Within the framework of the pan-Balkans campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe”, EcoAlbania has undertaken the initiative “Friends of Vjosa”. The aim of this initiative is to get together environmental experts, different personalities of politics, representatives of environmental organizations, students, journalists, representatives of civil society and nature lovers, to discuss the initiatives taken so far and the next steps that everyone can take to protect this Albanian nature treasure.
As part of this initiative were organized four meetings where in each of them new friends of Vjosa from different professional backgrounds were added. In these meetings were attended also well-known people of the arts, politics, media etc.
During these meetings the participants share their experiences and evocations that are closely related to childhood, to living by the river and the fear that any memory of them may disappear as a result of wrong policies and the damages that are currently threatening thee Vjosa, which will inevitably lead to the impoverishment and deterioration of living for the inhabitants of the valley.
Friends Vjosa expressed their willingness to give their contribution to protect the Europe’s last “wild” river, as a natural and spiritual treasure for them and for future generations. During the “Friends Vjosa” meetings were addressed various issues related to Vjosa river as the deviation problem in the Greek part, the threat from hydro-powers and also were lodged opportunities to solve this problems.
Many of the participants have taken responsibilities and have implemented them. Here is to be mention the MP’s, Mr. Besnik Bare speech in the Albanian Parliament, the reports of the journalist Ben Andoni interview with Vera Bekteshi and Diana Çuli, chronicles of Ani Ruçi etc.
These tea afternoons have gathered friends of Vjosa and above all the reactions of civil society and promotion of a broader public awareness on this important issue of the environment in Albania. “Friends of Vjosa” meetings will be organized periodically with the aim to intend expansion of this network and promote public awareness against the hydro-power stations construction on Vjosa River.