Vjosa National Park, Rama: Historic moment, we protect forever the last wild river in Europe

11:20 15/03/2023

“The Europeans who tamed their wild rivers flocked to us”

The declaration of Vjosa as a National Park is a historical moment. This is how Prime Minister Edi Rama considers this decision of the Albanian Government taken 2 days ago.

From Tepelena, where the activity for the Vjosa river declared a National Park was held today, Rama said that this was not an easy decision to undertake.

“This is a historic moment in the effort to protect nature and to transform the mindset related to nature as a common space where economic development, social development and inheritance for generations to come as a relay of well-being can and should be seen as a whole unlike what we are usually used to, looking for the use of nature without criteria and without care. This is an important moment for our country because we celebrate what we have longed for since the beginning of time, what we committed to and what we took time to make come true because it is not an easy country, it is difficult for 1001 reason, the declaration of Vjosa National Park”.

For all this work that led to the final decision, Rama thanked the Minister of Environment Mirela Kumbaro and the director of the National Planning Agency. The Prime Minister also spoke about those Europeans, according to him, who spoke to prevent the destruction of Vjosa. And for these Europeans, Rama said that after “taming their wild rivers in Europe, they sought the protection of the Vjosa river”

“I am very glad that we succeeded in this challenging undertaking and I am definitely very grateful to all those who contributed to get here, where I want to single out two people; Mirela the Minister of Tourism and Environment and Adelina, our director of the National Planning Agency, who with great perseverance and patience coordinated many forces that came together in this process. Today we forever protect the last wild river of Europe, and along the way we had many Europeans who, after taming their wild rivers to exploit them, flocked to Vjosa to protect it from taming. Many Europeans who, after turning the tigers of their nature into domestic cats, turned to us so that we would not dare to tame our tiger. It is a pleasure that we also give them the pleasure of doing a superficial washing of their conscience through Vjosa, just as through them we were lucky to meet people who are truly the blessing of this planet, such as Rajan who sells clothes all over the world, but there is concern to contribute to this planet which is at the crossroads, with whom we are happy to cooperate“, declared Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Rama: We intend to expand to 30% protected area of ​​the territory

The Albanian government aims to expand the territory of the country to 30% as a protected area.

This ambition was declared by Prime Minister Edi Rama from Tepelena, where the activity for the protection of the Vjosa river took place, since two days ago it was declared a National Park by decision of the Council of Ministers.

After this decision, Rama said, the most difficult work begins to return the entire area of ​​the Vjosa National Park to the well-being of the citizens.

“I hope that all of these people do not run away in the wrong direction after they guaranteed that the “tiger” will not become a cat, but stay here with us to continue now to turn this great wealth into well-being, to return it to the source sustainable economic, social and ecological development and in a model for everyone in Albania and beyond Albania”.

Currently, the map of protected areas in Albania covers 21% of the territory and it is intended to reach 30%.

“Today, Albania has 21% of its territory as a protected area. We found it with much less. Our objective is to bring to 30% the territory of our country that is a protected area. It is a target that is very ambitious. Here it becomes necessary to find knowledgeable partners and allies. Patagonia’s great added value is precisely the knowledge, great experience and living in constant search for the most efficient ways to bring more economy to the people who live in these protected areas”Prime Minister Rama said, among other things.

Rama: Discussion with Greece to treat Vjosa’s bed as common property

From Tepelena, the Prime Minister of the country, Edi Rama, has expressed his pride for the declaration of Vjosa as a National Park, as well as for the initiatives that he emphasizes that the government led by him has undertaken, in function of the environment.

During his speech, Prime Minister Rama expressed that this National Park needs a center of excellence for scientific research and projects, development, and coordination of knowledge resources on how to manage them.

The Prime Minister of the country Rama has stated that the government is in a very encouraging conversation with Greece to build a synergy across the border and to treat this bed of Vjosa as a common asset and to invest knowledge and then finances.

Rama has stated that there are 18 million dollars that will be made available initially for the project for sewerage and cleaning of polluted water.

Edi Rama: We are proud of the many things we have done for the environment, the values ​​and the lives of the countless species that Albania has. We need another forest management reform, to turn forests into welfare for all generations, not just in areas where only a greedy few gobble up for today, while others enrich themselves forever.

I also want to say the necessity of this park to have a center of excellence that is a center of scientific research, projects, development, coordination of knowledge resources for how a National Park of these should be managed in times of environmental challenges in size, there are 12,000 hectares of parkland. It is a giant park that crosses the entire body of the country. We are in a very encouraging conversation with our neighbors, with Greece to build a synergy across the border and to treat this bed of Vjosa that does not start in Albania, but starts across the border as a common asset, and to invest together, in knowledge first and then finance.

It’s the first 18 million dollars that will be made available to this park to make it possible for all the municipalities and all the communities of these municipalities to no longer discharge sewage into the river, which means a massive project for sewage in all these municipalities and the cleaning of polluted water. Part of this amount will be financial support with grants or soft loans for businesses that will be developed in this territory, new businesses and close to nature.

I hope that we will build the Vjosa Foundation and that it will be a joint effort to make the management of resources decide what is built and what not and not be left in the hands of any municipality as an uncoordinated decision. In function of this is also the education of the younger and younger generations on what we are doing and on what this will bring in the future.

We are in a very good day today, but it is an extremely big challenge, which practically begins today by taking possession of this wealth in an intangible asset that brings more future to those who are blessed to be born here. , but also for the whole community.

Rama: Vlora Airport will be built, added value and in no way a threat to the ecosystem

At the ceremony of declaring Vjosa Natural Park, the Prime Minister of the country, Edi Rama, called on all those who do not agree with the construction of the Vlora Airport not to disturb them.

During his speech, Prime Minister Rama stated that Vlora Airport will be built as he emphasized that it is an added value and is in no case a threat to the ecosystem.

Edi Rama: Here I was told that there is someone who continues to feed us with the birds of Vlora Airport: I would beg him to stop doing this work. We are a governing force that has raised the level of defense of the country to where it has never been from a natural point of view.

For Vlora Aeroprot, we have done all the consultations, all the studies and now that the tiger of Vjosa we have guaranteed that he will not go to the dentist to cut his teeth and become a cat, I would beg a lot from anyone who is here bothering us with letters and transformations and deviations of facts regarding Vlora Airport, don’t bother us.

The Vlora airport is under construction, it will be built in all cases and it will be an added value and in no way a threat to the ecosystem because we have discussed it again with all levels and with all experts. It is a whole file as big as a mountain for the process of Vlora Airport. We will preserve the wild vlora together, but we must not make the people wild, so we must make a combination between the wildness of nature and the domestication of people.