Europe’s last wild river – level 3

21-06-2022 07:00

Albania’s Vjosa River is closer to protected status after the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

The river is dubbed the last wild river in Europe, as it flows uninterrupted for 270 kilometers from Greece across southern Albania to the Adriatic Sea without any dams or power stations.

Albanian authorities signed an agreement with the clothing company Patagonia; it promised to make a plan for the national park. According to officials, the protection was urgent to make the river a national park to stop any power plant plans. Currently, hydropower plants threaten Vjosa with 45 plants planned across the whole Vjosa basin.

The Vjosa’s potential for hydropower attracted developers, and they submitted proposals to authorities for dam projects along the river and its tributaries. However, developers met with opposition from European nature organizations. Activists insisted that the government focus on less hurtful renewable energy sources.

Difficult words: dub (to give an unofficial name), basin (the area of land around a large river and the small rivers that flow into it), tributary (a river or stream that flows into a larger river or lake).

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