Albania should nonetheless be one of many least recognized international locations in Europe – I’ve by no means been there, I’ve by no means actually thought-about going there. Take a look at this quick (7minute) video and you will notice a few of what you and I’ve been lacking – and should effectively lose the possibility to see in any respect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wIoAo6KGrw

Press launch:

THE FUTURE OF EUROPE’S LARGEST UNSPOILT RIVER HANGS IN THE BALANCE

Three March 2021 – The Vjosa, Europe’s largest wild river outdoors of Russia, faces its best hazard but, resulting from political uncertainty and opportunistic greed. Forward of upcoming Albanian parliamentary elections, residents, activists and conservationists are demanding political help for the institution of Europe’s first wild river nationwide park, thus defending it eternally.

As a part of this motion, at this time sees the launch of Vjosa Forever, a brand new documentary quick movie asking individuals all over the place to hitch the combat to protect the way forward for the Vjosa. 

For greater than 10 years, native activists, worldwide teams, scientists and artists have fought in opposition to a ‘tsunami’ of deliberate hydropower initiatives within the Balkans. In September 2020, Albanian politicians publicly introduced the institution of a Vjosa wild river nationwide park, which might shield all the community of tributaries. Nonetheless, since then, native residents and activists have develop into more and more alarmed that, behind closed doorways, compromises are being made, and, in actual fact, the river is in imminent hazard.

With nationwide elections on 25 April 2021, Albanian and worldwide nature conservation teams akin to EcoAlbaniaRiverWatch  and EuroNatur are calling on the general public and political leaders to enshrine the way forward for the Vjosa and make this wild river nationwide park a significant precedence for any profitable social gathering. Current analysis exhibits that 94 p.c of Albanian individuals are in favour of building this wild river nationwide park. 

If profitable, this shall be Europe’s first wild river nationwide park and unparalleled in Europe by way of ecological significance and scale. The designation would shield over 300km of rivers and streams, host to over 1,100 species, a lot of that are thought-about threatened.

The launch of Vjosa Forever follows the 2018 Blue Heart film and campaign which depicted the combat to guard the wild rivers of the Balkans – the ‘Blue Coronary heart’ of Europe – from 3,400 proposed hydropower initiatives which might destroy the tradition and ecology of this complete area. Throughout the Blue Coronary heart, the Vjosa is the biggest and most untamed river system.

The six-minute movie, created by Patagonia, asks involved residents all over the place to point out their help for a Vjosa wild river nationwide park and convey worldwide consideration to the environmental catastrophe that might ensue if it stays unprotected.

Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia Works, says: “Grassroots activism, supported by authorized motion, have labored to get this historic choice on the desk. Now could be the time for Albanian politicians to step up. They are going to be doing one thing that’s by no means been executed earlier than and defending this final, pristine river system, eternally.

Ulrich Eichelmann, CEO, Riverwatch, says: The Vjosa miraculously survived the many years of destruction in Europe; it´s a present to all of us. And it’s, subsequently, not solely an Albanian accountability to guard it, but additionally a European accountability. This wild river nationwide park can be an immense achievement for conservation efforts in Europe, and, at an EU degree, it should make an actual and vital contribution to the EU Biodiversity Technique and the EU Inexperienced Deal.

Besjana Guri, Communication Officer, EcoAlbania says: This can be a second for all Albanian residents to really feel actual satisfaction.  Not solely are we defending our nation, our tradition and our future, however, within the Vjosa, we now have one thing of valuable magnificence that’s unparalleled in Europe.”  

ENDS

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