In April, about 30 scientists paparticipated in one week of research on the previously almost unexplored Vjosa river in Albania. All experts were amazed by the complexity and sheer size of the river system and every expertise found species, habitat types, dynamic river processes, that have been long lost on all regulated rivers in central Europe. Watch this 3-minute video, featuring stunning drone footage of the extensive Vjosa river landscape.
The scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna who joined the Vjosa Science Week in April authored an article about the fight for the Vjosa for the summer edition of the Universum Magazine. Apart from stunning photos, the article also offers insight into Albania’s history as well as into its natural and cultural treasures. DOWNLOAD the article as PDF (sorry, in German only)
Ö1 also participated in our Vjosa Science Week in April. Today at 19:05, the first part about this activity will be aired: http://oe1.orf.at/programm/20170706/480492 If you miss it, you can listen to it on demand for 7 days! The second part will be broadcasted next Thursday (July 13) at 09:05 (rerun at 22:08) http://oe1.orf.at/programm/20170713/481999
++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.
++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.
++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.
Vice President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek lobbies for a free-flowing Vjosa and against projected hydropower plants! “It is true that Albania needs energy and more development, but that should not be done by destroying nature’, she tells Albanian journalists in Brussels. Read the full article HERE.
Yesterday, the second preparatory session in regards to our Poçem HPP complaint was held in the Administrative Court of Albania and the judge officially accepted the lawsuit. The grounds of the lawsuit include an inadequate Environmental Impact Assessment and the absence of proper public consultation of affected residents.
After local communities, national and international scientists and NGOs, as well as the European Parliament have all voiced their protest against hydropower dams on the Vjosa river, it is now the mayors of the Vjoa valley who unify against the projected dams. In an open letter to the mayors of Përmet, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Mallakastër and Selenicë put forward the concerns of the affected communities they represent.