The friends of Vjosa were gathered again this month to discuss on the hydropower constructions that are threatening the last wild river in Europe. As in every meeting also this time some new friends have joined. We were together with well-known people from art, politics, media and environmentalists and nature lovers for a joint reason.
Why we are here?
Because of Vjosa. Together with its tributaries, the it provides a dynamic, near-natural ecosystem. It is without par on this continent – a true, though unknown European natural heritage. Along its entire course it is untamed and free flowing and biggest Wild River in Europe. However, 33 hydropower plants are foreseen in all its basin.
This is the biggest threat to this unique natural ecosystem. During the elections campaign the Prime Minister Rama, promised to the local community that the Government will declare the Vjosa National Park, and promised that he will not allow the massacre of HPP constructions. But unfortunately right after the elections, the Prime Minister approved a bonus of 8% to the Turkish company Çinar San for the construction of the Poçem HPP.
Incited by the recent developments, it is necessary to join forces and create new ideas and joint actions.
Among the actions mentioned during the meeting were:
- The realization of a TV programme in one of the most important TV Channels and to discus with some experts on their different points of view.
- Using the data on biodiversity/ endangered species that live in the Vjosa valley, such as fish species, endangered bird species or rare bat species reported to write articles and send them to the media.
- Putting more under pressure the government through a meeting with the Parliamentary group.
- To intensify the media work and the protests to raise even more citizen’s response and sensitivity to the Vjosa issue.
The friends of Vjosa meetings are periodic meetings with nature lovers, from different fields and intend to expand the network of people who want to get engaged on the campaign to save the last wild river in Europe.
Each of us in different ways has the opportunity to speak out about this important issue and together expand the Friends of Vjosa network making the problem recognized in different social circles in Albania and abroad.