Albanian PM Rama: Vjosa River to Remain Free of Dams in Albania | WWF

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Albanian PM Rama: Vjosa River to Remain Free of Dams in Albania

Last week Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, reacted to the statement of Albanian President Ilir Meta who supported the establishment of the Vjosa National Park.

Last week Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, reacted to the statement of Albanian President Ilir Meta who supported the establishment of the Vjosa National Park. The Prime Minister confirmed on September 25th that he is also in favour of the establishment of the national park and informed the public that the Kalivaç dam project has been rejected by the Ministry of Environment.

Writing on Twitter, Edi Rama said: “I agree with Ilir Meta that the future is not destruction, but how good it would have been if he had protected Valbona from destruction when he was deputy head of Sali Berisha's government, as he protects the Vjosa today from the imaginary danger of hydropower plants that will not be built. Our government has declared the Upper Vjosa a National Park. Our Ministry of Environment has officially refused to grant a permit for hydropower projects in the lower Vjosa River.”

This news was welcomed by civil society organizations, international and national, that have been actively involved with the Vjosa case, but also the wider issue of hydropower development in Albania. It represents a precedent in the country, where decisions to stop a hydropower project based on a negative environmental impact assessment aren't that common.

„While we need to celebrate this victory, we need to continue being vigilant and ask for the implementation of this decision. For example, two years ago the court decided to stop all construction works on a hydropower plant in Valbona, yet the work continued, with complete disregard of the law. The situation is sensitive, and we must continue demanding the implementation of court and government decisions. Now it’s important for the government to follow through, both in the Vjosa and the Valbona cases, putting a permanent ban on hydropower construction”, said Rea Nepravishta from WWF Adria.
The Vjosa River in Albania.

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