One of the largest lagoon in the Mediterranean area is Karavasta, in Albania: a ten-year-old national park and a perfect habitat for the now unusual furry pelican. But Karavasta, like Scutari, is the target of major real estate projects that could ruin one of the most valuable ecosystem in Europe. The allegation has been relaunched by Reporter, an albanian portal, and by the Courrier des Balkans (Cdb). Both tell of an investment that can put Karavasta at risk, but it is looked favorably by the local population, which hopes in jobs and development.
The investment involves the construction of a large tourist resort, the “Divjaka Resort” – an idea of Mabetex, a giant of tycoon Behgjet Pacolli, Kosovo’s current foreign minister. The project, if realized, “will allow guests to appreciate one of the most beautiful views of the reserve” in a village that will respect “environmental quality,” promises Mabetex from its site.
The village, unveiled by the environmentalists, will be comprised of 370 villas and 2,400 apartment buildings that will embark on the lagoon, up to twenty floors, hotels, access roads, and on the coast a long breakwater. According to some local organizations, including EcoAlbania, the resort could host up to 18,000 guests a day, more than twice the inhabitants of the nearby town of Divjake. Value of the possible investment – the largest of this kind in the country – 1.5 billion euros.
However, the resort hypothesis did not appeal to many local environmentalists and especially to the Mediterranean Wetlands Alliance, a network of about twenty NGOs – including Wwf – which in recent months has criticized in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Rama for development plans . Divjaka-Karavasta is one of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean basin, it is a key site for flora and fauna and is “populated every year by millions of birds lurking during migration”. A site that could be put at risk from the mega-resort, an “extremely negative and unacceptable” project.
Below are some project representations: