Environmental issues in Albania

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There are a number of known environmental issues in the post-communist country of Albania. Issues include air and water pollution, poor waste management infrastructure and deforestation. The Albanian environmental movement includes around 40 active non-government organisations.


Air pollution[edit]

Air pollution is a major environmental issue in the bigger cities of Albania, especially the capital, Tirana. The sharp increase in air pollution in bigger cities resulted from a sharp increase in cars' ownership and decrease of urban greenery. Annual average concentrations of PM10 and NO2 in Tirana are above the limit values of National Air Quality Standard and World Health Organization.[1][2]

Water pollution[edit]

Water pollution in Albania is caused by disposal of trash, and discharge of untreated wastewater and sewage. Two rivers which pass through the capital, Tirana, are two of the most polluted rivers in Albania. Lana and Tirana River are clean at their source, but once they enter Tirana, their water is several times more polluted than allowed standards.[3] Industrial pollution of rivers has been observed in the rivers Shkumbini, Fani, Gjanika and Semani, where toxic organic compounds and metals from mining and industrial activity are heavily affecting these rivers.[4]


The waste management system is composed by a weak collection systems in cities and very little collection systems in rural areas. The Albania’s collection coverage is around to 77%.[5] Recycling is done by private companies, which employ poor people to collect plastic, metallic, glass and paper waste which is processed or packed and then sold to other countries.[6] The rest is mostly landfilled. Awareness on waste recycling is low. Littering and dumping trash remains a serious problem for Albania.[7]


Illegal logging is the main threat to Albanian forests.[8] The other threat comes from forest fires which in the last years have intensified.

Environmental movement in Albania[edit]

The environmental movement in Albania is represented by around 100 environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It consists of local and national NGOs. Less than 40 NGOs are active due to lack of funding and barriers in influencing the decision makers. The main environmental organizations in Albania are Ekolëvizja, Institute for Environmental Policy in Albania, Regional Environmental Center in Albania, EDEN Center, and Millieukontakt Albania.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tirana Air Quality Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  2. ^ "MAPPING AIR POLLUTION IN URBAN TIRANA AREA USING GIS" (PDF). Retrieved 24 January 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Second Environmental Progress Report Related with the New Constructed Wetland in the Place Bregu Lumit (Tirana River)" (PDF). Institute for Environmental Policy-Albania. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Albania Environment and Climate Change Analysis" (PDF). UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG. Retrieved 25 January 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Waste Atlas(2012) Country Data: ALBANIA
  6. ^ http://www.eea.europa.eu/soer/countries/al/soertopic_view?topic=waste
  7. ^ "Pollution". Institute for Environmental Policy in Albania. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Illegal Logging Ravages Albania's Forests". Retrieved 24 January 2012.[permanent dead link]