The first official public commitments of the political leadership of the Ministry of Environment and Energy for the protection of the Aoos River were published in a very interesting reportage by journalist Machie Tratsa in the newspaper “TO VIMA”, on Sunday, 11 December, 2022, entitled ‘Aoos “broke” the dams’!
Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy George Amyras pledged that the Ministry of Environment and Energy plans to designate the area of the Aoos river basin, which is currently not protected, as a ‘protected natural formation’ by setting conditions and restrictions for the protection and conservation of the area’s natural characteristics. He also said that discussions have been held with the neighbouring country Albania to move towards a joint river management plan in the future, as cross-border and compatibility of protection measures on both sides of the border is the ultimate goal of the efforts for integrated protection of the Aoos RIver.
An extensive reference was made to the rare river system of the Aoos/Vjosa, the invaluable features that make it unique – as it remains the largest free-flowing river in Europe – and the ongoing efforts made, both by Greece and Albania, for its institutional protection and its designation as a Transboundary Wild River National Park.
Recently, the Albanian authorities have pledged that the river will remain free. Many organisations contributed to this decision, including our partner EcoAlbania, with whom we continue to “fight” for the protection of the Aoos River as a whole.
Views of partner organisations MedINA, IUCN ECARO, Pindos Perivallontiki and Green Tank were also recorded.
Alexandra Pappa, Freshwater Programme Manager at MedINA, said: “The Aoos is today healthy despite development pressures, and local communities coexist harmoniously with it. Institutional protection in both countries will be the first step to safeguard this precious ecosystem for future generations”.