Press Release

The EP demanded to the Albanian government to stop the construction of HPPs on the Vjosa

Press release by EcoAlbania

The European Parliament adopted the Fleckenstein’s Resolution on the 2014 progress-report of Albania. Through this resolution, in one of the points (27), the EP urges the Albanian Government to stop the construction of all hydropower plants in protected areas and in particular in the Vjosa river and its tributaries, since these projects would harm one of Europe’s last extensive, intact and near-natural river ecosystems.


About 150 people protesting against the hydropowr construction on Vjosa and its tributaries. © Ervis Loçe

We see the resolution of the European Parliament as a support of the ” Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign and we ask the Prime Minister Edi Rama, to be in line with our vision and stop the construction of all hydropower plants in the Vjosa basin” says Olsi Nika, Executive Director of EcoAlbania.

Environmental activists and residents from all over the valley of Vjosa joined the Bënça community on 29th of April 2015 to protest against the construction of hydropower plants in one of its most impressive tributaries. After the awareness campaign carried out by EcoAlbania through the Vjosa tour meetings along all the valley, the residents are already aware of what is at risk to lose and they are concerned about their future in this valley.

A total of 31 HPPs are planned along the Vjosa and its tributaries, currently 4 plants are being built, two of them exactly in Bënça river.

We thank the residents of Përmeti, Vlora, Selenica, Gjirokastra, who have supported us in our protest for our common cause in protecting the Vjosa river as a National Natural Heritage, “says Golik Jaupi, a well-known Albanian artist. Further, he adds: “We are determined and we hope that the Albanian Government could not ignore the voice of the entire valley.

This National Park proposed by EcoAlbania and its international partners, RiverWatch and EuroNatur is the best alternative to preserve the last “wild” river of Europe and at the same time to ensure a sustainable economic development of the area.

Background information:

The campaign to protect the Vjosa River is part of the international campaign to save the most valuable rivers on the Balkan Peninsula. More than 630 new hydropower plants are currently projected between Slovenia to Albania. In order to counteract this spate of destruction, “EuroNatur” and “RiverWatch” have launched the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign in cooperation with local partner in the respective Balkan countries.