24 Hours of Reality - Protect our Planet, Protect Ourselves!

December 5, 2018 | By REC Shqipëri

Climate change is affecting the world, including Albania. "24 Hours of Reality" is an important activity focusing on climate change. "24 HOURS of REALITY" seeks to inform everyone on the planet about the challenges they face or will have to face as a result of climate changes. A global activity that for the eighth consecutive year in an interesting way combines technology, social media and people seeking to bring together the planet on every corner of it with a common purpose in serving our lives and the good of Planet Earth. A huge team of ordinary people, but also many scientists, economy experts, engineers, students and children bring their stories and real stories on climate impacts and challenges of coping with it through documentaries, songs, facts and scientific data. All this for 24 hours in a live stream across the globe to share these success stories and find durable practical solutions to improving the planet's state of the environment.

The Regional Environment Center (REC) Albania, for the fifth consecutive year, welcomed this activity in Tirana, becoming part of an international activity to discuss the impacts of climate change on our small country but very vulnerable regarding climate change.

Al Gore's "24 Hours of Reality" comes this year with a focus on the impacts of climate change on human health. Healthy people need a healthy planet. That is why it was necessary to meet together in this activity and show that we are determined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This may be the greatest risk to public health around the world. The health of our families and communities is threatened. Today, we are all aware that climate change is changing the look of our planet, so we must act to protect our life and planet. Extreme weather is getting worse. Infectious diseases are increasing. Our food and drinking water are at risk. Despite this, very few people are talking about this issue. It is time to break the silence and push our leaders and people wherever they are, to start talking about this problem. That is what we did on December 3-4, for 24 consecutive hours.

Welcomed by former President Al Gore, the live broadcast across the globe "24 Hours of Reality: Protect our Planet, Protect Ourselves" sparks the alarm on the dangers that threaten our life and health. By following the activity and the facts it brings, we can learn more about resolving this local, regional and global crisis and create more healthy communities by trying to produce renewable energy, sustainable transport, clean air, recycling and reuse, and leading a healthy life for ourselves and the planet.

Albania, a small country with a fragile economy reliant on the services, industrial and agriculture sectors, faces a range of challenges in addressing climate change risks.

The vulnerability of Albania’s energy supply and agriculture sector to climate changes, combined with a series of recent heavy floods and landslides, are elevating climate change preparedness as a priority within Albania’s development planning.

 

Some of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change impacts in Albania are:

  1. Agriculture, a highly climate-sensitive sector, contributes 22.6 percent to GDP and is the main source of employment for Albania’s rural population
  2. Water Resources. Albania has ample freshwater resources, but there are seasonal variations and water use inefficiencies that climate can magnify.
  3. Energy and Infrastructure. Albania relies on the Drini River Basin for more than 90 percent of its domestic hydropower supply. This river basin could see reduced flows due to climate change that would affect energy supply. Albania is already vulnerable to fluctuations in precipitation, evidenced by the 2007 drought that led to severe energy shortages. Along with the damages to coastal infrastructure, landslides and floods in the plains and lowlands caused extensive infrastructure damage in past years.
  4. Ecosystems. Nearly 10 percent of Albania is terrestrial or marine protected area, but nearly 19 percent of flora and fauna species are endangered, due in part to pollution, overfishing and land conversion.

Albania currently suffers from heat waves, droughts, landslides and floods, which may be exacerbated by climate change. Soil erosion, deforestation and unregulated construction compound the impact of extreme weather events, as does the concentration of urban migrants in vulnerable informal settlements.

 

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