Key Area

Vjosa Science Expedition

Between April 17th and May 6th, eleven scientists from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Albania went on an expedition to collect data on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions for the entire Vjosa river network. With great effort, 300 river kilometers were sampled by use of the most state-of-the-art methods and equipment. During this expedition – led by Dr. Gabriel Singer of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin – the Vjosa’s exceptional value was confirmed once more:

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Assessment of sediment transport in the Vjosa has started

+++ Impacts of hydropower projects for nature, people and coastal region to be calculated +++ The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), together with the Polytechnic University of Tirana, have started an assessment of the sediment transport in the Vjosa river in Albania. They are measuring the amount of gravel, sand and fine sediments the river transports into the Mediterranean Sea each year.

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Video: Nature Park Lonjsko Polje in Croatia

Nominated for World Heritage Site status, Lonjsko Polje in Croatia is a 50 000 hectares stretch of floodplain in the Posavina region, between the Sava River and Mt Moslavačka Gora. Situated along Lonja River, a Sava tributary that gives the park its name, this huge retention basin is famed for the diversity of its flora and fauna. Watch this video portraying the beauty and diversity of the Lonjsko Polje:

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Albanian Vjosa documentary: Diga mbi Vjosë

Albanian filmmaker Artan Rama from “Elementi i pestë“ accompanied our scientists on an Vjosa expedition in April 2017 and filmed a documentary about the planned destruction of Europe’s last big wild river. It is about the uniqueness of the ecosystem Vjosa, about affected residents, as well as about the court decision in favour of a free-flowing Vjosa. Enjoy!

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Albanian industrial confederation demands halt of dam plans on Vjosa River

In Albanian society, the opposition against the projected hydropower plants on the Vjosa River is receiving further support. In an open letter to the country´s Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri, the Confederation of Albanian industries is calling for a moratorium on the construction of dams on the Vjosa River and its tributaries.

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Bern Convention: Macedonian government is urged to halt construction of hydropower plants in national park

Plans for 17 hydropower plants throughout Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park must be immediately suspended, so the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention ruled at its annual meeting last week. The Standing Committee emphasizes its special concerns with regard to the still ongoing developments of small hydropower plants within the park.

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Tirana: 4000 people at concert for Europe’s last wild river

Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana last night. In front of over 4000 people, prominent Albanian musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects.

Follow the Vjosa concert via livestream!

For everyone who cannot attend the Vjosa concert in Tirana in person tonight: the Deutsche Welle will broadcast the concert in parts live, including interviews with the musicians prior to the concert. Tune in at around 6:15pm at https://www.facebook.com/dw.shqip/

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Invitation: Artists for Vjosa Concert in Tirana, Oct 18

On October 18, we will hold a big concert for the protection of the beautiful and threatened Vjosa River, the last big wild river in Europe! Free entry! Where: Skanderbeg square in front of the National History Museum in Tirana When: October 18, 19:00

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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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