Press release from EcoAlbania
The EP asks the Albanian Government to stop the construction of HPPs on the Vjosa River and its tributaries.
The European Parliament approved the Fleckenstein Resolution on Albania’s 2014 progress report. By means of this resolution in points 26 and 27 the EP asks the Albanian Government to stop the construction of hydropower plants in all protected areas and in particular in the Vjosa River and its tributaries, as this damages the last untouched and natural river in Europe .
“We see the resolution of the European Parliament as a support for the campaign “Saving the blue heart of Europe” and we ask Prime Minister Edi Rama to be in line with our vision and stop the construction of all hydropower plants in the Vjosa catchment” says Olsi Nika, Executive Director of EcoAlbania.
Meanwhile, during the afternoon of April 29, 2015, environmental activists and residents from all over the Vjosa valley joined the community of Benca to protest against the construction of hydropower plants in one of its most impressive branches. After the awareness campaign carried out by EcoAlbania through a tour of meetings throughout the valley, the residents are already aware of what they are risking to lose and are worried about their future in this valley.
A total of 31 HPPs have been designed along the Vjosa and its branches, currently 4 hydropower plants are being built, two of them right on the Benca river.
We thank the residents of Përmet, Vlora, Selenica, Gjirokastra, who supported us in this civic protest for our common cause in the protection of the Vjosa river as a national natural heritage” says the Merited Artist, Golik Jaupi. He further adds: “We are determined and we hope that the Albanian Government cannot ignore the voice of an entire province”.
This national park proposed by EcoAlbania and international partners RiverWatch and EuroNatur is the best option to preserve the last “wild” river of Europe and at the same time to ensure a sustainable economic development of the area.
The campaign for the protection of the river Vjosa is part of the international campaign for the protection of the most valuable rivers of the Balkan peninsula. More than 630 HPPs are currently designed from Slovenia to Albania. To oppose this wave of destruction, “EuroNatur” and “RiverWatch” have launched the campaign “Saving the blue heart of Europe” in cooperation with partners in the respective countries of the Balkans.
For more information:
– Ulrich Eichelmann – Riverwatch | 0043 676 6621512 | [email protected]
– Gabriel Schwaderer – EuroNatur | 0049 7732 9272 0 | [email protected]
– Olsi Nika – EcoAlbania | 00355 69 29 44 757 | [email protected]