Giving voice to river protection in Albania

In 2019, MAVA provided funding for several ‘Learning Grants’ in order to encourage a learning culture and increase knowledge among the conservation community. One of these grants was awarded to EcoAlbania in Albania for a project entitled: Give voice to river protection.

One of the outcomes of this funding is the “Guideline for a successful River Protection Campaign: the Vjosa Case. Based on the experience that EcoAlbania staff has built up within the frame of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign, the guidelines cover all aspects on how to:

  • Identify conservation values of the riverine ecosystem.
  • Assess the link of conservation values with ecosystem services and local communities.
  • Identify the problems and threats and make them visible.
  • Engage the local community in conservation actions through decision-making.

The aim of these guidelines is to help civil society organisations, activists, local communities etc. understand the importance of the protection of water resources and how local communities can get involved in conservation actions through decision-making.

In addition to this publication, the funding also allowed EcoAlbania to organise a “sharing experience tour” from January 2020 until July 2020 in Albania and Kosovo. EcoAlbania’s staff organised ten meetings in the areas most conserned by Hydro Power Plants (HPPs) to raise awareness of the local communities on the threats posed by HPPs and encourage citizen action.

An important part of these meetings was EcoAlbania’s sharing of their experience with the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign –  which contributed to the creation and expansion of scientific data on the Balkan rivers, especially on the Vjosa river, and the mobilisation of the public opinion against HPP plans. Short videos and “River’s voice” videos were created to show the mobilisation of the local communities that took part in the sharing experience meetings as well as the beauty and threats on the Albanian rivers.

To learn more, contact EcoAlbania.

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