Vjosa – Queen of European Wild Rivers in UNESCO, Kumbaro: File ready by 2024

Work has just begun on the inclusion of the Vjosa, the Queen of European wild rivers, in the list of world heritage sites protected by UNESCO, through the “Man and Biosphere” program.

It was the Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro, who announced the news after a meeting with the UNESCO delegation in Tirana, which will oversee the preparation of the application file.

“I am delighted to welcome the UNESCO team to the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, with whom we are starting work on the inclusion of the Vjosa in the list of world heritage sites through the ‘Man and Biosphere’ program. This is a global program aimed at creating a scientific basis to improve the relationship between humans and the environment in which they live, for sustainable development that protects the environment. We are facing intensive work in preparing the application file, which the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the National Agency of Protected Areas will submit to UNESCO within this year, to give another international passport to the queen of European rivers and to add another Albanian gem to the UNESCO list,” said Mrs. Kumbaro.

The Vjosa River was declared a National Park in March 2023. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay visited the Vjosa at the invitation of the Minister of Tourism and Environment, aiming to include it in the list of sites protected by UNESCO, considering it one of the last wild rivers in Europe and the first National Park of an untouched river.

The preparation of the application is a lengthy process according to the standards of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and Albania will be assisted by the “Man and Biosphere” program team.