Can we change our behaviour to save the environment?

December 18, 2017 | By Embassy of Sweden Tirana

Climate change is already affecting the world, including Albania. The heavy rainfall in Albania during the previous weekend is just one example of extreme weather events that are becoming more recurrent globally. This kind of intensive rainfall is likely to increase around this season for the upcoming years, while the rest of the year will stay dry, according to Ada Metaliu, PhD-student at the Agricultural University in Tirana.

One of the Embassy’s  partner organisations, Regional Environmental Centre (REC), hosted an event in order to highlight climate change and its effects by livestreaming Al Gore´s 24 Hour of Reality. This event was devoted to highlighting and discussing  examples on how we can move from denial and debate to action. Youth from Albanian upper secondary schools, involved in RECs projects, from universities, and from environmental organisations were invited to participate in a presentation about how climate change might affect Albania.

The director of REC, Mihallaq Qirjo, used a metaphor about frogs to explain the ongoing climate change. “If you drop a frog in boiling water, it will jump away, but if you drop a frog in water, and then heat up the temperature, it will stay in the water until it boils to death”, Mr Qirjo said, indicating that the slow change imposed by climate change might be difficult to notice in our everyday life. He further highlighted the need to take action to tackle climate change, in order to avoid facing the same destiny as the swimming frog.

Ina Kasimati, teacher at Çajupi upper secondary school, highlighted the importance of bringing evidence to the curriculum in order to raise awareness for the challenges. She further highlighted Sweden as an example where climate change is discussed already since kinder garden. She participated in Sida´s International Training Programme in 2010, a programme that aims at contributing to capacity and institutional strengthening, and environmental and economic development.

“We need to bring this to the attention of the government in order to stop deforestation and distribute water in a more equal way”, said Metaliu, who underlined the importance of these challenges for Albania.

Sweden supports several projects within the area of environment and climate in order to contribute to a more efficient and sustainable use of the environment.