This New European National Park Is a Historic Win for Mother Nature

After an almost 10-year campaign by environmental Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Vjosa River in Albania has been declared the first wild river national park in Europe.  As a home to more than 1,000 species of animals and plants, including the endangered Egyptian vulture and critically endangered Balkan lynx, the designation is considered a huge win for Mother Nature.

“Vjosa is a symbol of human history and also a very important part of the history of our country,” Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi, Albania’s tourism and environment minister, told The Guardian. “Maybe Albania does not have the power to change the world, but it can create successful models of protecting biodiversity and natural assets, and we are proud to announce the creation of this first national park on one of the last wild rivers in Europe.”

The new park is 31,500 acres, and the years-long campaign was a collaboration between the Albanian government, Save the Blue Heart of Europe, International Union for Conservation of Nature and everyone’s favorite do-good retailer Patagonia, among others. The Albanian government is in talks with Greek authorities to protect the river across both countries.

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