In this tree nursery, native tree species will grow until tall enough to be replanted at the Vjosa’s shore. It is part of the ReForestVjosa Project © Elona Shkembi/EcoAlbania
The tree nursery is located in Tepelena close to the Vjosa's banks.
Left: Schools and local communities are also involved in the ReForestVjosa project. Right: At the inauguration, an information board about the nursery was revealed by Tërmet Peçi - Mayor of Tepelena, Dr. Anton Drescher - lead scientist of the ReForestVjosa project, Olsi Nika – EcoAlbania and Mihallaq Qirjo - project coordinator of the project. (LTR) © Elona Shkembi/EcoAlbania © Elona Shkembi/EcoAlbania
© Olsi Nika/EcoAlbania

Celebrating International Day of Forests: ReForestVjosa Project launched

On this year’s International Day of Forests on March 21st, we are proud to inaugurate our first tree nursery along the picturesque banks of the Vjosa River. The inauguration ceremony, held in Tepelena, marked the official launch of the ReForestVjosa project, a comprehensive reforestation initiative aimed at revitalizing the Vjosa's ecosystem and mitigating erosion along its shores.

The significance of this initiative cannot be overstated. For centuries, the floodplain and slopes of the Vjosa valley have been heavily deforested, primarily due to pastoralism and firewood extraction. This ecological imbalance not only jeopardizes the health of the Vjosa River but also exacerbates flood risks in the lower regions due to sediment aggregation. Through the ReForestVjosa Project, we are committed to reversing this trend and improving the river and the national park for future generations.

Identifying ten key areas for reforestation efforts, we have outlined a strategic plan to plant native trees in five of these areas over the next three years. Grown from mother plants from the region, the cuttings will be nurtured in the tree nursery until they reach maturity, ready to be replanted along the Vjosa's shorelines. By using indigenous planting material, we aim to restore the natural balance of the ecosystem and create biodiverse alluvial forests that will thrive along the Vjosa River.

The ReForestVjosa project has been made possible through the generous support of Patagonia and coordinated by EcoAlbania & Riverwatch in collaboration with local communities and schools.