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The Albanian Government infringes again its laws and Aarhus Convention

The Arbri Road, which significantly shortens the road between Tirana (capital of Albania) and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, many times has been center of the media's attention, reflecting the progresses of works which are progressively destroying the Canyon of Tirana River, known also as the Brari Canyon. The Canyon is declared a Natural Monument, Category III by the IUCN categorization.

albania1_copyConsidering the importance of the road, but especially the importance of this canyon, EDEN Centre is following with interest the development of such a major project.

In the official website of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MPWT), the Technical Summary of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Technical Report of the project are not published.

We have sent a letter request for information to the MPWT two times (on 4/10/2011 and 21/11/2011) in order to get the above mentioned documents. The General Road Directorate could provide us with the information only on 7/12/2011. Meanwhile, we do not have a response from the Ministry of Environment Forest and Water Administration (MoEFWA) about the Environmental Permit, if it is issued or not. We have sent two times our request letter, on 4/10/2011 and 21/11/2011.

In the official website of MoEFWA the Environmental Permit it is not reflected, as it is not reflected neither at the official website of the National Licensing Center (NLC).

At the moment that we are treating the problem, a natural monument is being destroyed and the environmental permit and public consultations which are obligatory by law still do not "show up".

In this frame, it is clear that the Albanian Govenrnemnet is violating again its laws and repeats the same political procedure of not consideration, as in the case of Tirana Outer Ring Road project (TORR):

  • Articles 23, 48 and 56 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.
  • Articles 51 to 55 of the Code of Administrative Procedure.
  • Law no. 8672, dated 26.10.2000 "On the public's right to have information, to participate in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters" (Aarhus Convention).
  • Law no. 8990, dated 23.01.2003 "On Environmental Protection".
  • Law no. 8503, dated 30.06.1999 "On the Right of Access to official documents."

What is happening in the working site?albania2_copy

To evaluate if the works are proceeding at least in accordance with the measures mentioned in the EIA and in the Technical report, we have examined more closely the area by being present there several times.

In the EIA is noted that the difficulties of work in this area are numerous due to the ground and frequent narrowing encountered along the Canyon. For the expansion of these narrowing, the slopes were excavated, affecting in such a way negatively furthermore the Canyon.

Also none of the measures mentioned in the technical summary of the project is being implemented; even the solid wastes find the shortest path of transportation, direct to Tirana River. The flow of the river is constantly interrupted with big blocks of stones and part of the site side of the Canyon is transformed in clump blocs.

The Canyon of Tirana River, once impressive and a recreational area for the locals and Tirana residents especially during the summer season, now is transformed into a concrete clump.

Please visit the link with photos of the Canyon during the work for the road. In this way you can look more closely the illegal intervention of the Albanian government

For more information contact:

Lira Hakani
Endrit Shima

EDEN center
Rr. "Luigj Gurakuq", Nd. 33, Ap. 13, H. 3
Tirana, Albania
+355 4 239619
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.