CCE Country Profile


Table of Contents

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I) Climate change context

Located along the Adriatic and Ionian coastline, the Republic of Albania is a small mountainous country on the Western side of the Balkan peninsula. Albania is a constitutional republic, divided into 12 regions. Due to a combination of political, geographic, and social factors, Albania is recognized by the World Bank (2021) as vulnerable to climate change impacts, ranking 80th out of 185 countries as per the 2021 ND-GAIN Index, which summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change and its readiness to improve resilience to climate change. 

Albania is especially vulnerable to natural disasters, including hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, forest fires, and landslides and geophysical hazards such as earthquakes. According to the World Bank, the expected sea level rise due to climate change, in combination with intense rainfall events, pose a major threat to the country’s urban areas.

Albania has nearly 2.9 million inhabitants and is a low-emitting country, with the Global Carbon Atlas reporting carbon emissions of 1.6 tons of carbon dioxide per person in 2021. 

As mentioned in Albania’s Fourth National Communication (2022), the highest greenhouse gas–emitting sectors in the country are energy (47%), agriculture (21%), land use and forestry (12%), industrial processes and product use (12%), and waste (8%). 

Albania has been a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 1995, and currently carries the status of a Non-Annex I country. However, Albania is a candidate for European Union membership, which will change its status to Annex I if approved. Albania ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, the Paris Agreement in 2016, and accepted the Doha Amendment in 2020. 

According to Albania’s Voluntary National Review on Sustainable Development Goals (2018), the alignment of Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 13 fall under ‘Good’ which indicates 50%–75% alignment of targets with Albania’s national priorities.

Concepts of climate change education and sustainable development are not recognized widely in Albania and remain low on the agenda politically and publicly, as stated in the Fourth National Communication. Environmental education and climate change content are sometimes integrated into teaching and other school activities at pre-university levels of education within subjects like biology and geography. The National Communication acknowledges that Albania must address gender issues and have them mainstreamed into national climate change policies; however, this has not been reflected in any of the climate policies or laws that have been recently established in the country. The document states that gender issues must be considered in the design and implementation of projects and programs, especially those within the agricultural sector.

II) Relevant government agencies

Climate change

The Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MoTE), which is also the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Point for Albania, is responsible for any climate change-related activities, scientific evaluations, strategic planning, establishing environmental policy and legislation, and overseeing environmental protection in multiple areas including forest, water quality, and protected areas. The Climate Change Unit, developed by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, collaborates with other technical teams to ensure that Albania is performing its duties as a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Together, the Albanian government and the Climate Change Unit support the country’s actions in monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring adherence to its Nationally Determined Contributions (2022), which delineates commitment to climate change mitigation. 

In 2014, the Albanian Prime Minister established the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Climate Change, chaired by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and Environment, to assist in climate change mitigation and adaptation by coordinating institutions that are engaged in climate change processes and integrating climate change into new and existing policies, programs, and activities. The group is supported by nominated technical focal points in every related institution.The State Inspectorate of Environment, Forestry and Water, a public institution formed in 2014 (formerly State Inspectorate of Environment and Forestry) subordinate to the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, is in charge of identifying and responding to issues related to the environment and climate change

According to the Fourth National Communication (2022), to ensure sustainability and linkage with climate change–enabling activities already implemented in the country, climate change activities are implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Climate Change Programme Unit established in the frame of Albania’s First National Communication (2002) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A steering committee has specific responsibilities in this respect and its members comprise the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Defense/Civil Emergency Directory, the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment, the Vlora Prefecture, and the Environmental Center for Development Education and Networking (EDEN), which is an environmental non-governmental organization.

The Albanian government set up the National Environment Agency (AKM), financed from the state budget, which is responsible for collecting climate-related data, ensuring environmental performance, conducting research and collecting environmental knowledge, conducting environmental impact assessments, and ensuring inspection of and compliance with legal requirements and environmental conditions. The National Environment Agency was established after restructuring the Environment and Forestry Agency in 2019.

Other institutions that are involved in the implementation of environmental policy, including implementation of climate change and climate development mechanisms are the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, and the Ministry of Urban Development. These institutions collectively provide the data required for reporting greenhouse gas emissions and develop appropriate sector-specific actions to reduce the impacts of climate change.

A non-governmental organization, The Institute for Environmental Policy, aims to enhance environmental sustainability amongst Albanian citizens through a myriad of methods including policies, raising awareness, and dissemination.

Education and communication

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth is the leading ministry for education and communication matters in Albania. 

The Institute of Geoscience, Energy, Water and Environment is a research-oriented academic institution with the mission to carry out scientific geosciences research to support the sustainable development of Albania, and to contribute to the in-depth high education and the qualification of young researchers through knowledge and technology transfer. 

The Academy of Sciences, another research institution in Albania, is dedicated to scientific research; however, at the time of this review, only a few publications related to climate change have been released. 

The National Agency for Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation (NASRI), a legal public institution under the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, aims to strengthen scientific and technological research, incorporate it into higher education, and promote sustainable development in Albania. According to the Fourth National Communication (2022), The Agency was established based on the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 607: On the Establishment, Composition, Organization and Functioning of the National Agency for Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation (August 31, 2016).

The Resource Environmental Center Albania (REC Albania) is dedicated to disseminating knowledge on Education for Sustainable Development policy and tools, promoting participatory processes in policy making and exchange of information, and facilitating capacity building and cooperation among various stakeholders to work towards implementing climate change projects, clean energy solutions, and stronger environmental governance in Albania. 

The Environmental Center for Development Education and Networking (EDEN) is a non-governmental organization in Albania that aims to improve sustainable development and healthy environments through informing, educating, and offering services in partnership with interested actors. The Environmental Center for Development Education and Networking focuses on four pillars: Capacity Building, Environmental Education, Environmental Management Practices, and Public Information and Participation. At the time of this review, the Center had no mention of climate change education on its website.

The Fourth National Communication (2022) states that universities, along with public and private institutions such as the National Agency of Territorial Planning and other non-governmental organizations, have actively participated in research projects through European Union programs and initiatives. Some of these projects that address and contribute to research relating to climate change and energy efficiency include: 

  • EmpowerMed: Empowering women to take action against energy poverty in the Mediterranean (2019–2023).
  • ARSINOE: Climate-Resilient Regions through System Solutions and Innovations (2021–2025).
  • RECONNECT Project: ‘Regional Cooperation for the Transnational Ecosystem Sustainable Development’ project aims to develop strategies for sustainable development.

III) Relevant laws, policies, and plans

Climate change

Article 59 1e in Albania’s Constitution (1998) claims that present and future generations have the right to live a healthy life in an ecologically suitable environment that should be maintained by Albanian authorities. Article 56 in the Constitution affirms that “everyone has the right to be informed about the status of the environment and its protection” (p. 13). 

In 2020, Albania adopted Law No. 155/2020 On Climate Change, which outlines many aspects including a general framework of the national policy for climate change actions; the conditions of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources; the conditions of capture and geological storage of carbon dioxide; a monitoring, reporting and verification framework of greenhouse gas emissions; the framework for participation in international climate actions; and the establishment of the institutional system for undertaking actions against climatic changes. The main aims of this law are:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Accelerating adaptation to climate change while mitigating its harmful effects.
  3. Contributing to global efforts against climate change by fulfilling the obligations of the Republic of Albania to the Convention.
  4. Creating a framework revolved around climate action at the national level in accordance with European Union legislation on climate change.
  5. Joining states that recognize the climate emergency according to the decision of the European Parliament in 2019.

The law ‘On climate change’ acts as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change implementation law in Albania. It covers requirements under the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive and requires all relevant ministries to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation issues into their legislation. The draft Decision of the Council of Ministers ‘On monitoring and reporting GHG emissions and other information relevant to climate change at the national level’ establishes a mechanism for monitoring and reporting on greenhouse gases and other climate change information at the national level, as appropriate for a Non-Annex I party. 

Law no. 10431 (2011), ‘On Environmental Protection,’ outlines a framework for environmental protection, sustainable development, and environmental monitoring. It also offers high importance to the right to environmental information by highlighting:The right of the public to request environmental information and the obligation of the authorities to provide this information in a timely manner. The obligation of public authorities to ensure that the public has every opportunity to be informed without making a request in advance, to be able to participate in the procedures for identifying the state of the environment, drafting and approving strategies, plans and programs related to environmental protection.

A National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC) document was endorsed in 2019 and contains two corresponding annexes: the National Action Plan on Mitigation and the National Adaptation Plan. The National Strategy on Climate Change is the current strategic document in Albania that addresses climate change and intends to support the implementation of European Union legislation on environment and climate, strengthen intersectoral coordination for measures on climate, and coordinate environmental protection and stable development. 

The National Action Plan on Mitigation (NAPM; 2019) considers long-term objectives until 2050 and focuses on four sectors: energy (plus a special focus on transport), agriculture, land use change, and forestry. The document identifies six main mitigation strategy priorities: 1) ensure sustainable economic growth, 2) establish a monitoring, reporting, and verification system of greenhouse gases, 3) strengthen the capacity of relevant institutions and inter-institution cooperation, 4) streamline climate changes across sectoral strategic planning, 5) reinforce capacity building and awareness raising, and 6) align with the European Union Climate Change framework. 

The National Action Plan (NAP), in the frame of the National Strategy for Climate Change, 2020–2030, was developed in accordance with the ‘Technical Guidelines for the NAPs’ and drafted by a group of experts for less-developed countries in the context of the Nationally Designated Contributions for Climate Change.

Albania is the first Balkan country to produce a National Adaptation Plan, which was created in 2015 under the framework of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Climate Change that is also responsible for its development and implementation. The Plan provides principles, goals, and indicators for mainstreaming climate change in target sectors and uses priority actions to establish performance through access mechanisms to finances, outreach and involvement, capacity development, and monitoring. Furthermore, this Plan aims to increase participation and awareness to achieve climate change resilience in the country. 

The National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015–2020 was adopted by the Albanian government in 2016; This national planning document is committed to implementing the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. It outlines the development process for Albania as a middle-income economy aiming to advance to an upper-middle–income level. Although the National Strategy for Development and Integration paper does not specifically reference climate change, it does state priority adaptation actions for growth through sustainable use of natural resources and territorial development, including undertaking climate action, protecting nature, and developing sustainable tourism. 

Another policy paper by the Albanian government is the 2013 Climate Change Adaptation in the Drini-Mati River Delta and Beyond Policy, which is based on the pilot project, ‘Identification and implementation of the adaptation response measures in the Drini-Mati River deltas’ by the Global Environment Fund, the Government of Albania, and the United Nations Development Program. The project assessed climate risks to the Drini-Mati River deltas and helped increase its resilience to climate change through adaptation strategies such as beach nourishment, wetland restoration, and controlling the discharge of polluted water from pumping stations. Implementing this policy is fundamental to providing the enabling environment needed to support ongoing, proactive adaptation to climate change risks in Albania. 

Albania submitted its Revised Nationally Determined Contributions in 2021 (published in 2022), which is closely aligned with the European Union’s Green Deal. The focus of the strategies put forward in this revised document are the development and improvement of institutional frameworks for responsible environmental management, better management of the effects of climate change and economic development goals, and the availability of the resources required to support strategic adaptation activities and advance low-emission and climate-resilient development. The Revised Nationally Determined Contributions document states that Albania is committed to a 20.9% emissions reduction target by 2030, which is an increase from original aim of 11.5% in Albania’s first Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (2016). The implementation of the Revised Nationally Determined Contributions and the promotion of some of the adaptation measures are facilitated by the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Climate Change

Albania ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in 2019 to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons and promote more climate-friendly alternatives.

Table 20 within the First Biennial Update Report for Albania (2021) offers a Climate Change Gender Equity Plan (2021–2027), created to strengthen the capacities of institutions to integrate gender considerations into climate change policies and promote equitable participation and influence by women and men in climate change adaptation and mitigation decision-making processes. The plan’s objectives comprise “Promote gender equality in decision making on climate change policies on central levels of policy making and strengthen capacities of institutions to integrate gender considerations in climate change policies,” “Update the relevant national and local strategic documents in order to integrate best practices, information and risk scenarios, with gender and climate change issues taken into consideration,” and “Engage stakeholders in the process of the monitoring of Action Plans on Climate Change National Action Plan on Mitigation (NAPM) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP; DCM 466, date 3.07.2019).” Another focus of this plan is to develop and pilot gender-based climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, specifically on the Vjosa River Basin, which is the second-largest water system in Albania. 

The country approved the National Strategy For Gender Equality (NGSE) 2021–2030 (2021) by Decision of the Council of Ministers No.400, dated 30.06.2021. The strategy was prepared by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Goal I of the strategy includes objectives and measures related to the thematic areas of the European Union Gender Action Plan III 2021–2025 (2020) such as: “Promoting economic and social rights and empowering girls and women,” and “Addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities offered by the transition to a green economy, digital transformation, climate change, and the environment.” 

According to the Fourth National Communication (2022), despite the development of the Climate Change Gender Equity Plan, the National Strategy For Gender Equality, and guidelines on mainstreaming gender in climate change mitigation and adaptation plans put forth within the national communication, gender is still not yet reflected in any of the recently established climate-related policies and laws including the Cross-Sector Strategy on Environment 2013–2020, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, National Strategy on Climate Change and its two annexes The National Action Plan on Mitigation and the National Adaptation Plan, the National Integrated Energy and Climate Strategy, and the Law On Climate Change. Furthermore, gender-related strategies such as the Third National Strategy on Gender Equality (NSGE) and its Action Plan 2016–2020 do not consider climate change issues. In contrast, this national communication asserts that climate change is identified in five Municipal Councils’ Gender Equity Local Action Plans 2018–2020. 

Albania’s Third Environmental Performance Review (2018) by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), states that the country has a rich legal framework for the protection of the environment relating to ambient air quality, forestry, water and industrial pollution, energy, transport, and environmental permits. Strategic objectives on environmental protection and on climate change are covered extensively in the Second National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 (NSDI-II).

The Climate Change Strategy in Albania 2020–2030 and the 2019–2021 Action Plan Monitoring were published in 2022. The Framework of Priority Actions on Climate Change, an integrated part of the National Strategy for Climate Change, is based almost entirely on a document titled National Adaptation Plan for Albania. The development of the National Adaptation Plan for Albania was a process that lasted two years from 2016 to 2018. The development of the document was supported by PlanAdapt (an interdisciplinary team of experts engaged in climate risk and resilience issues) in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, and the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Climate Change; the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), guided the process.

Education and communication

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth published a Curriculum Framework of Pre-University Education in 2014 that outlines the country’s pre-university education goals, key competencies acquired by students, principles on curriculum development and implementation, and effective teaching and learning processes. 

The Albanian Qualifications Framework was adopted in 2010 by Law No. 10247, which outlines rules for the organization and operation of regulated professionals, and incorporates eight levels similar to the European Qualifications Framework. The three institutions responsible for the Albanian Qualifications Framework are the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth; the Ministry of Finance and Economy; and the National Agency for Vocational Education, Training and Qualifications

Albania is one of the 193 member states of the United Nations that adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, which focuses on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The country released a National Education Strategy covering 2021–2026, and while the strategy does not address Sustainable Development Goal 13 (action to combat climate change), it does state a commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 4 that ensures that everyone is entitled to inclusive and fair quality education and the promotion of opportunities for lifelong learning.

The National Strategy on Climate Change (2019) references Sustainable Development Goal 13 to take urgent action in combating climate change and its impacts, and it specifically mentions Target 13.2, “to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning” and Target 13.3, “to improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacities for climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.” However, as stated in this National Strategy, Albania states that a limited awareness of climate change at both the policy-making and the public levels, combined with a lack of any systematic government measures, are present obstacles to achieving these goals. Therefore, the approaches in the National Strategy call for capacity development activities and a communication strategy on climate change issues to be addressed at central and local levels as well as by public and private stakeholders. One priority of this communication strategy is strengthening awareness through educational institutions by incorporating climate change modules and knowledge into curricula and introducing campaigns in schools.

IV) Terminology used for climate communication and education

Law No. 155/2020 On Climate Change outlines a number of definitions. First, it defines  ‘climate change’  as, “a change in the climate, directly or indirectly attributed to human activity, which changes the composition of the global atmosphere and which is added to the natural variability of the climate observed in comparable time periods” (2020, p. 2). The Law also defines  ‘adaptation’  as, “human-made adjustments to ecological, social, economic systems or political processes in response to actual or expected climate changes, their effects or impacts” (2020, p. 3). Lastly, the law defines ‘climate emergency’ as, “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or stop climate change and to avoid possible irreversible environmental damage resulting from it” (2020, p. 4). 

Albanian documents such as the Fourth National Communication (2022), the National Strategy on Climate Change (2019), and the National Strategy for Development and Integration (2016) typically refer to climate change in terms of climate adaptation and mitigation, greenhouse gases, resiliency, clean energy, and sustainable development. Regarding climate education, these documents often state that they are aiming for a fair and inclusive education system, increasing public awareness of climate change, and incorporating climate education into curricula.

“Creating an education system that has students’ needs and interests at its core; that creates opportunities and conditions conducive for students to build and develop their knowledge, skills and values required by society; that allows students to develop independently and to contribute to their welfare and that of society, in a constructive way, and to face life’s challenges.”

– (2016, p. 73)

V) Budget for climate communication and education

While there is no budget specifically devoted to climate change education and communication, Albania spent 12.07% of its budget on Education in 2020, a 1.36% decline from 2019. According to the Education Budget Brief (2021), expenditure for the education system in Albania was only a little over 3.6% of the GDP in 2020, whereas the average for European Union countries is 4.6% (although Albania aims to eventually reach 4.5% of the GDP), which according to the Right to Education Index, meets only 45% of students’ needs for education. Of the total expenditure for education during 2020, primary education (including preschool) accounted for 55.4%, high education for 16.9%, and higher education for 24.1%. 

The estimated cost for implementing the National Education Strategy (2021) is US$  527 million (ALL 50.81 billion), of which 70% is dedicated to pre-university education, 29.7% to higher education, and 0.3% to education system management. 

The Fourth National Communication (2022) states that a little over US$  1.5 billion (ALL 153 billion) is needed to implement the actions of the Revised Nationally Determined Contributions Plan (2022) with the majority of that, US$  1.4 billion (ALL 147 billion), allocated to mitigation measures, US$  454.64 (ALL 45,509.4) to the promotion of gender equality in terms of climate change adaptation, and US$  15,214.42 (ALL 1,522,963.2) to adopt integrated, ecosystem-based approaches and/or nature-based solutions. 

A study conducted by Green Budgeting in Albania (2022) concludes that there is a lack of legal and institutional or administrative capacity to plan, budget, implement, enforce or monitor climate change and environmental protection efforts. Moreover, there is no budget program/code/law that points to ‘Green Budgeting’ in any manner in either the state budgets or annual budget laws. This study also states that although environmental protection is one of the 127 programs funded by the state budget, its budget allocation is 0.23%–0.18% of the government’s total budget in the last four years, a value lower than other countries of the Balkan peninsula. 

The National Adaptation Plan (2015) Indicator 12.1 suggests that Albania should allocate at least an initial US$  5 million (ALL 500 million) of its public budget for its Plan by 2018. The total cost for implementation of the National Adaptation Plan is approximately US$  111 million (ALL 11 billion), of which approximately US$  29 million (ALL 2.9 billion) is partly covered by the state budget and partly through donors such as the European Union, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme. Furthermore, the National Adaptation Plan indicates US$  961,538 (ALL 96,404,472) is needed for Priority Action No. 5, which is the Communication and Outreach Initiative that includes increasing public awareness activities, developing a Participation and Outreach Action Plan for community involvement, integrating climate change education in curricula, and launching school campaigns.

The United Nations Environment Programme and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment is dedicated to improving the resilience of the Kune-Vaini lagoon ecosystem in Albania that can adapt to climate change while still providing goods and services to the communities. The budget for this project is set at US$  1.9 billion, coming out of the Special Climate Change Fund, which would rehabilitate 10 hectares of degraded forest and 2000 meters of coastal dunes and restore them with climate-resilient species. 

As stated in the Voluntary National Review on Sustainable Development Goals (2018), direct financing of Sustainable Development Goal 4 is one of the high-cost items, requiring approximately 13% of financing allocated for all Sustainable Development Goals (US$  328.46 million), while only US$  16.13 million is allocated for Sustainable Development Goal 13.

According to the First Biennial Update Report for Albania (2021), the Gender Equality Action Plan is budgeted at approximately US$  50,000 for objective one (promotion of gender equality in decision making on climate change policies), US$  500,000 for objective two (update the relevant national and local strategic documents to integrate best practices with gender and climate change issues), US$  3,000,000 for objective three (projects with a focus on Vjosa river delta), and US$ 500,000 for objective four (engaging stakeholders in process of the National Action Plan on Mitigation and the National Adaptation Plan).


I) Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education

Albania’s Fourth National Communication (2022) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, highlights that, “Environmental education and climate change are integrated into teaching and other school activities at pre-university levels of education” and in particular, “Climate change content is included within the subjects: education about society, biology, and geography” (p. 178). The Institute of Education Development Subject Program for Natural Sciences (2015) states that the biology curriculum for class VI refers to climate change and biodiversity. Yet, according to Albania’s Curriculum for Lower Secondary Education (2006), the geography curricula for grades VII, VIII, and IX refer only to climate and not climate change specifically. 

The Child-Led Environmental Education Initiative (2008) in Albania, a joint program with the United Nations Children’s Fund; Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth; and Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration focuses on introducing environmental education, including climate change issues, in primary schools to improve the behaviour of children and communities towards protecting the environment. This Programme, now advertised as ‘Albania, Beautiful and Clean,’ consists of four areas: curricular competencies and teaching, foundation training/teacher support, community support, and monitoring and advocacy. It is unclear, at this time of review, when this programme was created and whether it continues to be implemented in Albania. 

The Children Stand Up for Climate Action programme, supported by the international non-profit Save the Children, is currently running in Albania with the aim to develop a primary and secondary curriculum in collaboration with environmentalists to increase climate/environmental awareness amongst teachers, students, civil society, and government officials. With this programme, children also host discussions at school and at the local level to speak about the importance of transitioning to climate-friendly measures in institutions, which allows the children to be engaged in decision-making processes regarding climate change.

A climate change and coding class was developed in Albania to allow students to learn about climate change and human impacts on natural systems and about coding commands; they can then create games or solutions revolving around Sustainable Development Goal 13. The teachers are responsible for creating the lesson plan, asking discussion questions, and building games to educate students on climate change and relate Sustainable Development Goal 13 to real-life problems. It is unclear, at time of this review, when this class happened and whether it continues to be an ongoing course in Albania. 

II) Climate change in teacher training and teacher resources

The Erasmus+ project, Developing Teacher Competencies for a Comprehensive VET System in Albania (2017–2020), in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, aimed at improving the competencies of Albanian in-service teachers at the non-tertiary education level through designing, implementing, and monitoring a lifelong learning Teacher Training System provided by Albanian universities. Although this project is not specific to climate change training, it does recognize the need for education reforms and the professional development of teachers. As such, the Right to Education Index gives Albania a low score in regards to the ratio of well-trained teachers to children. 

In 2004, more than 100 teachers from schools in Tirana were trained on concepts of environmental education, including climate change, and how to teach those concepts to students, in particular through the practical training courses that are part of the Environmental Education Programme for Schools in Tirana. In addition, an environmental education book, intended as part of the school curricula, was developed by Resource Environmental Center, Albania and was distributed to 50 elementary schools in Tirana; however, it is unclear at time of this review whether the book included concepts of climate change. 

Four Albanian teachers were nominated by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth to be the first to use the FiKiBio Environment Mobile to teach school children about climate and environmental conservation. FiKiBio was first presented to the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth in 2018 and generated positive responses overall. As an innovative and interactive approach to teaching in Albania, this program revolves around themes of climate, water, energy, air, and recycling, which are relevant sectors to Albania. ‘Action cards’ were specially designed and produced to meet Albanian needs; they described and illustrated ideas related to the themes and enabled children to learn about climate action and environmental protection through play. 

With The Child-Led Environmental Education Initiative Programme (2008) in Albania, a joint program with the United Nations Children’s Fund; Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth and Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration trained 2944 teachers to provide successful curricula around environmental education and climate change to a minimum of 50,000 children annually. It is unclear, at time of this review, whether this programme continues to provide training to teachers. 

Albanian high school teachers were trained on October 10, 2020, on the inclusion and development of climate change curriculum in schools. They were offered knowledge and techniques for teachers and educators on various components of climate change, including causes, impacts, mitigation, and adaptation strategies. The training was facilitated by the Civil Society Program for Albania and Kosovo, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, and managed by the Kosovar Civil Society Foundation in partnership with the Albania Partners for Change and Development.

III) Climate change in higher education

Currently, there are no higher education study programs specifically in the field of Climate Change or Sustainable Development in Albania. However, the Fourth National Communication (2022) states several initiatives, implemented at Higher Education Institutions, that target topics including sustainability, risk management, and climate action within the educational modules described below.

  • Knowledge for a resilient society (2016–2020): improving regional resilience to hazards and capability for regional cooperation in risk prevention and response and ensuring there are national professional resources and regional capacities to build regionally based disaster preparedness and a culture of safety and resilience at all levels, according to European Union Integration Strategies and national relevant strategies.
  • Almars Project (2019–2022): capacity building for blue growth, curriculum development of marine fishery in Albania, and maritime training.
  • Knowledge Triangle for Low Carbon Economies (2020–2023): a program fostering research and education through a Knowledge Triangle and establishing innovation centers.
  • Engine Project (2020–2023): Adapting and modernizing engineering curricula in renewable energy in Albanian Universities that fit with development strategies. 
  • Jean Monnet Module (2020–2023): promoting climate change adaptation and disaster risk management integrating the framework of the European Union at the University of Tirana, taught in the Master of Science in Risk Management program. 
  • Project BlueWBC (2020–2023): gathering the capacities of Higher Education Institutions in program countries and partner countries to improve Blue Economies in Montenegro and Albania through better education in innovation and entrepreneurship and to achieve sustainable development of Blue economies in partner countries.

The University of Tirana offers a Master of Science in Risk Management program, which includes topics related indirectly and directly to sustainability, including disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, financial resilience toward hazards, disaster risk modelling, and disaster risk evaluation. In addition, the Department of Geography has several subjects related to climate change in its program of studies including Climato-geography and Environmental Policy. Finally, the Faculty of Natural Sciences has some programs with subjects related to climate change, including the Master of Science in Environmental Biology and the Professional Master of Environmental Biotechnology

At the Agriculture University of Tirana, the Bachelor Program in Management of Natural Resources includes several topics related to global change, ecosystem impact, pollution, and renewables; Also, within the Master Program in Renewable Energies, there is one subject dedicated to climate change and several related to renewables. According to the Fourth National Communication, climate-related topics are included within the curricula of the Professional Master Rural and Environmental Sustainable Development and Environmental Management programs; however, there is no clear or direct link to climate change within the topics covered in the curriculum. 

Other public and private universities throughout Albania have made some progress in addressing climate change in their curricula. The Fourth National Communication (2022) identifies programs where climate change is discussed in six public universities located in the main cities of Albania (Durres, Vlora, Gjirokastra, Korca, Elbasani, and Shkodra). Examples of these programs include the Bachelor in Environmental Studies and the Master of Science in Urban Environmental Management at POLIS University, where a climate change workshop is part of both curricula.

IV) Climate change in training and adult learning

A training course promoted by a project called Digital Green Skills for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies, co-funded by Erasmus+, was led by the Albanian association Build Green Group in 2021. It aimed to achieve two things: 1) identify the main climate change indicators in various European regions and 2) promote digital practices that would aid in climate change mitigation. In 2021, around 40 participants from eight countries (Albania, Greece, Portugal, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, and Montenegro) engaged in many activities including sharing cultural experiences, developing professional skills, and using  Geographic Information Systems. The Digital Green Skills training is set to occur every year; however, at this of this review, there was no additional information available. 


I) Climate change and public awareness

As mentioned in the Climate Change Strategy in Albania 2020–2030 (2022), public awareness of climate change has increased gradually through the approval of the Climate Change Law (2020), the implementation of adaptation programmes, and community activities targeted at raising awareness and developing capacity, such as the project Building the Resilience of Kune Vain Lagoon System through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) in Albania or celebrating ‘World Wetlands Day’ with schools. The World Bank (2021) highlights the need to improve awareness and understanding of projected climate change impacts within key sectors and with policymakers, which requires a comprehensive strategy for capacity development, outreach, and engagement in Albania.

According to the Fourth National Communication (2022), Albanian non-governmental organizations and international organizations (and occasionally private companies) have been most active in the awareness-raising campaign in the field of climate change and in disseminating public information. A campaign in 2021 called ‘Don’t Chose Extinction,’ led by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, the United Nations Development Programme, and One Telecommunication is a short film that focuses on a dinosaur called Frankie who gives a rousing speech at the United Nations headquarters, urging for more climate action from global leaders.

The Resource Environmental Center, Albania has previously implemented activities to promote public awareness around ecosystem-based adaptation such as a ‘World Wetlands Day’ with schools and local partners, BioBlitz in school activities, and bird watching activities, where more than 100 locals, 300 students, and 30 businesses participated. 

The Children Stand Up for Climate Action project consists of a children’s radio station component called Underadio. This web radio platform is led and organized by children, and Underadio ensures that children are able to speak freely and campaign on climate issues and also raise the awareness of children in cities across Albania who are not directly targeted by the project. 

The National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC; 2019), claiming the need for other major interventions regarding raising awareness, states several priorities to improve climate change awareness in Albania through educational institutions, including designing educational modules, incorporating climate change knowledge into curricula, and introducing campaigns in schools. The National Strategy also outlines measures like early warning systems to improve public awareness of floods and campaigns to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on health. The National Strategy lists the following areas of intervention to improve public and sectoral awareness:

  1. Capacity development for state institutions
  2. Approaching work through educational institutions
  3. Approaching work and engagement with civil society
  4. Dissemination of information to relevant economic sectors


Apart from Albanian ministries, environmental non-governmental organizations also act as a catalyst for increasing public awareness on climate change through educational activities.

II) Climate change and public access to information

Law no. 10431 (2011), ‘On Environmental Protection,’ indicates the importance of the public’s right to access environmental information by highlighting: 

“The right of the public to request environmental information and the obligation of the authorities to provide this information in a timely manner, and, The obligation of public authorities to ensure that the public has every opportunity to be informed without making a request in advance, to be able to participate in the procedures for identifying the state of the environment, drafting and approving strategies, plans and programs related to environmental protection. “

– (p. 182)

The environmental information system is administered by the National Environmental Agency, which protects and manages the environment, monitors environmental policies, and provides public information. Environmental information is presented to the public often in audio, visual, electronic, and written forms. Publicly available environmental information relates to the state of the environment, substances or factors affecting environmental components, environmental measures or activities, legislation reports, and human health. 

As mentioned in the Fourth National Communication (2022), the Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP) provides data on historical and future climate, vulnerabilities, and impacts on every country of the world including data on a country’s climate profile, climate projections, and other indicators. The Climate Change Knowledge Portal offers high-level information regarding Albania’s climate zones and seasonal cycles for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology over the period 1991–2020; citizens can access this information at any time. 

The National Adaptation Plan (2015) had two indicators to achieve Goal 14 of informing the public on climate change adaptation progress: 

  1. Indicator 14.1: adaptation information is included in the new Electronic Governance and Delivery of Public Services System.
  2. Indicator 14.2: one campaign per year is conducted on relevant issues of climate change adaptation.


At the time of this review, it is unclear whether these two indicators are being tracked. 

III) Climate change and public participation

The National Strategy on Climate Change (2019) states a Priority Action No. 5, ‘Initiative for public information and involvement’ with two objectives: 1) increasing the capacities of relevant public institutions with indicator 1.1 to improve the level of knowledge on climate change in public institutions related to climate action and 2) increasing awareness and inclusion of climate change in groups and civil society with indicator 2.1, where public involvement of communities and civil society groups guide an action plan for public participation and involvement. Key elements in achieving this priority action, other than the action plan for public participation, is raising awareness through campaigns and promotion activities, and organizing public hearings and debates on adaptation-related activities. 

The National Adaptation Plan (2015) suggests organizing public involvement and debate on adaptation-related activities, strengthening awareness through campaigns, and conducting promotion activities such as competitions and public events. 

At the time of this review, it is unclear whether any of the proposed activities above have been executed and whether the objectives of Priority Action No. 5 have been met. In the monitoring report Climate Change Strategy in Albania 2020–2030 (2022), Priority Action No. 5 was not included in the 13 out of 15 Priority Actions that were discussed.


I) Country monitoring

Albania is a party to the Paris Agreement and is now a candidate for European Union membership; both commitments require reporting climate change data and actions. The National Environment Agency and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment oversee monitoring, reporting, and verification. In accordance with the second strategic priority in Albania’s National Strategy on Climate Change (2019) and National Mitigation Plan (2019), the country has outlined the need to develop a national climate change Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification system that is in line with European Union requirements. The Climate Change Measuring, Reporting, and Verification System of Albania: Emissions and Mitigation (2022) document was created to promote both short-term and long-term adaptation planning processes to climate change through the National Adaptation Plan (2015). It states that Albania’s national Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification system—when developed—aims to include relevant stakeholders in a system that supports the effective implementation of climate action, as well as teams of experts who can monitor, report, and verify data and quickly produce transparent and educational national documents that support the country’s contribution to the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

The National Adaptation Plan (2015) affirms the value of monitoring, reporting, and reviewing and defines it as a long-lasting process to achieve defined goals and outcomes. Every four years, a progress report on the National Adaptation Plan process will be launched; the Ministry of Tourism and Environment will have the lead responsibility for compiling the report with other relevant sector ministries contributing in their own fields. Based on reports and results of the Result-Based Monitoring system, a regular review of the National Adaptation Plan will be conducted every eight years. 

According to the First Biennial Update Report for Albania (2021), the country aims to establish a Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification System to strengthen the data information collection processes and increase transparency on climate change. 

The report, Climate Change Strategy in Albania 2020–2030 (2022), is the second monitoring document subject to the monitoring process of the National Strategy of Climate Change, initiated in 2021. Covering a three-year timespan (2019–2021), this report reviewed priority measures by sectors such as environment, agriculture, and health. The report concludes that monitoring instruments and a monitoring system are still lacking, making the monitoring of strategy implementation and priority actions highly unfeasible. 

According to Albania’s Voluntary National Review on Sustainable Development Goals (2018), the country is finalizing a decision on regulating a monitoring mechanism for transparency on climate action and for reducing transportation emissions. A draft sustainable transport plan has been prepared.

II) MECCE Project Monitoring

The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project evaluated Albania’s Curriculum Framework of Pre-University Education of the Republic of Albania (2014; National Curriculum Framework) for references to various clusters. 

No climate change terminology was mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework except for in the Specific Climate Change Cluster where ‘climate change impact’ was mentioned three times. There were five mentions of ‘environmental’ in the General Environmental Cluster and one mention of ‘ESD’ in the Sustainability Cluster. There were no mentions of ‘biodiversity.’

This section will be updated as the MECCE project develops.