The “Bushtrica River” is an important natural ecosystem of the Shebenik National Park. This river has special ecological values, the microclimate it offers, the cultural, historical, and natural monuments, as well as the role it plays in irrigation. The river is under threat by the construction of several Hydro Power Plants (HPPs) along its course and the consequences are extremely serious. For this reason, the Environmental Association of Agri-En conducted various training with residents and school students to increase awareness and reform attitudes towards these HPPs that bring only damage to the environment and the loss of heritage.
We held various meetings with each village, school, or responsible institution. They all expressed their readiness to defend the river and take action together.
Some of the characteristics that make this river special are:
- The river passes through the Shebenik National Park and the UNESCO World Heritage area.
- Menik Canyon – a very interesting attraction which is increasingly becoming more attractive to tourists.
- Pren Bridge – an ancient and historic building for anyone looking to visit this destination.
- The mines, galleries, and facilities of the past, again can be an interest to learn about the history and efforts of the Albanian people.
- Aquatic and natural biodiversity – such as the important River Trout, an endangered species.
- Traditions, culture, and gastronomy are values inherited by the local people, and quotes are interesting for local or foreign tourists.
The project successfully came to a close in June and it highlighted the urgent need for the characteristics mentioned above to be protected. They are an asset not only locally but also nationally. Through protecting them we will the area a better place to live, ever more loved by all.