More than 60 scientists from Albania, Austria and Germany have collected their knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of the Vjosa on 385 pages. The comprehensive study "The Vjosa in Albania - a riverine ecosystem of European significance", published in Acta ZooBot Austria, was presented by the lead scientists at Tirana International Hotel on December 6th.
++ Hydropower plant projects Poçem and Kalivaç to be suspended immediately. ++ Standing Committee to the Bern Convention recognizes imminent danger to unique ecosystem. ++ Success for nature conservation NGOs in their struggle to save one of Europe’s last free flowing rivers. ++
Tomorrow, Tuesday (July 17) at 19:40, the documentary "Europe's last wild river - is a dam threatening Albania's nature" about the Vjosa - the fight against the projected dams, and why this rivers is so important to scientists - will be aired on ARTE! Don’t miss it! Sorry, in German only… Find more info HERE
++ Representatives of the Bern Convention emphasize the conservation value of the river ++ Albanian Government signs concession contracts for HPP Kalivac nevertheless ++ Representatives of the Bern Convention visited the Vjosa in order to investigate to which extent plans for hydropower development are jeopardizing the objectives of the Bern Convention. The on-the-spot appraisal was accompanied by an independent expert.
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:
This new short film by Much Better Adventures calls out international banks for funding dams in national parks and on Europe’s las wild river – the Vjosa in Albania. As construction companies move in on Europe’s last wild river, Adventures Not Dams highlights the irreversible damage this will have on the local environment, economy and communities along its banks.
Albanian filmmaker Artan Rama from “Elementi i pestë“ accompanied our scientists on an Vjosa expedition in April 2017 and filmed a documentary about the planned destruction of Europe’s last big wild river. It is about the uniqueness of the ecosystem Vjosa, about affected residents, as well as about the court decision in favour of a free-flowing Vjosa. Enjoy!
In Albanian society, the opposition against the projected hydropower plants on the Vjosa River is receiving further support. In an open letter to the country´s Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri, the Confederation of Albanian industries is calling for a moratorium on the construction of dams on the Vjosa River and its tributaries.
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find below some video impressions of the event. Also read our press release and check out the photo gallery!
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!