Six south-eastern European countries on Thursday agreed to boost cross-border conservation efforts in an area of the Balkans especially rich in wildlife. The governments of Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia said they would create 13 new protected areas and extend nine others in the Dinaric Arc, an area which stretches from Trieste in Italy to Tirana in Albania.

It is raining and Tirana's main rubbish dump in the Sharra valley, about five kilometres outside the capital, is covered in sticky mud. However, for Ardian Alu it is business as usual. Together with his two young sons, Mr Alu, a member of Albania's Roma community, sifts through piles of waste selecting recyclable materials he can sell to a local trader. He is paid Lek14 (

Albania in southeastern Europe has imposed severe power cutbacks in the country. Drought and poorly maintained infrastructure threaten to bring electricity production to a halt in the country.

climate change victims: Residents of Inupiat village of Shishmaref, a remote Eskimo village in Alaska, the US, might be the first US people forced to shift their habitat because of global warming.

There has been a large-scale widening of the gap in the health status of rich and poor populations in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern European bloc. This was reported in a new report from

The United Nations Environ