Volunteers Unite for “I am Vjosa” Initiative: Cleaning and Greening Europe’s Last Wild River

Vjosa valley, 16th -19th October 2023. In a significant environmental effort, volunteers from Albania and across Europe have gathered to launch the “I am Vjosa” initiative, aimed at rejuvenating the Vjosa River—a gem renowned for its biodiversity and ecological significance. Serving as one of Europe’s last untouched rivers, free from major infrastructure projects, the Vjosa River welcomed the “Volunteer Week” in three days of engaging activities.

The event kicked off in Përmet, offering volunteers an exhilarating rafting experience along the untamed river—an opportunity to witness and appreciate the natural beauty lining its course. Activities extended beyond adventure, with dedicated cleanup efforts and the establishment of an authentic tree nursery. The goal? To replant these trees in the future along the riverbanks, ensuring a sustainable future.

The initiative concluded in Bënça, where participants marked the AquaDouct trail, opening avenues for more tourists to immerse themselves in the pristine wilderness. Notable contributors to the cause included the National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA) and the Regional Administration of Protected Areas (RAPA) of Gjirokastër.

This collective effort underscores not only the significance of safeguarding the local environment but also the broader ecological balance crucial to the region. The initiative constitutes a component of the second phase of the “Vjosa National Park” project, implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, Patagonia and UCN.

Stay tuned for updates on the positive impact of this inspiring initiative, fostering a greener and cleaner Vjosa River.