November 14, 2013 | Thursday

Environmental challenges – time for action! – Luan Shllaku

There are many environmental challenges in Kosovo. There is more than one address where you can direct the concerns about the quality of the environment in which we live. And yes, we are concerned because we have not built an efficient administration to improve the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land that feeds us.

Moreover, we are not seeing that governments or any other institution has declared environment priority for any future action, and we don’t notice any concern for the environmental parameters, which are in constant deterioration. Data presented by the prestigious international institutions are alarming, and they confirm that the price of the deteriorating environment will cost us around  300 million Euros per year. Citizens are paying the price not only with their taxes, but also with deteriorating health, agriculture yielding low, the economy and many social assets undergoing  the gradual destruction.

What can we do? It would be good to develop, as soon as possible, a National Plan for Environmental Protection, and to place the plan high on the list of development priorities of the country. This plan shall be embraced  by all levels of  the society: municipalities, businesses, civil society, academia and universities, the media, trade unions and others. Everyone must draw up an action plan of their own. Let us proclaim the upcoming 4-5 years to build a healthy environment. Let this be a plan and a target and a national concern, and let’s try to make every citizen feel that this is his/her plan. And this national plan should be a joint document of all ministries, especially those that have a direct impact on the quality of the environment. The environment in Kosovo is not only protected by the relevant ministry, but by all ministries, which have expressed strong environmental component in their development plans.

If administration begins this campaign in a good manner and knows how to promote it, than I am confident that all will be part of it. Have we shown so far that, whenever we had critical situations, we knew how to mobilize and push the situation for better? Don’t we have a critical situation with the environment today? We just need a little push in order to initiate the avalanche, and then everything will be as it should. Better for us to push it back out the way, than to allow it to collide on us!