Environment

FAO helping Albania to manage Vjosa river valley sustainably

FAO Albania Vjosa river valley sustainably

Photo: Unsplash

Published

August 19, 2020

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

August 19, 2020

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

FAO started a green development project in Albania to support farmers and authorities in sustainable land use and the prevention of pollution and degradation of soil around the Vjosa, one of the few undammed rivers in Europe.

The Vjosa has the second-largest river basin in Albania, at 681,000 hectares, and it is one of the longest transboundary rivers in the Balkans. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO launched a project for the effective and improved management of Vjosa valley’s natural resources and expressed determination to support farmers and authorities through sustainable development.

FAO pursues Sustainable Development Goals

The endeavor is aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals concerning life on land and climate action, the UN agency said. The SDG Acceleration Fund provided the funding, with contributions by the government of Norway. FAO started the activities under its region-wide umbrella programme on managing natural resources sustainably, under a changing climate.

Because the waterway has not been subjected to large damming or channeling schemes, it is considered one of the rare remaining natural flow regimes in Europe, giving the Vjosa not only national, but also international importance, the announcement adds.

Agrotourism, product promotion complement agricultural solutions

New approaches for the management of natural resources will be introduced with a strong focus on sustainable land use, improved soil fertility and combating land and soil pollution and degradation, FAO revealed and said it would allow farmers, extension services and institutions to better cope with the climate change impact on agriculture and disaster events.

To support agrotourism and sustainable production and consumption in target areas, traditional local, organic and geographical indications products will be identified and promoted through climate-smart agriculture and integrated pest management, depending on the pandemic situation in Albania, according to project goals.

Climate-friendly approach

“Besides the above-mentioned activities, FAO will also collaborate with other United Nations agencies, under the lead of the United Nations Development Programme,” said Raimund Jehle, FAO Representative in Albania. “These will support environment and climate-friendly initiatives in agrobiodiversity and rural tourism in Vjosa valley – Zagori, among others, through knowledge sharing with similar successful initiatives implemented from other areas of Albania.”

FAO’s Jehle: Other UN agencies will participate in the activities and organize knowledge sharing within Albania

The project will contribute to the implementation of Albania’s national strategy for the sustainable development of tourism 2019–2023, where Vjosa valley and Zagori is one of the priority areas. It will also enhance the Integrated Rural Development Program – 100 Village Program, which coordinates multisectoral developmental interventions in 100 selected villages with a high potential for socio-economic and rural development and agrotourism and the focus is also on the environment and nature as well as cultural heritage.

It is also aligned with the United Nations Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2017–2021.

Dam projects threaten Vjosa

The Vjosa or Aoös originates in northwestern Greece near Metsovo. Cities and towns including Ersekë, Përmet, Gjirokastër, Tepelenë, Mallakastër, Fier and Vlorë are located in the Vjosa catchment in Albania.

Environmentalists refer to the Vjosa as the last free-flowing river in Europe. It is threatened by a large dam project and plans to install dozens of hydropower plants on the river and its tributaries. Nongovernmental organizations are running a massive campaign to abandon them, within a regional initiative to prevent such threats.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment

Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Montenegro, Republic of Srpska to set up expert team to assess impact of HPP Buk Bijela on Tara river

Montenegro, Republic of Srpska to set up expert team to assess impact of HPP Buk Bijela on Tara river

26 July 2021 - The two sides have agreed to form an expert team of seven members, whose task will be to review the project documentation.

EU Forest Strategy targets 3 billion trees planted by 2030

EU Forest Strategy targets 3 billion trees planted by 2030

23 July 2021 - The new EU Forest Strategy includes roadmap to increase the number of trees grown per year from 300 million to 600 million.

Slovenia Vizjak referendum energy future

Slovenia’s Vizjak proposes referendum on country’s energy future

21 July 2021 - Minister Andrej Vizjak said a plebiscite should be held on Slovenia's overall energy plans and not just on the second nuclear reactor for Krško

croatia-single-use-plastic-products-ban

Croatia bans single-use plastic products

20 July 2021 - Croatia's parliament has adopted a new law on waste management which bans the sale of single-use plastic products.