Our group of allies is increasing! Scientists in our network not only lend their own data but also use their independent voices to advocate for the protection of rivers.
The Shushica in danger again
The Shushica - a tributary of the Vjosa in Albania – is once again under attack from hydropower projects. They had already been averted, since the permits for the plants had long expired and are therefore invalid. However, we now received a letter that the Albanian National Environmental Agency (NEA), under the control of the Minister for Tourism and Environment, had already given the green light and the environmental permit for the construction on November 16, 2021, even though 28 national and international scientists had sharply criticized the Environmental Impact Assessment of the investor in a review.
A total of 4 dams with a capacity of 14.9 MW are planned. These diversion power plants would almost completely drain this unique and ecologically valuable river. If these projects are realized, the Shushica would not only be destroyed and could not become part of the Wild River National Park, but also the local communities would lose an enormously important economic perspective, which is urgently needed in view of the exodus from the region. The local population has been vehemently opposing the planned hydropower projects on their river for years (read Sotir’s story and watch Dritan’s story).
At the moment we are in correspondence with the authorities to stop these projects. In parallel, our Lawyers for Rivers are preparing lawsuits.
In order to be able to base these lawsuits on ecological knowledge, we brought about 30 national and international scientists to the previousl unexplored Shushica in June 2021 to collect multidisciplinary data during a research week.
A first report proves the high conservation value of the Shushica as an important part of the Vjosa river system. Read the report HERE.
Watch this video of the Research Week 2021 at the Shushica and Bënça
Watch Dritan's story - a resident of the Shushicë. Like so many locals, Dritan doesn’t want to see his beloved river dammed and destroyed – he wants his valley to be included in a future Vjosa National Park.