Greece, Albania Hold Talks to Create Aoös-Vjosa Cross-border Park
The creation of a cross-border park that will protect the Aoös-Vjosa river’s biodiversity was recently the focus of a ministerial meeting between Greek and Albanian government officials.
On an official visit to Greece, Albanian Tourism and Environment Minister Mirela Kumbaro met with Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and Deputy Minister Yiorgos Amiras and agreed to establish a joint working group for the creation of the “Aoös-Vjosa” cross-border park.
The first meeting of the working group is scheduled to take place in March 2023 in Albania with Amiras leading the Greek delegation.
Furthermore, the two sides also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will specify the next steps in protecting the river.
The park will be modeled after the Lake Prespa park, located on the tripoint of North Macedonia, Albania, and Greece.
The Aoös-Vjosa river system
The Aoös-Vjosa river system is an important waterway located in the Balkans region. Its total length is about 272 kilometers of which the first 80 kilometers are in Greece, and the remaining 192 kilometers in Albania.
The river arises in the Pindus mountains of Epirus, Greece, and generally flows northwest. Wild, unpolluted and home to a diverse array of plant and animal species, the river is surrounded by the Vikos–Aoös National Park in Greece and the Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape near its mouth.
The river system is considered one of the last free-flowing river systems in Europe and is of great ecological significance.
The creation of the “Aoös-Vjosa” cross-border park will be a step towards preserving this important ecosystem and ensuring that it is protected for future generations.