Save Vjosa river campaign! Albania -Yes to HPP energy, but not everywhere!

Save Vjosa river campaign! Albania -Yes to HPP energy, but not everywhere!
The aim of the campaigning is to prevent signing of a contract to construct a proposed cascade dams for the HPP on Vjosariver, which has declared by Riverwatch the last wild river of Europe. We also want to cancel many other small HPPs planed in the canyons and protected areas in Albania. In order to achieve this goal, many media actions were done. We created ad hock groups with local stakeholders and CSOs.

Movement and cooperation building activities CSOs have formed coalition “Protect the rivers”. In February 2015, OAA initiated and organized the protest in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the visit of minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, inviting there other environmental groups.

The protest aimed to ban the deviation of Vjosa river in Greek territory, and demanded the implementation of the ESPO convention. The Albanian minister of Foreign Affairs promised that Albania will not accept the deviation of Vjosa river.

Many meetings with local communities next to river have been organised and they have been mobilised to join protests again HPPs in Vjosa. The community is affected by a dam foreseen in Kalivac, the construction of which started few years ago but was stopped and they are determined to keep the river flow freely. Legal complaints have been processed for the Lengarica HPP based on a document signed also by OAA was delivered on prosecution.

The prime minister has declared in 2015 Upper part of Vjosa river will be declared a National Park. Therefore, the construction of small HPP construction in Benca river has stopped.

On April 29 th 2015 the protest on Benca against the HPP of Benca, important tributary of Vjosa river was organised And OAA actively joined the protest bringing people from Permet, baners and media. A documentary 26 min for Benca and Vjosa was prepared by OAA., Lavdosh ferruni , coordinator (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYoCrNrBYPQ ) The documentary was transmitted several times in national TV "A1 Report" and has been put also in You Tube, social media etc.

On 19 September 2015 in Vlora, the city of the downstream of Vjosa river up to Adriatic sea was organized the seminar by OAA with the participation of NGOs of Vlora, civil society activists and the mayor of Vlora municipality and the Chief of the Commune of Novosel, in which territories passes the Vjosa river down to mouth in Adriatic sea. It was signed the “Vlora Declaration “, which by the participants declared that are committed that Vjosa becomes a National Park. The declratio was first signed by the Mayor. Media was present and the event has been transmitted in the main news of the TVs, including the most important national TV “Top channel”.

OAA has done extensive work in building up the cooperation with other CSOs and communities. After several meetings a group of 8 environmental organizations named “Te mbrojme Lumenjte” (Protect the rivers) has been created and it publicly and officially demanded the Government to issue a 3 year moratorium for the construction of hydropower plants.

Resistance of inhabitants of Kute against theconstruction of HPP of Pocem on Vjosa river