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Albania - Hydropower project on the Vjosa River

Main objectives: Collecting information regarding a proposed large hydro power project on the Vjosa River | Sharing the information with affected local communities | Awareness raising and mobilization of local communities to become part of the decision making process | Commencing and supporting legal proceedings to prevent the destruction of the last free-flowing river in Europe.

 

Implementation:

  • Dozens of letters requesting information were sent to Albanian public authorities regarding the proposed hydropower project
  • Administrative complaints were also filed in this regard a communication regarding the Poçem Hydropower Project was sent to Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee
  • Legal proceedings were commenced regarding the Poçem Hydropower Project.

 

Result:

  • The Communication to the ACCC is under evaluation, as legal proceedings are on foot.
  • EcoAlbania and 38 inhabitants of the directly affected area won the case at first instance in the Administrative Court.
  • The process is now on-going in the Administrative Appeal Court.

 

Why do you think this example shows how the Aarhus Convention made a difference in your country?

The Aarhus Convention has played a key role in two moments of the case described above.

1) The Aarhus Convention has served as the basis of the applicable domestic laws on

  • the public’s right of information disclosure and
  • public hearings and consultation.

 

2) The Aarhus Convention was the main tool for the lawsuit to be accepted by the Court, with EcoAlbania and the 38 inhabitants being found to have standing, and thereby legitimated as plaintiffs.

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