Kosovo’s Sunny Hill festival is facing yet another challenge as environmentalists are up in arms about it taking place in Germia Park, Prishtina.
Following issues over whether the festival would be held in Kosovo or Tirana, before finally being moved back to Albania’s neighbour, it now faces the wrath of activists who say holding it in the park would cause decades of environmental damage.
Germia is a regional park covering 62 square kilometres, part of the Rhodope Mountain range. It is categorised as a Regional Nature Park and it is an internationally recognised protected landscape due to its special significance. It is home to the most important flora and fauna in the region, including 610 types of flora, rare amphibians, lizards, tortoises, 32 species of bird including endangered eagles, and 19 species of mammal.
The Animal Rights Foundation have said they will request the festival is cancelled as previous events have shown there was “much to be desired” in terms of protecting the environment.
“Their bottles and garbage are still in the park. I have photos and evidence of this. It’s too bad that we do so little to protect the environment and wild animals in this country,” Ellza Ramadani from the organisation wrote on Facebook.
Flutra Zymi, from the NGO Active Citizens called on people to protest in defence of the park via social media.
“You should not allow a handful of illiterate people who govern to behave like this country is theirs and only theirs. I hope the Kosovo Institute for Nature Protection has not made such concessions,” she wrote.