News - Press Release

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

On Wednesday evening (16.00 local time), Maida Bilal received the renowned 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize on behalf of the “brave women of Kruščica”. The prize is endowed with 200,000 USD.  The Jury justified their decision on the grounds that hydropower is not green, and is one of the greatest threats to wild rivers and the people living along their banks. Maida Bilal and the other women fought for one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe - and won.

Discovering the unknown: Science week at the Vjosa tributaries

 06/07/2021

From May 29 to June 6, a science delegation from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany collects multidisciplinary data from the two major Vjosa tributaries Shushica and Bënça. This research week is a follow-up of a comparable undertaking at the Vjosa in 2017, which contributed substantially to our success in establishing the ecological value of the Vjosa, fending off the hydropower projects (HPP) and which led to the designation as a protected area.

Pressure continues for a Vjosa National Park as new government forms in Albania

 04/28/2021

The election may be over, but the fight for the Vjosa is not. Over the last several months, support for the Vjosa has grown tremendously in Albania, other European countries, and around the world. As a result of campaigning, Edi Rama’s government agreed to a low-level ‘nature park’ protection for the Vjosa in March - which is a good first step.

Activists demand European political support for a Vjosa National Park in Albania

On the occasion of this year’s World Water Day, today, several NGO’s released a series of photos capturing the words Vjosa National Park Now cloaking the foreground of globally recognised monuments in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, and Tirana. The activists behind the visual action are targeting the attention of European and Albanian politicians, urging them to declare the Vjosa in Albania Europe’s first Wild River National Park.

Vjosa – Environmental groups submit proposal for Europe’s first Wild River National Park

Today, 20 Albanian environmental organisations under the direction of EcoAlbania submitted a detailed proposal for the creation of the Vjosa National Park to the Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi. The group of NGOs feel compelled to take this step since Albanian government representatives have been announcing the national park for months, but have not taken any steps towards its implementation.

Vjosa: Political game with the future of Europe´s last wild river

 12/17/2020

++ 94 % of Albanians in favour of establishing Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN confirms the potential of Vjosa River for becoming a National Park ++ Albanian Environmental Minister has opposing plan ++ Today, EcoAlbania, Riverwatch and EuroNatur informed the public about the latest developments regarding the Vjosa.

The devastating business of the Kelag in the Balkans

 12/03/2020

The Austrian Kelag likes to present itself as a modern company with the highest environmental and social standards. However, reality paints a quite different picture: the Kelag is a problematic company in the Balkans. For years, environmental organizations and local residents have been protesting against its hydropower projects and the behavior of its employees, especially in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Complaint on Bosnia-Herzegovina dams on Neretva river submitted to Bern Convention

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A related complaint was submitted to the Energy Community Secretariat in August for failure to protect the pristine upper stretches of the river Neretva from eight planned hydropower projects. ++

Alliance against Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is growing

++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian President speaks out in favour of Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN promises support ++ Today, the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, together with representatives of the Universities of Tirana and Vienna and the Mayor of Tepelena Tërmet Peçi, inaugurated the Vjosa Research Center

Fishes in Mediterranean region endangered due to hydropower boom

 07/08/2020

Hydropower plants are one of the main causes for the decline of numerous fish species in the Mediterranean region. This is the result of a new study. In total, 251 endangered freshwater fish species along with their stock situation in rivers in the Mediterranean basin were recorded. The impact of existing and planned hydropower plants on these populations was also evaluated.

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