TIRANA, July 23
Albanian judges from the High Court decided on Wednesday to suspend the construction of two Hydro Power Plants (HPPs) in Valbona. The Tribunal accepted a joint request submitted by 27 inhabitants of Valbona, Toka Association, and the Association for the Conservation and Protection of the Albanian Alps on the suspension of the construction contract for two HPPs by Gener 2 and Drogobia Energy companies, until a final sentence.
The court decision follows an almost five-year battle started by Valbona Inhabitants and Toka Association, represented by Chatherin Bohne, an American citizen residing in Valbona.
Locals and environmentalists have been protesting over the last years against the development of the HPP projects. They said that the projects pose a threat to the unique values of the Valbona Valley ecosystem as well as the tourism potential of the area. Valbona is one of the top destinations in Albania for outdoor and mountain tourism.
The work for the development of the two HPPs started in 2016. Even though the Court decision was issued while the construction work has made progress, the inhabitants of Valbona and Toka association consider it as a positive move towards environmental justice.
Photo Credit: Abdulla Diku