Protest against HPP in Vjosa Activists: 3-year Moratorium

Environmental activists are opposing in Albania the projects for the construction of hydropower plants on the Vjosa river and its tributaries. They demanded the cancellation of these projects, the declaration of the Vjosa valley as a National Park and a 3-year moratorium on constructions on Albania’s rivers.

The social groups “Friends of Vjosa”, “To protect the rivers” and environmental activists are trying to block the plans for the construction of hydropower plants on the river Vjosa. Opposing the government’s decision to grant the hydropower concession to Pocem on the Vjos River.

The authorities announced the granting of a 35-year concession for the construction of the Poçem hydropower plant in the lower reaches of the Vjosa River. Meanwhile, a year ago the government approved the request of a Turkish company for the construction of this project.

During the protest in Tirana. (c) EcoAlbania

Activists demand the cancellation of all hydropower concessions that have been or are being granted to be built on the Vjosa river and its tributaries, the declaration of the Vjosa valley as a National Park. Which would be the first park of a natural river in Europe and would influence the economic development of the entire valley.

The residents of the Vjosa valley asked the government a year ago to declare it a National Park and for this they received positive promises from the Rama government. The decision to build a hydropower plant in Poçem, they claim, is arbitrary and ignores the messages of the EU, because Vjosa is also called the “Blue Heart of Europe”.

The construction of the HPP in Poçem would end the vision for the first National Park of a wild river in Europe and would undermine the economic development and the future of the entire Vjosa valley. Local communities and local and foreign activists have been demanding the ban on the construction of HPPs in the Vjosa valley for 5 years.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in May 2015, asking the Albanian Government to stop the construction of hydropower plants in all protected areas and in particular in the Vjosa River and its tributaries, as this damages the last intact and natural river in Europe.

The Pocem Hydropower Plant is one of the 8 HPPs planned in Vjosa by the previous governments. The construction of HPPs in Poçem and Kalivaç, as well as in the Vjosa branches such as Lengaricë, Bënça, Shushica, Kardhiqi, Picari, etc., would put an end to the vision for this river National Park.

You can find the full article published by national media:,, Top Channel and Voice of America

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