At a formal ceremony in Tepelena this morning, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama and his Minister of the Environment and Tourism Mirela Kumbaro declared the River Vjosa a Wild River National Park. As from today, the entire River Vjosa in Albania from its border with Greece to the Adriatic sea and its free flowing tributaries – a river system totalling more than 400 kilometres in length – have the very high level of protection.
The feasibility study is the result of six months of extensive fieldwork and in-depth analysis by a team of over 30 experts in areas such as eco-tourism, geomorphology, ecology, planning and management of protected areas, sustainable financing of national parks, legislation, and social and environmental impact assessment.
A study investigating hydropower conflicts in Albania reveals alarming circumstances: In these 4 years, 34 people have been arrested; six casualties are recorded, including one murder and one murder attempt. The study confirms that conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and even murder are deeply connected with hydropower development in Albania.
HPPs are popping up in Albania like bunkers in Hoxha’s time – with little regard for people and nature, just like in the “old days”. Only that it is not Hoxha, but the EBRD and other international donors financing the loss of nature and livelihoods, while priding themselves with their alleged environmental standards. Read Bankwatch’s blog post...
The Vjosa is by far not the only river in Albania threatened by hydropower. At the Qarishte river in central Albania, residents are faced with the dire consequences of the Rapuni dam. Read this webstory by CEE Bankwatch Network.