++ National forum held in Tirana to consult recommendations on amendments to national legislation of for HPP-s concessions++
Tirana, November 8th, 2018. National and local environmental organizations, together with law and environmental experts, have undertaken a civic legal initiative for changes to the HPP concession package. They have made a thorough analysis of the four sectors, energy, tourism, environment and water policies, strategies and legislation in the spirit of their approximation with EU legislation.
The situation of HPPs in Albania is alarming, as more than 540 hydropower plants have been planned in the entire territory of Albania – a significant portion of which (around 39%) in protected areas and areas with high natural potential such as the River Vjosa and its branches. “We have followed the legal ways to oppose HPP projects in the valley of Vjosa, Osumi, etc. and yet we think this would be an endless battle as the current legislation favors the issuance of new permits without implementing the highest standards for environmental protection, “said Olsi Nika, EcoAlbania’s Director.
EcoAlbania together with local partners Alliance of Albanian Alps and Argonaut has conducted 4 local forums with Civil Society Organizations, Local Government Units, experts and local environmental authorities in Kukës, Shkodër, Tepelenë and Librazhd to consult the draft with the amendments that will then to be proposed to the relevant Parliamentary Groups and Ministries.
The forum was organized in the framework of the project “ACTIVE II – Community Engagement – Indicator of Integration in Decision-making”, that is being implemented by EcoAlbania in partnership with local NGO’s Albanian Alps Alliance and Argonaut. It is funded by LëvizAlbania – for a strong local democracy by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC.