Divjaka, May 28th 2015. National and international environmental organizations made a public call to the Albanian government not to permit the urbanization of the National Park “Divjaka – Karavasta” and to guarantee its protection according to the Law for Protected Areas and International Conventions ratified from our country.
The announcement regarding the plans of the Mabetex company for building a new urban centre in the National Park Divjaka – Karvasta, has worried many organizations with focus on nature protection, which have raised their voices against this destructive plan for the most important wetlands in the Adriatic sea.
“Divjaka – Karavasta” National Park has been declared a protected territory since 1964. Today it covers a surface of more than 22 200 ha and protects a unique ecosystem made of wetlands, sandy dunes, coastal woods with a very rich flora and fauna. In this ecosystem can be found pine woods more than 400 years old, is a stepping stone for millions of migratory birds and it is the only nesting site of the Dalmatian Pelican, symbol of the National Park and nature in Albania.
“Due to its rich biodiversity the National Park “Divjaka – Karavasta” has been declared The First Ramsar Area in Albania on 1995. Besides, this area has been listed as a Candidate for the Emerald Network form the Bern Convention and at the same time a pilot area for the Natura 2000 network within the general framework of Albania’s accession in the European Union. A legal decision for the construction of an urban zone in the very heart of the National Park would bring the end of this protected area” said Gabriel Schwaderer, from the German Foundation for the Protection of Nature, EuroNatur.
The project for the construction of Mabetex and the accompanying infrastructure will have its impact all over the Park even though the construction site covers 1170 ha. It plans in hosting a number of 18000 visitors per day, buildings from 6 to 20 floors along more that 12 km of coastline, 2400 apartments, 370 villas and hotels with 4300 beds. “The resort planned in the Divjaka – Karavasta National Park goes not only against the national laws for the protection of nature but also doesn’t guarantee the sustainable development of the area. We believe that the massive tourism, especially in this National Park, is not the strongest point of Albania. In order to be competitive with our neighbors, Albania must orientate itself toward eco-tourism. The construction of this new city would leave forgotten Divjaka city itself and would lead to bankrupting the newborn businesses in this area”, said Olsi Nika, EcoAlbania’s Executive Director.
The transformation of this Park in a giant construction site for over 15 years and its conversion to a big noisy city will bring an irreversible change of the ecosystem and loss of all species. “We are totally against this proposed model and our efforts will continue with all legal democratic means, both national and internationals, in order to stop a wrong and dangerous decision making for all Protected Areas in Albania”, said Taulant Bino, AOS Executive Director.
National NGOs for the protection of nature AOS, EcoAlbania and PPNEA, together with the international NGO EuroNatur, stay strongly against the urbanization plans of Mabetex group and make a call to the Albanian Government and the Ministry of Environment to not allow the destruction of the Divjaka – Karavasta National Park.