6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where we are?

Lake Prespa
Prespa Lake, East of Albania

Success has been achieved in terms of setting up the necessary policy and legal frameworks and supporting institutions. However, much remains to be done in terms of full implementation of many of the laws, and this will take considerable time. Hence, development of the needed institutional and human capacities remains the major challenge, along with the basic capacity to implement projects and programmes combined with sustainable financing. This includes the development of the necessary environmental monitoring and reporting systems. Although there has been an increased environmental awareness among Albanian institutions, general government expenditures on environmental protection per se over the period 2008–2010 have been very low.

The global financial crisis could have a significant impact on achievement of a number of MDG indicators. The major risk is a dampening of internal forecasts for economic growth, which may constrain budgets, or cause government to postpone some of the larger sanitation projects, or reallocate scarce domestic financial resources to the higher priority areas of health and education, as discussed under the respective MDG sections of this report, or any or all of these. However, water and sanitation will remain a top priority of government with no anticipated budget cuts.

Government will continue to depend on external assistance in the form of grants and loans to finance major environmental initiatives associated with sewage treatment plants, including supplementary funding from the World Bank.

UNDP's work in Albania

  • Guesthouse owner in Theth village being interviewed about the new initiative. Credit: UNDP Albania

    Tourists in Theth benefit from solar water heaters
    guesthouse owner in Theth

    Presently 11 guest houses in the National Park of Theth, which have installed solar water heaters, provide better services to the increasing number of tourists visiting the area.more

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums