Inauguration of Camping and River Sports Stations along the Vjosa and the Reforestation Action at the Willow Park in Tepelena

Tepelena, December 24, 2021. The action of reforestation and the inauguration of the camping and water sports station in the Willow Park was undertaken today by EcoAlbania and the Municipality of Tepelena, with the help of young people from the Vjosa Valley. Also present at this event were Mayor of Tepelena Mr. Tërmet Peçi, Chairman of the Municipal Council Mr. Elvis Shehu, and the deputy of the area Mr. Laert Duraj.

“This is an initiative that should become a tradition, because if we want to show that we are cultured, the environment that surrounds us is our passport. EcoAlbania has been a promoter of the protection of the Vjosa River and the development of eco-tourism in the area, so EcoAlbania should be the first ambassadors of this type of tourism that we want to develop in Tepelena, because God has blessed us by surrounding us with three rivers, mountains, and canyons, and a history not easily found in other places,” said Mayor Tërmet Peçi, while Mr. Laert Duraj said that he is one of the supporters of the vision for the proclamation of the Vjosa National Park and EcoAlbania’s initiatives are always welcomed.

This initiative, organized in Tepelena along the Vjosa River, aims to promote and restore this area to serve the development of natural tourism in the Vjosa Valley. The development of eco-tourism in the area is one of the best alternatives for the development of the local economy, which is in line with the vision for declaring the Vjosa Valley a National Park.

“The action of reforestation of Willow Park which took place this morning with the youth of the Vjosa Valley comes as a continuation of the initiative ‘Forest of Hope’ launched by EcoAlbania, which aims to promote the reforestation of the Vjosa Valley. This action, supported by the youth of the city of Teplena and Përmet, serves not only as a stabilizer of the riverbank but also as an example of youth engagement,” said Olsi Nika from EcoAlbania.

The Vjosa Valley carries high potential for tourism development in the area due to the natural and cultural values it represents, while this initiative paves the way not only for the development of tourism in the area but also for the employment of young people in the eco-tourism sector. It would provide an important incentive for them to choose to live and work in their homeland. Furthermore, the creation of support structures to practice outdoor sports and river sports enables young people to get involved in the tourism sector by promoting the natural and cultural values of the Vjosa Valley.

“The Vjosa River is already a national and international tourist attraction, which, if it receives the appropriate protection status, that of a National Park, will create an important tourist brand. This brand will very soon lead to an increase in the number of visitors and the demand for local accommodation and entertainment services”, added Olsi Nika.

Additional Information

This event was the closing of a series of activities carried out within the project “EYES on Vjosa”, one of which involved the training of tourist guides, focusing on the youth of the Vjosa Valley.

The event was organized in the framework of the project “EYES on Vjosa: Youth Engagement in the Eco-Tourism Sector in the Vjosa Valley”, which aims to bring another view to the development of the region, including tourism development, by engaging young people. The project is implemented by EcoAlbania with financial support from UNDP.