Posted on 04 November 2016
Albanian singers and artists joined protests against planned hydropower plants in the Valbona Valley National Park
- Chanting “Don't touch Valbona” several hundred Albanians and Kosovars attended a protest concert on Saturday 29 October in Valbona valley. The artistic marathon was organized by internationally recognised jazz singers Eda Zari and Elina Duni. They also invited a group of artists from Albania and Kosovo who offered a free show dedicated to environmental issues.
The protest over the Valbona River is against government plans to build 14 hydropower plants along the pristine river and its mountain tributaries. This would result in about 80 per cent of the river being diverted into underground tunnels to produce electricity, thus destroying this National Park.
National parks are declared protected in order to preserve their natural areas and ecological processes and the fact that Valbona is designated with one of the highest protection categories (IUCN protection level II) shows how important that ecosystem is.
“Undertaking large construction activity, such as building of a hydropower plant, would without a doubt compromise natural processes and cause the destruction of pristine ecosystems in the National park. It would also eventually jeopardize even the local communities. As an organization aiming to protect the nature so that it can sustain our lives and well-being, WWF cannot support development of hydropower in national parks. This also extends to Valbona and we urge the Albanian government to reconsider issued concessions and abandon all hydropower plants planned in Valbona National park”, said Petra Remeta
from WWF Adria.