Dear Secretary General,
We, the Albanian community associations of Dibra e Madhe in the United States, have the honor to address you this petition to attract your attention as well as to seek your help and intervention, on a serious problem that affects and threatens firsthand the rights and the fundamental freedoms of the population in the region of Dibra e Madhe in the Republic of Macedonia.
As you may be aware, the Government of Macedonia has taken the decision to build a hydropower plant called “Fushë e Lukovës/Lukova Field” situated in the North Western part of Macedonia. The Hydro Power reservoir will, in essence, collect water streams originating from the Mount Korab, which nowadays form the Radika River. The project will end up diverting Radika river water flow from its historical course into the Vardar River, which in turn streams into the Aegean Sea. If the project is carried out as planned, it will lead to a profound alteration of the natural landscape, and the Radika River, as it is historically known, will dry up and simply cease to exist.
The Dibra community is fully aware of the need to make the best use the country water resources for power generation, but the community is also equally aware that, in any circumstance, no energy project is not worth if afflicting irrevocably the ecological system of a wide area. In the present case, the utilization of the water capacity could only be done by maintaining and ensuring the flow of the Radika River in its historic flow as it constitutes a fundamental factor for the entire ecosystem of the Great Dibra region and it must be preserved.
Unfortunately, the current project provides for exactly the opposite. If carried out as planned, it will dry up the river and will have extensive negative impact on the flora and fauna biodiversity of the entire area. The Radika river valley constitutes the central part of the national park, which is directly threatened by the current government plans. The project has also a wider regional impact as the Radika River continues its flow beyond the Macedonian border into neighboring Albania. For all of the above, this project is a dangerous hazardous initiative and it is unacceptable for the population of Dibra e Madhe.
Over 30 regional social organizations, all local authorities and political organizations, religious communities as well as the members of the Dibra e Madhe community here in the US, are alarmed by such plans and their anticipated negative consequences. The Macedonian government has failed to initiate a consultation process with the numerous local stakeholders that a project of such magnitude, feared to bring irreversible damage to the ecological system, the biodiversity, flora and fauna as well as to the economy of Dibra area, would normally require.
More than ten thousand citizens from Dibra e Madhe have already signed a petition addressed to the Government, asking it to halt its plans and and submit the project to an open and transparent public consultation process so as to thoroughly assess the overall impact the project would have for the entire region. We expect the Government to reflect on our demands.
In this context, we respectfully call on Your Excellency to intervene with the Government of Macedonia and ask it to put on hold the project and engage immediately into a process of dialogue with the local authorities and citizens. This would be the only way to carefully weight the merits of such a project and the impact it would have for the life of the citizens of the region of Dibra e Madhe.
Also, as Your Excellency is very well aware, trans-boundary water cooperation among the Western Balkan countries is of crucial importance and an important factor for building peaceful cooperation ties between neighboring countries. It should ensure facilitation of the water management in the region and therefore contribute to preventing conflicts. This, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be the spirit of the Macedonian Government and we hope and count on your understanding and support.
In a resolution adopted by the UN, 63/124, (2009) anksi, Article 10 of which we can cite as relates to petition residents Dibra concern.
Protection, preservation and management
Protection and preservation of ecosystems
Aquifer States shall take all appropriate measures to protect and preserve
ecosystems within, or dependent upon, their transboundary aquifers or aquifer
systems, including measures to ensure that the quality and quantity of water retained in an aquifer or aquifer system, as well as that released through its discharge zones, are sufficient to protect and preserve such ecosystems.
– See more at: http://gazetadielli.com/dibranet-e-amerikes-protest-dhe-peticion-para-okb-se-me-moton-stop-devijimit-te-rrjedhes-te-lumit-radika/#sthash.gdEyiYLp.dpuf