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Vjosa near Tepelene © Christian Baumgartner

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.

Water sampling and measurements of primary production at the Shushica, a tributary to the Vjosa in the far east, where snowmelt is long gone. The river is characterized by large boulders and crystal-clear water. © Thuile-Bistarelli

Between April 17th and May 6th, eleven scientists went on an expedition to collect data on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions for the entire Vjosa river network. With great effort, 300 river kilometers were sampled by use of the most state-of-the-art methods and equipment. The Vjosa’s exceptional value was confirmed once more:

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