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POSITIVE NEWS - What went right this week: Europe’s ‘last wild river’, plus more positive news

Posted 17th June 2022 • Written by •

Albania pledged to protect Europe’s ‘last wild river’, low-carbon airships prepared for take-off, and community spirit was found to be in good health, plus more positive news

Albania vowed to protect Europe’s ‘last wild river’

On a continent where most rivers are dammed, the Vjosa is a rare species. Fast, free flowing and untroubled by pollution, it runs unimpeded for 170 miles across Albania to the Adriatic Sea. They call it Europe’s ‘last wild river’. 

This week the Albanian government vowed to keep it that way. On Monday, it committed to protecting the Vjosa and its tributaries by creating Europe’s first wild river national park. River Watch and other campaign groups have been calling for such a designation for years.

The move should safeguard the river and its tributaries from the kind of development many feared would impact this eden. Dams have previously been mooted for the region. 

“Albania’s Vjosa is nature’s unrelenting force, the only survivor of the wild rivers of our continent,” said Albanian prime minister Edi Rama. “Under the protective cloak of the national park, Vjosa will stay intact for Albania, for Europe, for the planet we want for our children’s children.”

Help protecting the river will come from an unlikely source: the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, has agreed to assist in creating the national park.

Hard times have brought us closer together – report

The pandemic and cost of living crisis have inflicted hardship on many, but they have also brought us closer together. 

That’s according to new research. It found that 35 per cent of British adults feel closer to their communities than before the pandemic. One in five, meanwhile, joined an online community group, while 21 per cent said they feel less lonely. 

The survey of 2,000 adults was conducted by Opinium on behalf of Engage Britain, a charity that helps bring people together. 

Julian McCrae, its director, said: “The hard times we’re living through in Britain have left too many people struggling and isolated. But incredibly there are millions of us who feel less lonely than before the pandemic, because they’ve connected with their local communities.”

A cyber initiative targeted Russian misinformation

A digital agency in Kyiv says that it has launched a cyber campaign to inform Russians about the war in Ukraine, and their experiences of it. Access to information in Russia is strictly controlled by the state. 

Nebo’s Torrents of Truth campaign disguises news reports and eyewitness accounts as films, television series and music files, and uploads them to Russian pirate sites. 

The Kremlin effectively legalised intellectual property theft from “unfriendly” countries in response to western sanctions, unwittingly creating an opportunity for Ukrainian journalists to share stories. 

One of them is Volodymyr Biriukov. “When I was asked to take part, I immediately agreed,” he said. “This is a unique platform that will reach out to those who have fallen under the influence of powerful propaganda.”

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