A healthy environment is a matter of rights for every child

The Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action in Albania was signed at a critical moment

22 November 2023
Minister of Environment & Tourism signing the MoU
UNICEF/Albania2023

Tirana, 22 November 2023- Today, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and UNICEF signed the Declaration on Children, Youth, and Climate Action. This is the first-of-its-kind commitment to accelerate inclusive, child and youth-centered climate policies and action at the national level.

The Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action in Albania was signed at a critical moment when delegations from all over the world will be attending the 28th Conference Of the Parties, also known as COP28, to discuss and take action on climate change.

One of the aims of the Declaration is to expand participation by children and youth in the climate change mitigation and adaptation processes through more education about climate change and the environment, as well as the acquisition of knowledge and skills required to protect themselves and contribute to a safe and sustainable future.

Key messages from youth from all over the world who will be part of the delegations will be to protect the lives, health, and well-being of children; empower every child through their life course with developmental opportunities, education, and skills to be a champion for the environment; reduce emissions and fulfill ambitious international sustainability and climate change agreements. Two young persons from the UN Youth Delegate will be part of the Albanian delegation to COP28.

Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro said: “UNICEF stands as a crucial ally in our mission to provide inclusive education for children. The challenge is to transform this commitment into tangible results and ensure its messages resonate with children. I am convinced that we will have a beautiful journey ahead, but very challenging, as the issues of climate need to be heard by young people, and then made a priority. While Albania may not be a major contributor to global climate changes or pollution, it is significantly threatened by the escalating consequences that we experience each passing year." 

UNICEF Representative, Roberto De Bernardi, stated: “I am pleased to recognize the importance of children and youth in climate action and to celebrate the increased ambition of the government of Albania marked by the commitment to sign the Declaration of Children, Youth, and Climate Action.”

Climate change threatens children’s survival, development, nutrition, education, and access to health care – all of which are children’s rights and defined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index, approximately 1 billion children (nearly half of the world's children) live in extremely high-risk countries. Albania’s children are at substantial risk from climate change, too.  The EU Progress Report of 2023 indicates that Albania has some level of preparation for tackling climate change however more needs to be done.

Protecting the planet and protecting children go hand-in-hand – and both can be achieved if we all act now. UNICEF in Albania will continue to work with partners at national and local levels to ensure that children can live in a safe and clean environment.

Media contacts

Anila Miria
Communication Officer
UNICEF
Tel: +35569 20 29 021
Tel: +35569 20 24 185

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/albania.

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