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.
++ Environmental assessments inadequate ++ In the current Enlargement Report of the European Parliament, the Parliament explicitly criticizes the Albanian government in regards to its hydropower policies. In the centre of their criticism are the hydropower projects on the Vjosa – Europe’s last big wild river.
++ Scientists’ analysis sent to Prime Minister Edi Rama ++ Shortly before Christmas, the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and other government representatives got mail from renowned scientists from Austria and Germany.
++ Dam project on Europe’s last wild river was intended to be realised without adequate environmental assessment or civic participation ++ Legal precedent for rule of law in Albania ++ Tirana, Vienna, December 2, 2016. The planned destruction of the Vjosa, one of Europe’s last big wild rivers, is now being challenged in court.
++ Scientists demand 3-year construction freeze for hydropower plants on the Vjosa in Albania ++ Environmental assessment according to EU standards urgently required ++ Memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Edi Rama ++ World Rivers Day on September 25 ++ Just in time for the World Rivers Day on September 25, the last big wild river of Europe – the Vjosa in Albania – receives prominent support from all over the world.
++ Scientists from Albania, Austria and Germany demand moratorium on dam construction plans on Europe’s last wild river as well as a 3-year research program ++ Between June 8 and 10, international experts from Austria and Germany met with scientists of the University of Tirana in Albania to discuss the future of the Vjosa river. They adopted a joint position paper, which was handed over to the Albanian Ministry of the Environment.
We are proud to announce that Leeway Collective's kayak documentary "One for the River - The Vjosa Story" was awarded the first price at the Environmental Film Festival Albania. The film was winner of the most significant category of the festival "long films". We congratulate Rok and his team for this great achievement!
++ Albanian Prime Minister receives unusual petition for the protection of the Vjosa ++ Balkan Rivers Tour ends in Tirana ++ Amid the applause of hundreds of spectators kayakers marched with their kayaks through the Albanian capital of Tirana today to hand over a kayak petition to PM Edi Rama. However, neither Edi Rama nor a representative of the government was willing to receive the petition. The police spaciously blocked the entrance. Rozman placed the kayak in front of the police cordon.
Today, the European Parliament criticized the Albanian government for the planning of hydropower projects and called upon them to be more considerate of protected areas and other sensitive nature areas, especially national parks. In the current Enlargement Report that was adopted by the parliament in Brussel yesterday, the Vjosa river is specifically mentioned.