is Albania’s Vjosa River, which flows uninterrupted for 270 km from Greece across southern Albania to the Adriatic Sea, has been designated as a national park by the Albanian government. The move is a major victory for environmentalists who have been fighting against the construction of hydropower plants along the river for years.
The last wild river in Europe
Environmentalists and scientists have dubbed the Vjosa River the last “wild” river in Europe due to the absence of any dams or power stations along its course. The river is also said to be home to around 1,000 species, including the critically endangered European eel and endangered endemic plant species.
The creation of the Vjosa National Park will prevent building projects from taking place along the river and its tributaries. Albania’s Prime Minister, Edi Rama, has said that there will be an initial budget of $80 million to build new factories to stop wastewater from reaching the river.
A historic moment for Vjosa
The signing ceremony for the Vjosa National Park took place in Tepelena, a southern city 215 kilometers from Tirana.
During the ceremony, Rama stated, “Today we are forever protecting Europe’s last wild river… Let us not forget that this park will cover 12,700 hectares of land and span the entire country.”
A victory for environmentalists and EcoAlbania
EcoAlbania, a non-governmental organization based in Tirana, has been at the forefront of the fight to save the Vjosa River. Established in 2011, EcoAlbania’s mission is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources, protect biodiversity, and raise awareness about environmental issues in Albania.
EcoAlbania focuses on a range of environmental issues, including water resource management, sustainable agriculture, and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. The organization also works to promote sustainable tourism and raise awareness about the importance of environmental education.
EcoAlbania’s efforts have not gone unnoticed
Some of the activities undertaken by EcoAlbania include research and monitoring of environmental issues, advocacy and lobbying for environmental protection policies, and community engagement and education. The organization also collaborates with other environmental NGOs and international organizations to achieve its goals.
EcoAlbania’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, as the organization has received recognition and support for its work, including from the European Union. A number of environmental projects and initiatives in Albania are part of the interest of NGO EcoAlbania. Among them is a successful campaign for the designation of the Vjosa River as a national park.
A sustainable future for Vjosa
With the creation of the Vjosa National Park, the Albanian government has taken a significant step towards promoting sustainability and protecting biodiversity in the country. The decision to allocate funds for the construction of new factories to prevent wastewater from entering the river also demonstrates a commitment to preserving the ecological integrity of the Vjosa.
As Albania looks to develop its economy, it will need to balance the demands of economic growth with protecting its natural resources. The designation of the Vjosa River as a national park is a promising start toward achieving this balance. EcoAlbania’s ongoing efforts will be crucial in ensuring a sustainable future for Albania’s environment.