In March we visited Albania and presented 10:10 Teen Project to students from Tirana (the capital). Amazed by the turnout, we were also amazed by all the colors and the contrasts - many buildings painted in bright colors - like big Lego blocks, and beautiful Mediterranean landscapes opposite the gray concrete buildings from the Communist era.
Those moments - when you focus hard to understand the local aspect - where is it all coming from, the "why", the "how", and the "because" - are such an adrenaline rush. The country on which soil you stand at that particular moment becomes the only country in the world - your mind is clear, and the approach you are going to take crystalizes itself in seconds. You can prepare in advance all you like, but the truth is, until your shoes are walking the local street and until you force yourself to think like a local, you have no plan and you have no strategy.
Climate change movements and carbon reduction efforts are no different (at least they should not be) - you have to understand all local points of view and all local issues because it the best way for you to form the best approach in tackling those particular issues.
Albania has magnificent coast (on the photo above is Vlore, on the south of the country) . The coast has a lot of tourism potential and so many places can be developed into great resorts - right now they are not, which is actually a great opportunity for Albania - if you have to develop something (almost) from scratch - why not do it the low carbon way?
This is just one of the things we will try to focus on in Albania - can we have 10:10 low carbon resorts there? Can Vlore or Durres (another town on the coast) become the first 10:10 Mediterranean resort(s)? Can we help a country develop their tourism as a 10:10 / low carbon?
A great challenge - but we have a lot of things on our side - Albania is very much aware they need to focus more on climate change issues. The officials are open to ideas, projects and campaigns. Funding remains a big issue - but we will get there eventually.
Albania is a country of young people - their energy should help us with our 10:10 efforts. This week's 10:10 Teen presentation was a perfect example - we gave them a little push and they came back with so many great ideas and suggestions of what can be done, what they can do, and how they would like to participate in 10:10.
Do read our report from the visit, as it shares great photos given to us by students - visually describing recycling, nature, and much more.