«Saving Europe’s last free flowing wild river - Vjosa/Aoos» - [eng]

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Fact Sheet Project Vjosa-Aoos

Facts:

The Vjosa/Aoos River in the transboundary area of Albania and Greece is one of Europe’s last living wild rivers. Along almost its entire course of over 270 kilometres the Vjosa/Aoos River is an untamed and free flowing water body, characterized by beautiful canyons, braided river sections, vegetation covered islands, oxbows and meandering stretches. At an international level, what makes this river even more outstanding is the fact that almost all its tributaries are free-flowing and intact creating a unique network of rivers and streams bursting with life. However, this unparalleled European resource of immensely important natural heritage is threatened by the construction of about 40 hydropower projects endangering the entire ecosystem.
If these plans are materialised they will transform the whole Vjosa catchment into a chain of
accumulation lakes and interrupting any natural river flow and biodiversity functions.

Aim:

EuroNatur and her partners are trying to establish a transboundary protected area and Europe’s first Wild River National Park. As result, it prevents devastating developments that disrupts the ecosystem and brings a miserable social-economic condition for local people in the Vjosa/Aoos River and its catchment. For this to be achieved an approach combining the following 5 different strategies will be applied.

Strategies:

  1. increase public pressure on political decision-makers
  2. monitor and optimize legal compliance and influence legal frameworks on national as well as on international level with either with lawsuits and or complaints
  3. involve and strengthen the position of local stakeholders in the official procedure of national (hydropower) developments
  4. enhance scientific as well as general knowledge of river ecosystems and sustainable energy developments
  5. elaborate a comprehensive roadmap for final designation of Europe’s first Wild River National Park

Partners:

EcoAlbania, EuroNatur Foundation, RiverWatch, IUCN ECARO, MedINA “Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos", INHERIT “The Institute for Heritage & Sustainable Human Development (on behalf of MedINA)", Pindos Perivallontiki, Tour du Valat, Wetlands International - European Association

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