The first findings of the expedition were summarized in this report, to provide some very preliminary impressions, highlights and an overview from each of the specialty groups of what was done during this impressively international and collaborative effort. The data collected will be analysed in much more detail over the next months and a more detailed final report is expected by the end of the year 2022.
This baseline survey summarises the value of the Vjosa River system as one of the few remaining reference sites for dynamic floodplains in Europe on the one hand, and reveals the detrimental effects dams could have on the river system on the other. Only one dam will significantly destroy the ecological continuum of a pristine river.
++ One of the largest science petitions in global freshwater ecology calls to stop Vjosa dam projects in Albania ++ Scientists demand Albanian government to respect scientific standards in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Kalivaç hydropower project ++
The international and Albanian freshwater science community raise their voices to warn of the severe consequences of the proposed dams on the Vjosa (and her tributaries). Listen to the many aspects of concern, including erosion of the coastline, loss of biodiversity, threat of dam break due to earthquake-prone area, loss of economic income and many more. Will the Albanian government listen to science?
Find here all presentations of the International Wild Rivers Science Symposium and the Wild Rivers Night! Renowned scientists from USA, Japan and many European countries discussed the state of the world’s wild rivers and stress the urgency to protect the last free-flowings.
++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today.
Between April 17th and May 6th, eleven scientists went on an expedition to collect data on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions for the entire Vjosa river network. With great effort, 300 river kilometers were sampled by use of the most state-of-the-art methods and equipment. The Vjosa’s exceptional value was confirmed once more:
+++ The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European river fish species will be endangered +++ The rivers in the Balkans constitute Europe’s fish sanctuary, according to a new study presented today by Riverwatch and EuroNatur.
++ International research team finds 300 animal species in only one week, including a new fish and stonefly species ++ Sediment transport could grind electricity generation of the projected hydropower plant Poçem to a halt within 25 years ++ Earlier this year in April, 25 scientists from 4 countries researched the river section of the Vjosa in the area of the projected hydropower plant Poçem.
The impressions of the scientific head of the Vjosa research week in April – Dr. Fritz Schiemer – were published on Patagonia’s Blog “The Cleanest Line”. The blog post explains why the Vjosa is so valuable from a scientific point of view and features stunning photos as well as video, showing the scientists at work.