This article, published first in mid-Novemer in the magazine Undark, explores why some highly developed country have started efforts to take down hydroelectric dams and why countries like Albania insist on repeating the mistakes that are now costing fortunes to rectify. It also prominently features the Vjosa and efforts to save it. Enjoy!
A study investigating hydropower conflicts in Albania reveals alarming circumstances: In these 4 years, 34 people have been arrested; six casualties are recorded, including one murder and one murder attempt. The study confirms that conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and even murder are deeply connected with hydropower development in Albania.
After successfully preventing the construction of two big dam projects inside Mavrovo National Park – one of Europe’s oldest national parks – its rivers and creeks are still threatened by low performing hydro projects. Low performing plants are being promoted under the disguise “small is beautiful”, but they are just as devastating to smaller creeks than big plants are to large rivers. There is nothing green about them, especially not within the boundaries of a national park.
In September, Patagonia took a group of “Change Makers” to the Balkan to explore the stunning rivers, learn about the threats they are facing and what we do to save them. Today, we present to you the first outcome of this trip: a short video about the rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, produced by Grégory Mignard from the “Captain Yvon Association”. Enjoy!
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana last night. In front of over 4000 people, prominent Albanian musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects.
On October 18, we will hold a big concert for the protection of the beautiful and threatened Vjosa River, the last big wild river in Europe! Free entry! Where: Skanderbeg square in front of the National History Museum in Tirana; When: October 18, 19:00