of implementing dangerous technofixes like solar radiation modification, and large scale bioenergy, with or without carbon capture and storage.[2] Sara Shaw, Climate Justice and Energy International Program Coordinator at Friends of the Earth International said:

“This report sounds the alarm about the risks of some of the technologies that rich countries and transnational corporations are betting on, to avoid an urgent and necessary phase out of fossil fuels.”

Pakistan floods girl IPCC report 600x260 610x259

With this report, the science once again reiterates what hundreds of thousands of people were calling for on the streets of Glasgow and worldwide last November: decisive, systemic action from governments. That means an end to fossil fuel subsidies, a flow of climate finance from developed to developing countries, and a fair and rapid transition to renewable energy, for all.

Press Conference - Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability on Youtube

Notes for Editors

[1] IPCC, 2022: Summary for Policymakers, In: Climate Change 2022 Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change B.2 (page 12)

[2]IPCC, 2022: Summary for Policymakers, In: Climate Change 2022 Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change B.5.4 and B.5.5 (Page 20, 21)

Meeting Minister Kumbaro for the protected areas

A number of Civil Society Organizations and representatives of scientific and academic institutions of the country held yesterday, Friday, October 29, 2021, a meeting with Mrs. Kumbaro, Minister of Tourism and Environment.
The meeting was requested by about 50 organizations part of the grouping for the cause of protection of the protected areas (PA) from the unfair process of border review, initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment since 2019.
As in the last two years, the group of NGOs and representatives of scientific and academic institutions was extremely critical of the process followed by the Ministry and the impact of this process, especially in coastal wetlands that are also the epicenter of biological diversity. of Albania.

The group reiterated that:
1. The process followed to date by the Ministry is contrary to the legislation on Protected Areas and the entire legal framework for public consultation that guarantees transparency in decision-making;
2.The consequences of this hasty reassessment in Protected Areas, not in accordance with the laws and unscientific, are extremely negative for the national biological diversity and especially for the wetland PAs that are also international PAs (Ramsar, IBA, KBA, Emerald and Natura 2000).

Almost the same position is held by the international institutions:
1. Addressing the event in detail, the EU Delegation to Albania states in its recent progress report (2021) that the National Council of the Territory has approved without public consultation the revised map of PAs by fragmenting and reducing them as well as compromising the ecological functionality of PAs. The EU urges Albania to listen to the scientific community and other stakeholders in the country.
2. Also, major donors in the field of environment see the process and plans with a strong impact on biodiversity and not transparent.
Based on the above, the Group has pointed that the process is illegal and the content of the process is wrong. Therefore, we asked the Ministry not to rush the process of reviewing Protected Areas.

Likewise, we provided the Ministry with our views as follows:
1. to draft in advance the Specific Plan of PAs in accordance with the law on Protected Areas. This plan should be drafted in cooperation with civil society. The plan should also indicate the need to change, remove and add new protected areas.
2. to reconduct the study for the review of the surface of the protected areas. For each PA there should be a specific group of experts to contribute with data and comments on the surface, habitats, species and internal zoning of each the protected area.
3. to not reduce any surface of any protected area before the completion of the Plan and the re-implementation of the process of reviewing the surface of the protected areas.

We thank Minister Kumbaro for the opportunity of this meeting which was considered by her as only a first step of cooperation with this part of civil society and scientific institutions. We also greatly appreciate her desire for other thematic meetings. But our visit and our requests for more than two years are related to the inviolability of protected areas, especially the coastal wetland protected areas.
Unfortunately, Minister Kumbaro did not show the readiness to start reviewing the decision of the National Territorial Council of December 2020 as the decision that reduces, fragments the protected areas and leads to degradation of biological diversity.

Fortunately, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment could still delegitimize the failure to justify the wrong decision of KKT. We told the Ministry today what is the path we expect to be followed by this public institution. It’s just enough to support our thoughts and our above requests!
If this willingness does not exist, then NGOs and scientific and academic institutions will pursue their mission in defense of the public good through an active campaign for the protection of protected areas and the use of all forms of administrative and legal grievances.

AOS-Albanian Ornithological Society
EcoAlbania
Milieukontakt Albania (member of Milieukontakt International Network)
Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania
@Res Publica
Qendra ACEG
Qendra EDEN/ EDEN Center
REC Albania
Shpendët e Shqipërisë / Birds of Albania
Aleko MIho
Ferdinand Bego
Dorina Asllanaj
Lindita Çela
Xhemal Mato

Meeting Minister Kumbaro for the protected areas

EN| A number of Civil Society Organizations and representatives of scientific and academic institutions of the country held yesterday, Friday, October 29, 2021, a meeting with Mrs. Kumbaro, Minister of Tourism and Environment.
The meeting was requested by about 50 organizations part of the grouping for the cause of protection of the protected areas (PA) from the unfair process of border review, initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment since 2019.
As in the last two years, the group of NGOs and representatives of scientific and academic institutions was extremely critical of the process followed by the Ministry and the impact of this process, especially in coastal wetlands that are 3also the epicenter of biological diversity. of Albania.

The group reiterated that:
1. The process followed to date by the Ministry is contrary to the legislation on Protected Areas and the entire legal framework for public consultation that guarantees transparency in decision-making;
2. The consequences of this hasty reassessment in Protected Areas, not in accordance with the laws and unscientific, are extremely negative for the national biological diversity and especially for the wetland PAs that are also international PAs (Ramsar, IBA, KBA, Emerald and Natura 2000).

Almost the same position is held by the international institutions:
1. Addressing the event in detail, the EU Delegation to Albania states in its recent progress report (2021) that the National Council of the Territory has approved without public consultation the revised map of PAs by fragmenting and reducing them as well as compromising the ecological functionality of PAs. The EU urges Albania to listen to the scientific community and other stakeholders in the country.
2. Also, major donors in the field of environment see the process and plans with a strong impact on biodiversity and not transparent.
Based on the above, the Group has pointed that the process is illegal and the content of the process is wrong. Therefore, we asked the Ministry not to rush the process of reviewing Protected Areas.

Likewise, we provided the Ministry with our views as follows:
1. to draft in advance the Specific Plan of PAs in accordance with the law on Protected Areas. This plan should be drafted in cooperation with civil society. The plan should also indicate the need to change, remove and add new protected areas.
2. to reconduct the study for the review of the surface of the protected areas. For each PA there should be a specific group of experts to contribute with data and comments on the surface, habitats, species and internal zoning of each the protected area.
3. to not reduce any surface of any protected area before the completion of the Plan and the re-implementation of the process of reviewing the surface of the protected areas.

We thank Minister Kumbaro for the opportunity of this meeting which was considered by her as only a first step of cooperation with this part of civil society and scientific institutions. We also greatly appreciate her desire for other thematic meetings. But our visit and our requests for more than two years are related to the inviolability of protected areas, especially the coastal wetland protected areas.

Unfortunately, Minister Kumbaro did not show the readiness to start reviewing the decision of the National Territorial Council of December 2020 as the decision that reduces, fragments the protected areas and leads to degradation of biological diversity.

Fortunately, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment could still delegitimize the failure to justify the wrong decision of KKT. We told the Ministry today what is the path we expect to be followed by this public institution. It’s just enough to support our thoughts and our above requests!
If this willingness does not exist, then NGOs and scientific and academic institutions will pursue their mission in defense of the public good through an active campaign for the protection of protected areas and the use of all forms of administrative and legal grievances.

 

 

Two days training on Cross-border Natural Values

Takim midis dy kryetareve te bashkiveIMG 3256
A two day training on the importance of natural values of the cross-border area was held in Albania in Has on 28-29 October 2021. The capacity training focused on the present values of biodiversity and the importance of protecting the natural resources of the area was introduced and presented to the participants. As such, the participants around 32, from Albania, Has area and from Kosovo, from Klina area joined together to discuss the importance of protecting the environment of the cross-border area, which entails important endemic species and holds important natural values with great economic potential as well as are a precondition to develop tourism, agriculture, forestry, medicinal activities, etc.
The Capacity development trainings included representatives from the Municipality of Has, Kukes, representatives from Klina, farmers, social activists, environmental activist, members of the civil society etc. who jointly discussed the specific values of the cross-border area, in practical group works. Issues were raised, importance of awareness was pointed out and the importance of protecting the wilderness was discussed. Threats regarding biodiversity were pointed out and discussed such as agriculture, mining, forestry were discussed. Chemicals and insecticides and pesticides discussed and the use of them in the food chain that ultimately hurts human health.
The training continued on the second day with a practical work day which included a site visit to Pashtrik Mountain, where specific work on example of biodiversity was conducted by the expert training. Threats to the biodiversity, cooperation between stakeholders, concrete ways on how to draft action plans to protect biodiversity and the environment were presented to the participants in practical work-group.

For more, as a result of this training, practical guiding manuals will be developed to help the people in the cross-border area have practical documentation that can help them in their contribution in protecting the environment and valorizing the natural values of the region.

Photos of the training can be found of EDEN facebook page. Click here

This third out of five capacity development trainings is realized within the European Union - IPA II funded cross-border project "GREEN CROSS - towards local green economies with smart investments”. A project implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in Kosovo and EDEN Center in Albania with its local government partners the Municipality of Klina and Municipality of Has.

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