TOKA: The Organization to Conserve the Albanian Alps was founded in June 2016, in Tirana and Valbona Valley National Park, Albania, with founding members from the local community, biologists, tourism experts and other passionate supporters.
In Albanian, “Toka” means “land” or “earth” – but with deep undertones of connectedness. You can swear by it, as in “Pasha Ketë Tokë” – “I swear by this land.”
We use as our symbol the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) because she is a beautiful and humble creature, as well as an ecosystem health indicator, which appears to have not one single aggressive feature – and yet she survives! In the North of Albania she is known as “Picarak” but elsewhere she is called “Bukura e Dheut” – the Beauty of the Land.