The Vjosa/Aoos River travels 270 km from its source in Greece to its estuary in Albania. There are currently plans for dozens of Hydropower Schemes along its length, including its many tributaries, mainly in Albania. These schemes will destroy the river’s rich biodiversity and will compromise the livelihoods of populations living within its catchment. Safeguarding the river in its current, healthy form, is a significant matter of concern locally, nationally and for the international community.
MedINA is collaborating with Euronatur, RiverWatch, EcoAlbania, Pindos Perivallontiki, Wetlands International, Inherit Institute and IUCN ECARO to work with local stakeholders towards the establishment of a transboundary River Park between Greece and Albania in the hope that this will better protect the river.
The kick-off meeting of the “Saving Europe’s last free flowing wild river: Vjosa/Aoos” project took place on the 31st January & 1st of February 2018 in Konitsa, Greece. The project is funded by the MAVA Foundation and will involve local partner organisations to undertake on‐site‐protest together with research, activities at national and international levels to raise awareness, influence policy, build capacity of relevant stakeholders, and provide socio‐economic alternatives to dam building in the still free flowing river Vjosa/Aoos. It will promote transboundary cooperation and the establishment of a transboundary protected area.
MedINA and Inherit as well as Pindos Perivallontiki will focus mainly on the Greek part of the river. The former two partners will examine the river both as a natural and a cultural resource and will assess the risk and impacts of a potential diversion of the river to Ioannina Lake as well as the impact of the only existing dam located at the river’s source close to the village of Metsovo in Epirus, Greece. MedINA and Inherit will also identify and collaborate with key stakeholders at local and international level encouraging the stewardship of the catchment area’s landscapes and empowering its local communities.