The Mabetex resort threatens the “Divjakë – Karavasta” National Park

28.05.2017, Divjakë. In a press conference in the lagoon of Divjaka, several environmental associations opposed the construction of the resort by Mabetex in Divjaka. According to the organizations AOS, EcoAlbania, PPNEA and EuroNatur, the project is planned to be built within the “Divjakë-Karavasta” National Park, which has been declared a protected area since 1964. This project would endanger biodiversity and the most important natural habitats in the shores of the Adriatic.

The project of the Mabetex company includes the construction of over 2,300 apartments (in Albanian), several hotels, about 370 villas as well as ancillary facilities such as a 12-hole golf course and a helipad. The project has been in the works since 2012, but recently it seems that the company has found sympathy between the government and the opposition and is carrying out the formal procedures before seeking approval from the government.

“High-intensity constructions are not allowed in the protected areas as foreseen in the proposed project; however, the new law on Protected Areas hastily approved by the parliament at the end of the legislature has two contradictory articles 49 and 50, which leave room for abuses”, said Taulant Bino, head of the Albania Ornthological Society, AOS.

“We are very concerned about the newly presented plans to set up a tourist resort within the national park,” said Schwarder of EuroNatura.

Kujtim Mersini from the Association for Conservation and Protection of the Environment in Albania, PPNEA, said that the endemic species in the Divjakë-Karavasta park are a priceless asset.

Olsi Nika, from the Center for the Protection of Natural Ecosystems in Albania – EcoAlbania, said that decision-making for this project and detailed information is missing. For this reason, civil society organizations are expected to be involved in an awareness campaign with the residents of the area, on the legality of the project, the impact it has on the National Park, as well as alternatives for a sustainable development of the area.

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