Our beautiful country, Kosovo

With our pride, the Accursed Mountains, and their lush forests which have served us for centuries. They bear the story of wars, survival, resilience,, tradition, and even of mystical creatures. The sanctuary of shepherds and shepherdesses, the infamous Ram Elezi and his flying dancer’s play. Today, they serve us as a playground, a place to discover, retreat, breathe and escape. They are a sanctuary, central to our wellbeing.

Until now!

Our Accursed Mountains are now under threat, due to corruption and exploitation.  The life they hold is fading, fuelled by a never-ending need for wood. Our current leaders have struggled to act - they are overwhelmed by the pressures of reviving a state that has been battered by the effects of oppression, war, previous poor leadership, corruption, and greed. At the same time, our leaders are challenged by the rising need to move away from coal dependency, and seek expensive alternative solutions. While they are paving our way to join the European Union, that too comes with a price tag. Our Forests just become a priority for another election, but by then it may be too late.

While the forests keep disappearing, our health keeps declining. We are breathing into our lungs the particles of our own wrongdoings. We are destroying what our forebears fought for and we rip off the future of our foregoers. Our children.

Estimated forest loss between 2001-2019:

hectares

We bring in the science, technology, and actions of changemakers, champions, geoscience institutes, data scientists, and responsible and innovative businesses. We together can combat deforestation  and regenerate our forests, to serve us and our futures. We have the resilience to fight the oppression created by  greed. Join our movement! We are the creators of our presence. This is the time when we must revive the solidarity we once felt while fighting oppressions. Our country needs us.

We need us!

 

Have a look at the map below to explore the forest loss in Kosovo from 2001 to 2019. Use the slider to discover the events over time.

These deforestation maps were obtained using satellite-based products, such as ESA's Sentinel 2 and NASA's Landsat 8.

Results were validated by a team of Data Scientists and Remote Sensing Specialists. The validation process involved three methods:

  1. Visual inspection using high-resolution satellite imagery of more than 200 patches of estimated forest loss

  2. Comparison with Global Forest Watch (GFW) forest loss estimates 

  3. Change detection using radar satellite imagery

The two images display forest loss between 2011 and 2013. 
Use the slider to view how much difference just 2 years can make.

 

We compared the results that we obtained against the GFW forest loss estimates. As you can see, despite using different approaches, the estimates match quite closely.

Click on the bars to find out how many hectares of forest were lost over time.

It's time to take action

We hope that by combining maps displaying the extent and rate of forest loss and engaging media, our story can reach a large audience.

                                                      our champion, to make a change. You can help in reforesting the damaged forests by planting and protecting trees to improve air quality and reduce health issues, as well as regenerate the environment. Vote for politicians that vow for better government strategy focusing on protection and regeneration of forests by transformational leadership. Aid Kosovo in complying to EU environmental standards and have us accepted as a new, inspiring member state; for other member states as well as our younger generations. Promote green, future proof businesses to enter a new, stronger and sustainable economic era. Educate our youth to reinstate the love for forests, as it used to be in our culture. Let’s shift mindsets.

But we need you, 

Share this Story Map with as many people as you can and be the one to spread the knowledge and raise awareness with activists and policy makers. We must insist for action and leadership from government, private and civil society sectors. Our small country deserves the sanctuary and the pleasures of the forests and mountains. 

We should not negotiate anything less than our ‘accursed’ becoming ‘blessed’. Let us create the history that our future generation will proudly sing of through the ‘citeli’ and ‘lahuta’. Pick up your drums and play them hard. Wake up the Rugova flying dancers from our past! Let them rejoice with you now. 

Don’t forget to share this story and

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Let's get together!