“A perfect metaphor for nature in Albania, with the white stones ... sprayed with wildflower seedlings,” said Mirela Kumbaro, Albania’s minister for environment and tourism, who also urged visitors to come see its “turquoise-colored waters in summer and torrential white snowy waters in winter.”

Albanian officials on Monday declared the Vjosa River and its tributaries a future national park, a move aimed at preserving what they called one of the last wild rivers in Europe, AP reports.

The Albanian Ministry of Tourism and Environment signed an agreement with the charitable arm of the California-based Patagonia clothing and outdoor equipment form to draft an “integrated and sustainable plan” for the new park.

“This is an opportunity to protect one of Europe’s rivers, really one of the crown jewel rivers of Europe,” Ryan Gellert, Patagonia’s chief executive, told The Associated Press.

Patagonia, along with other environmental groups EcoAlbania, Riverwatch and EuroNatur, will help organize and fund a panel of international and local experts who will draft the framework for the park and also create “awareness around the world of this natural beauty.”

 

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