"One of the last wild rivers in Europe, home to more than 1,000 animal and
plant species, has been declared a national park by the Albanian government,
making the Vjosa the first of its kind on the continent.
The Vjosa River flows 168 miles (270kms) from the Pindus mountains in Greece
through narrow canyons, plains and forests in Albania to the Adriatic coast.
Free from dams or other artificial barriers, it is rich in aquatic species and
supports myriad wildlife, including otters, the endangered Egyptian vulture and
the critically endangered Balkan lynx, of which only 15 are estimated to remain
For years, the Vjosa’s fragile ecosystem has been under threat: at one point as
many as 45 hydropower plants were planned across the region.
But on Wednesday, after an almost decade-long campaign by environmental NGOs,
Vjosa was declared the first wild river national park in Europe.
Environmentalists described it as a historic decision that has placed the tiny
Balkan nation at the forefront of river protection.
Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, announced the park at a ceremony at
Tepelenë castle overlooking the river, attended by stakeholders and ministers.
He described the creation of the national park as a “truly historic moment” for
nature as well as social and economic development."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
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Manager, Serious Cybernetics