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European Parliament urges Albania to rethink hydropower plan along Vjosa river

TIRANA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament urged the Albanian authorities to rethink plans to build hydropower plants along the Vjosa River and its tributaries, the Albanian Telegraphic Agency reported on Wednesday.

"These projects would harm one of Europe's last extensive, intact and near-natural river ecosystems," said the European Parliament.

European and Balkan environmentalists demanded the Albanian government develop comprehensive management plans for existing national parks in accordance with the quality and management guidelines for protected area category II of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission of Protected Areas.

They also urged the authorities to abandon any development plans that may undermine the country's protected area network, and to scrap small- and large-scale hydropower construction plans, particularly inside all national parks.

To this end, the "EuroNatur" environmental association in Germany and "Riverwatch" in Austria, in collaboration with environmental organizations in various Balkan countries, have launched the international campaign "Save the blue heart of Europe".

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