Prime Minister of Albania – Mr Edi Rama
Minister of Economic Development – Mr Arben Ahmetaj
Ministry of the Environment, Tirana
Ministry for EU Integration, Tirana
15 March, 2016
Dear Mr Rama,
Re : Proposed Valbona Hydropower Development
Our company is a UK based tour operator specialising in creating sustainable, high quality cultural and adventure tourism experiences. We focus on Montenegro and the wider Western Balkans region and have been working with tourism partners in northern Albania for the past several years. Our clients who have visited Albania and met with local hosts have been delighted with their experiences and cite the spectacular natural environment and authentic culture as unique. Indeed the Peaks of the Balkans trail which passes through the remote Theth and Valbona regions has gained international recognition as one of the top, new hiking destinations worldwide.
We have recently heard about plans to develop a hydropower project in Valbona. Having looked into the matter we are extremely concerned about this proposal. There are very few ‘unspoilt’ truly wild and natural regions left in Europe. Valbona is one of those few. The potential consequences of a hydropower development would be devastating for the environment, for local communities and their cultual heritage and for the tourism industry in the region.
In today’s world, value is increasingly placed on those areas which have not been overdeveloped and which preserve their cultural and natural heritage.
We respectfully urge you to reconsider this proposal, to preserve the authentic culture and unspoilt environment for your country’s future.
Black Mountain Ltd