The President, Ilir Meta, raised the alarm for the construction without criteria of HPPs in our country.
Underlining the fact that Albania has the highest density of HPPs in the region, the Head of State said with concern that there are no river branches that are not under construction or planned to be used for HPPs.
Meta: In this phase of very chaotic transition and without much experience in the sustainable development of the country since 2007, the total number of HPSs built, under construction or planned for construction has increased tremendously.
Experts today point out that there is no river branch that is not under construction or planned to be used for HPSs. The density of HPSs is the highest in the Balkans, almost double the countries in the region. Over 80 HPSs have been provided within protected areas of the country or in areas that are likely to be protected in the future, such as the Vjosa River.
Meta brought to attention the failure of the attempt of environmentalists and residents of the area to stop the HPSs in the National Park of Valbona.
Meta: I can mention here the failed efforts of the academic world, environmentalists and local stakeholders to stop the start of construction of HPSs in Valbona National Park. This should be a real concern not only for scientists, environmentalists but for the whole country, especially for the decision-making that must be extremely responsible.
The construction of large-scale HPSs and other unfriendly, even hostile construction activities will I said especially within protected areas or areas that may be protected in the future can never be a green road, a sustainable road for the development of the country.
Meta added that “scientists insist that separately or together HPSs cause harmful impacts in time and space on ecosystems and biodiversity, on river banks to the coast, on surface and groundwater quality, to the point of aggravation of the climate and further fostering global warming.”
Another concern raised by the President was the drafting of environmental impact assessment reports for these works.
Meta: From the information it seems that the quality of drafting and approving environmental impact assessment reports for a certain construction, for HPSs or any other type of construction near rivers is also a matter of great concern. Often they are prepared on the table in a hurry with very little concrete field research work and with a lot of irresponsibility, what the government and the concessionaire want is approved.
It seems that it has never happened that an environmental assessment report contradicts a construction or a construction claim that is inconsistent with the protection of nature or human health.
Meta made the statements during the round table on the future of the Vjosa, with the topic “Dams in the National Park”.