Lately | Albania

A journey down the endangered Vjosa River

By - 13.05.2022

And environmental action across the region.

The Vjosa River flows uninterrupted for 272 kilometers from the mountains of northern Greece, through southern Albania and into the Adriatic Sea. Its shifting meanders, unhemmed by dams, are free to trickle or to rage in torrents depending on the season. Wild rivers are extremely rare, particularly in Europe, where the Vjosa is often referred to by scientists and environmental NGOs as the continent’s last.

On January 26, 2022, the Albanian government declared the creation of a “Nature Park” along the entire length of the Vjosa in response to relentless pressure by activists, locals and environmentalists.

But a recent trip following the river downstream from the Greek border to the delta on the Adriatic revealed that the people living along the river have something else to say about the matter and that the threats to the river remain. Our recent article on the issue goes into depth about how the government’s nature protection scheme was not how it seemed; nature park status would not prevent the government from continuing its hydropower plans.

Following the publishing of our multimedia story about the Vjosa, we invite you all to join us for a discussion to dig even deeper into this important issue. We will be discussing the specifics of the Vjosa River as well as similar environmental activism against mini-hydroelectric dams in Kosovo and the broader region. We will also take a look together, in large format, at some of the short cinematic videos of the Vjosa Valley and its inhabitants that were featured in the article.

Our discussion will be moderated by K2.0’s Senior Editor Daniel Petrick. We will be joined by:

  • Besjana Guri, Communication Officer at EcoAlbania
  • Freya Häberlein and Dan Shutt, authors of K2.0’s story “Europe’s last wild river

Translation to Albanian/English/Serbian will be provided during the event.

Photo: Isaac Eastgate / K2.0.

This discussion is supported by the “Balkan Trust for Democracy,” a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Opinions expressed in this discussion do not necessarily represent those of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.

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