The meeting of Friends of Vjosa

Vjosa’s friends gathered again this month to discuss the issue of HPP construction on the last wild river in Europe. At each meeting, new friends join who commit to support the initiative for the protection of the Vjosa River. This meeting was joined by well-known figures from the artistic, political, media life, etc. as well as representatives of environmental organizations in Albania together with nature lovers and community members.

During the next meeting of friends of Vjosa (c) B. Guri/ EcoAlbania

The Vjosa River, together with its tributaries, constitutes an almost natural river network and a unique ecosystem for our country and beyond. It flows unaffected from its source in the Pindis mountains in Greece to its mouth in the Adriatic Sea and is considered the last “wild” river of this size in Europe. Despite this, 31 HPPs are planned to be built along the entire catchment basin. currently constitute the greatest threat to this ecosystem. During the election campaign, the prime minister promised to declare the entire Vjosa valley a National Park, clearly stating that he will not allow the massacre that is being done with the construction of hydropower plants… but only in the summer of this year after the elections, the prime minister himself approved the bonus of 8 points given to the Turkish company Çinar-San for the construction of the Poçem HPP.

Taking a cue from recent developments, it is imperative to join forces to create common ideas and actions.

Among the actions proposed during the meeting were:

  • Realization of a television program on one of the important national televisions to discuss with a panel of professionals who would give their points of view regarding the field they represent.
  • The use of data on endangered species found in the Vjosa valley, such as species of fish, endangered birds or rare species of bats reported for the first time in Albania.
  • To exert more “pressure” from the group against the decision-makers during a meeting with the parliamentary group.
  • Intensify media coverage of the issue.
  • Intensify the protests in order to further increase the citizen response and sensitivity to the Vjosa issue.

Friends of Vjosa meetings are periodic meetings with nature lovers from different fields and aim to expand the network of people who want to engage in the protection of the last natural river in Europe.

Each of us in different ways has the opportunity to raise our voice in relation to this important issue and all together to expand the network of Vjosa’s friends by making the issue better known in the various social circles inside and outside the country.

By Besjana Guri/ EcoAlbania

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