Press Release

The “Protecting Rivers” alliance: Requires a 3-years moratorium for Hydro-powers in the Albanian Rivers

Under the name “Protecting Rivers” in July 2015 was established the alliance of most active environmental organizations: INCA, REC Albania, Eden Center, Ekolëvizja, EcoAlbania, Mileukontakt Albania Association for Organic Agriculture, Institute for Environmental Policy, EPER Center. The aim of this association is to protect Albanian rivers from the uncontrolled development of hydro-power projects.

11755174_891751077562600_8945827498205319685_nIn its first public appearance, in a press conference, the representatives of “Protecting rivers” group, pointed out that in order to achieve the protection and management with pro-environment and pro-sustainable development criteria, they have jointly taken the initiative to seek 3 years moratorium on construction hydropower on Albanian rivers.

The moratorium is required to prohibit the granting of licenses for hydropower concessions in the whole country. This moratorium will serve to analyse the current situation of concessions and conditions of their implementation in accordance with the legal requirements of the territory development and the requirements of sustainable environmental development.

Specifically during the moratorium period will be revised, suspended and cancelled all licenses issued so far in protected areas as well as in sensitive areas with high natural potential. The review of hydropower projects on the Vjosa River; Kalivaç HPP, Lengarica and Banda are a priority, since the prime minister announced the government’s commitment to turn the Vjosa River into a National Park.

Since there are still concessions on hold for their implementation that affect negatively protected areas as in the Valbona river National Park, Shebenik-Jablanica National Park, in the Korab mountain area, in the Tomori Mountain National Park etc., we think that a moratorium period could be the most wise and immediate step to analyse the situation in a more careful approach. We are not “against” social development, improvement of community’s living conditions by the effective use of natural resources, but we are against to a development without predefined criteria that definitely will lead to a catastrophic consequences in the management of our natural resources.