Socio-Economic Analyses of the Vjosa River Basin

The report ‘Socio-Economic Analyses of the Vjosa River Basin’ enquires into the conditions and demands of sustainable development along the Vjosa valley by contrasting the scenarios of its proclamation as a National Park for nature conservation, eco-tourism development, and the welfare of its inhabitants on one side, or as a possible source for the use of hydropower and consequently in its transformation from the socio-economic aspect.

The study provides prospective outcomes for the socio-economic development of the area, by comparing the increase of income and local welfare through hydropower installation on the one hand and the establishment of a ‘National Natural Park’ on the other hand, over a period of 35 years, concluding that hydropower dams would have “a negative impact on the socio-economic, environmental and biological aspects of the area”, since they would cause a loss of employment in the agriculture-livestock sector and tourism – the area’s current mainstay. 

The analyses conclude that the Vjosa valley would benefit socio-economically by being turned into a ‘National Natural Park’; as such, employment would be increased, while the generated income would reach the local communities. Especially solar power, instead of hydropower, as a prospective energy source bears the potential of improving the infrastructure of the valley in line with the conservation of the valley’s assets.