Vjosa Park Kombëtar

What has been accomplished so far?

January 2014

Vjosa River received its first spotlight in the international media

May 2014

First occasion when mayors and locals from the river had the first press conference on the banks of the Vjosa and called Prime Minister Rama to reject the dam plans and to establish a Vjosa National Park instead

June 2014

First biodiversity assessment of the Vjosa together with Albanian scientists and 70 students finding 

May 2015

EU Parliamentarians demand protection for the Vjosa and the halt to all dam plans 

April 2016

European Parliament calls on the Albanian government to control hydropower development; specifically, in pristine areas such as the Vjosa 

May 2016

International protest on the banks of the Vjosa to show local resistance to a large dam project. A special petition in the form of a kayak was left at PM Rama’s doorstep.

December 2016

Local residents together with national and international NGOs filed a lawsuit against Poçem hydropower, a new dam project on the Vjosa 

May 2017

Administrative court in Tirana decided in favour of EcoAlbania and local representatives to stop a dam project.  The Turkish investor Ayen Enerji and the Environment Ministry appealed the court decision. Still pending. 

October 2017

Albanian government decided to move ahead with dam construction on the Vjosa and gave the Turkish-Albanian consortium Ayen Eneji and Fusha company the concession to build the Kalivaç hydropower plant. 

October 2017

Hands off Vjosa’ thousands attend concert in defense of Vjosa

June 2018

International scientists explore 300km of Vjosa and published a study in December 2018

October 2018

Hundreds attend concert to show their support for a free Vjosa

June 2019

New study finds the Vjosa an unsuitable candidate for hydropower plants – new plants would create a lose-lose situation

November 2019

International pressure to protect the Vjosa increases as celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio get involved 

February 2020

One of the largest science petitions in global freshwater ecology calls to stop Vjosa dam projects in Albania 

September 2020

Albanian Environmental Ministry rejected the environmental impact assessment of the Turkish-Albanian investor consortium and the proposed Kalivaç Dam will not be built 

February 2021

20 Albanian environmental organizations 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. According to the 16-page proposal, the national park should meet IUCN standards and encompass the entire Vjosa River in Albania as well as the free-flowing tributaries.

March 2021

Patagonia released a new 6-minute film explaining the situation in Albania and calling upon Albanians and Europeans to get involved and support the protection of the river. 

March 2021

IUCN presented their new study finding the “protection of the [Vjosa] must be ensured along the entire course of the river in order to achieve basic protection of the “continuity” of the river and sediment transport, as any potential disturbance along the riverbed may have upstream and downstream impacts.”

World Water Day 2021

‘Vjosa National Park Now’ cloaking the foreground of globally recognized monuments in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, and Tirana, targeting the attention of European and Albanian politicians, urging them to declare the Vjosa in Albania Europe’s first Wild River National Park.

March 2021

European Parliament adopted the 2021 Albanian Progress Report in which they urge Albanians “to establish as soon as possible the Vjosa National Park, extending the whole length of the river…”

April 2021

Liderët politikë në Shqipëri të konfrontuar në media me çështjen e Vjosës angazhohen publikisht për mbrojtjen e Vjosës. Prill 2021: EcoAlbania i përgjigjet deklaratës publike të Kryeministrit Rama mbi mundësinë reale te shpalljes së Vjosës si Park Kombëtar (Kategoria e II sipas standardeve të IUCN).

Dhjetor 2021

The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention asked the Albanian authorities to clarify why the proposal of EcoAlbania and IUCN, based on extensive studies to declare the “Vjosa River” as a National Park (Category II), was not considered.

Janar 2022

 The Albanian government declared the Vjosa River a Nature Park (category IV of protected areas) instead of declaring it a National Park (category II of protected areas), as requested by activists for years.

Qershor 2022

Qeveria Shqiptare ndërmerr një hap të rëndësishëm drejt mbrojtjes së lumit Vjosa duke nënshkruar Marrëveshjen e Bashkëpunimit për Parkun Kombëtar të Lumit të Egër Vjosa.

Janar 2023

Nis procedura Ligjore për shpalljen e lumi Vjosa che degët e tij park kombëtar. Dorëzohet studimi i fizibilitetit nga ekipi i ekspertëve kombëtar dhe ndërkombëtar.

Mars 2023

Moment historik: Lumi Vjosa shpallet Park Kombëtar. Në një ceremoni zyrtare në Tepelenë, qeveria shqiptare shpalli lumin Vjosa dhe degët e tij, Bënça, Shushica dhe Drino, park kombëtar të lumit të egër.