Environmentalists are sounding the alarm: The Vjosa in Albania is soon to power a hydropower plant. The river is one of the last in Europe to be left in its natural state. The campaign to save the Vjosa has supporters in Hollywood too: Leonardo DiCaprio, himself an environmentalist, recently announced his support again on the online platform Twitter.
The Vjosa: One of the last unspoilt rivers in Europe
The Vjosa is one of the last unspoilt rivers in Europe. It rises in the mountains of Greece and flows into the sea after 270 kilometers on the Albanian coast. But the natural idyll could soon be over, as environmentalists and scientists fear. The reason: The Vjosa should join the long list of European rivers on which hydropower plants have been built.
As early as October 2020, the European Anglers Alliance (European Anglers Alliance, EAA) published a message that the construction of hydropower plants would remove the continuity of the Vjosa. This would mean that several migratory fish species would be threatened with extinction, as they could no longer reach their spawning grounds.
Leonardo DiCaprio is committed to the Blue Heart of Europe
In order to preserve the river, environmental activists have started the initiative “Save the Blue Heart of Europe”, with which they want to draw attention to the threat to the rivers in the Balkans. This campaign has now also reached one of the most prominent environmentalists in the world. On Twitter, he announced to his 20 million followers that he would support the initiative.
Leonardo DiCaprio himself is not only known from Hollywood for a long time. The actor, who became famous from films like “Titanic” and “The Revenant”, has been campaigning for the preservation of the environment and the fight against the climate crisis for years.
Granting the Vjosa River status as a national park would protect the area from dams and a new threat from oil and gas drilling. #VjosaNationalParkNow https://t.co/evi71o1Mg2
– Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) May 6, 2021
So he’s in good company. In its film “Vjosa Forever”, the clothing company Patagonia also points out the dangers that the building structures pose to the sensitive ecosystem. The European Parliament has also called on the Albanian government to protect the Vjosa and Valbona rivers. It is to suspend the planned construction of the hydropower plants permanently in order to preserve some of the last natural rivers in Europe. Instead of generating electricity with them, the government should declare them to be nature reserves.
Source: Angling International