Estonian-founded campaign cleans up Kosovo and Albania
Today, over 100,000 people are expected to participate in a cleanup day in Kosovo and tens of thousands in Albania as part of the global civic movement Let’s Do It! World Cleanup, which was originally conceived in Estonia.
The campaign aims to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short and long term by engaging a large part of the society in the cleanup activity on an action day, raising the issues related to illegal dumping and engaging both experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions.
Let’s Do It! is a massive civic led cooperation project, which focuses on positive action taking - instead of blaming and finger pointing. Since the birth of the global action in 2012, millions have joined for massive one day cleanup actions. The model of Let’s Do It! differs from several other cleanup actions because it is focusing on cleaning up the entire country in just one day.
Both Albania and Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, have shown impressive results in civic activism in the Balkans. Both countries have had large number of active volunteers participated in similar campaigns before: in 2013, 132,000 Kosovans and 147,000 Albanians came out voluntarily to clean up their countries from illegal waste.
This year, as a partner of Let’s Do It! Mediterranean, Albania is focusing on a huge coastal cleanup aiming to address the litter situation of the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by dense human population and accounts for about 30 percent of all the world’s tourists as more than 220 million tourists visit the region each year. Although the disposal of garbage in the Mediterranean Sea has been prohibited since 2009, 80 percent of urban sewage discharged into the sea is untreated. Some 250 billion microscopic pieces of plastic are floating in the Mediterranean and in certain places the volume of micro plastic in the water exceeds that of plankton.
The teams in Kosovo and Albania decided to organize the action together, as a sign of solidarity with each other. “The focus of this year's action in Kosovo is to tackle illegal landfills, hopefully with the help of more than 100,000 volunteers. We have mapped around 600 illegal dumps all over the country. Our aim is to get rid of at least half of them and turn those cleaned areas into greenery and parks,” Adem Ramadani, Public Relations representative for Let’s Do It! Kosova, said.
Kosovo has more than 200 NGOs on board for the cleanup day.
The Let's Do It! movement began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people came together and cleaned up their entire country in five hours, removing 10,000 tonnes of waste. Today, Let’s Do It! is a global network of 112 countries, having engaged over 12 million participants.
Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2015 is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, the Open Estonia Foundation, Skype, Tallink Group, Estonian Air, and various other Estonia-based companies.