On November 1, 2016, in the framework of a visit to Shkodra by Swedish Ambassador Mr Johan Ndisi, a cycling tour took place to raise awareness of environmental protection. This was among the first visits being made by the ambassador to projects supported by Sweden, during which he will be briefed on the progress of administrative and territorial reforms.
The city of Shkodra has become a symbol of cycling in Albania, and several environmental and civil society organisations joined in the event, including Aarhus Shkodra, Eko-mendje and GO2. Mr. Ndisi also visited the exhibition "Shkodra: My family, my bicycle, my story".
Urban mobility is an important focus area for REC Albania: the office provides capacity building and financial support to environmental CSOs through the SENiOR-A programme (Support for Environmental Civil Society Organisatons in Albania), and its follow-up SENiOR-II, both funded by the Swedish Embassy in Albania. Activities are also organised in the framework of European Mobility Week and other dedicated environmental days.
The efforts of numerous environmental organisations working in this field have led to an increased interest in cycling and to the incorporation of urban mobility strategies into urban development and action plans. Mr. Ndisi's tour will continue in the coming days, with a focus on Sweden's support for the sustainable use of natural resources. This support is important in the context of Albania's EU integration process, while at the same time it encourages the bolder participation of civil society in accordance with EU legislation and multilateral agreements on the environment, climate change and energy.