In Albania, indiscriminate construction of small hydropower dams has resulted in lasting damage to wild areas, including in several national parks that should enjoy protected status. The landscape is scarred by construction of access roads and pipelines that stretch over mountains, bleeding once wild river valleys completely dry. Opposition to many of these projects by local populations have resulted in years of protracted legal battles, court decisions that haven't been enforced, as well as threats, intimidation and violence against the most outspoken activists. While the Albanian government has declared an end to small hydropower projects that would negatively affect important natural sites and populations, construction is still taking place throughout the country in rural areas where locals have little knowledge of their rights or the ability to exercise them.
These photos, shot for a collective of NGOs behind the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, aim to capture the destructive impact that small hydropower is having in Albania and throughout the Balkans.