deep regret the CMS Secretariat learnt that Professor Dr.
Leke Gjiknuri passed away at the end of August. Professor
Gjiknuri was a committed conservationist who promoted the
idea of the preservation of nature and the environment in
Albania. He also furthered the opening of Albania for concerted
action with neighbouring countries, international governmental
and non-governmental organisations.
As a member of the Albanian Parliament, the Vice Chairman
of the Parliamentary Committee for the Environment as well
as the President of the Albanian Protection and Preservation
of Natural Environment Association (PPNEA), he was the key
contact for the CMS Secretariat for a joint venture of EURONATURE,
the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and
CMS to establish a Prespa National Park in Eastern Albania
and to promote plans for a transboundary (trilateral) biosphere
reserve integrating the entire Ohrid-Prespa lake system
of Albania, FYR of Macedonia and Greece.
Leke Gjiknuri's circle of influence was wide. The contacts
he established not only resulted in a wide extension of
the protected areas in Albania but also in Albania's accession
to CMS, ASCOBANS, AEWA, and Eurobats.
During this entire period Leke Gjiknuri suffered from an
incurable illness, the battle against which he eventually
lost. He will remain in our hearts.
We extend our feelings of deep sympathy to his family.