After ten years of dedicated action by local communities, environmentalists, scientists and artists to permanently protect the Vjosa River and its tributaries. the Albanian government took the historic step of signing a commitment to establish a Vjosa Wild River National Park. The Wild River National Park will protect the entire network of the Vjosa from the Greek border to the Adriatic Sea, including the free-flowing tributaries. This is something that has never been done before in Europe.
On 13th June 2022, The Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties includes the agreements:
- Parties will work to increase the protection of Vjosa River to the level of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category II: National Park.
- The National Park shall include the Vjosa River and its free-flowing tributaries.
According to the Memorandum, the signing parties will establish a working group within 30 days to start planning for the establishment of the national park. The park is set to include visitor centers, rangers, and scientific and educational programmes and will yield new economic opportunities for the local communities. This novel action taken by the Albanian government will also serve as a role model for many other rivers in the region; including the Aoos River in Greece which is the source of the Vjosa across the Greek border.