Key Area

Two new animal species discovered in the area of projected dam on Vjosa

++ 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.

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Video: Scientists for Vjosa

In April, about 30 scientists paparticipated in one week of research on the previously almost unexplored Vjosa river in Albania. All experts were amazed by the complexity and sheer size of the river system and every expertise found something at the Vjosa – species, habitat types, dynamic river processes – that has been long lost on all regulated rivers in central Europe. Watch this 3-minute video about the Scientists for Vjosa week, featuring stunning drone footage of the extensive Vjosa river landscape.

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The Vjosa in Universum Magazine

The scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna who joined the Vjosa Science Week in April authored an article about the fight for the Vjosa for the summer edition of the Universum Magazine. Apart from stunning photos, the article also offers insight into Albania’s history as well as into its natural and cultural treasures. DOWNLOAD the article as PDF (sorry, in German only)

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HPP Kalivaç revisited – Vjosa at risk once again

++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.

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Albanian Court stops dam project on the Vjosa

++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.

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Scientists for Vjosa

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.

Lunacek: Don’t destroy Vjosa! Build your power plant somewhere else!

Vice President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek lobbies for a free-flowing Vjosa and against projected hydropower plants!  “It is true that Albania needs energy and more development, but that should not be done by destroying nature’, she tells Albanian journalists in Brussels.

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European Parliament discusses Sava River

++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified ++ Today, one of the last living rivers of Central Europe received valuable attention in Brussels. Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and the European Association of Wetlands International made the Sava River an issue in the European Parliament.

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Poçem lawsuit accepted by Albanian Administrative Court

Yesterday, the second preparatory session in regards to our Poçem HPP complaint was held in the Administrative Court of Albania and the judge officially accepted the lawsuit. The grounds of the lawsuit include an inadequate Environmental Impact Assessment and the absence of proper public consultation of affected residents.

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