Friday, 12 May 2017

Vjosa Hydropower Project Called Off by Albanian Court

In the first-ever environmental law-suit in Albania several NGOs prevailed in stopping the government to further pursue the Vjosa dam project.  At the banks of the Vjosa, which has been described as `Europe`s last wild river´, a hydropower plant was commissioned, including a dam that was supposed to be built by a Turkish company.  The Albanian court allegedly found the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project to be `highly deficient´.

The ruling is not publicly available, but according to one plaintiff, the NGO `Riverwatch´, it was based on an inadequate EIA as well as the absence of proper public consultation of affected residents. Allegedly, the public consultation took place, but residents were not invited and employees of a local municipal administration attended instead. The companies involved now have 15 days to appeal the ruling.

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