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Opinion / Editorial

What is happening to our caves?

What is happening to our caves?

About 2000 caves have been discovered in our country, but there must be several thousand more, because about 23% of our territory is composed of soluble formations. In the summer of last year, speleological explorations by foreign groups, especially Italian, together with the few Albanian speleologists, discovered great values, which set records for us and beyond. With heartfelt thanks to our foreign speleological friends, I am pleased to make public these records:

1. Recent explorations showed that the cave of Shtara in Upper Curraj (Tropojë) reached a length of 8.3 km. It is the longest karst cave so far in our country and among the largest in Europe. Its scientific and aesthetic values ??are exceptional. Even during the summer of this year, its exploration is continuing, which will mark a new record of its size;

2. The Valbona Well or Cave, thanks to the exploration by the great Polish speleological group, reached a depth of 723 m, the deepest in our country and among the deepest in Europe.

3. In the canyon of Lengarica (branch of Vjosa, Përmet) 13 km of caves, voids, karst corridors were discovered in a limestone massif with only 1 square km of surface. According to the explorers, this is the most developed cave in Albania created by sulphurous thermal waters and the second active system of this type known so far in the world. Another interesting news, which came to me from my Italian colleagues: Il Consorzio Speleologi Ipogenici (CSI) organized on March 1, 2024, in Perugia, the activity of special scientific importance "In the Belly of the Dragon - a trip to the thermal-sulfur karst area of ??Lengarica" , where the great results of recent speleological discoveries in this area of ??our country were promoted. It was the explorations of a large group of speleologists and researchers from many regions of Italy that enabled these interesting discoveries of great scientific and touristic value. Meanwhile, we have no reaction. Caves constitute an extraordinary asset: a source of information for scientific studies (geological-geographical, hydrological, paleontological, archaeological, historical, biological, ecological, etc.); are didactic laboratories for pupils and students; objects with strong tourist attraction, even the most visited by today's tourist movement, inclined to: adventure, to see and enjoy the mysteries and rare beauties of caves or to spend the night in cave-hotels. Not only that. There are caves, especially those in gypsum and rock salt, that are being used more successfully as hospitals for patients suffering from the respiratory system, etc.

Përshëndes dhe përgëzoj të gjitha ata fotografë të talentuar (Albert Cmeta, Fation Plaku etj), studiues dhe ambientalistë të njohur (Abdulla Diku etj) për dokumentimin fotografik dhe informacionet shumë të çmuara për shpellat tona. Me gjithë përpjekjet e përsëritura në gati tri dekada dhe projektet dinjitoze të përgatitura me kolege të huaj, nuk kemi mundur, jo për fajin tonë, të kthejmë në turistike asnjë nga shpellat tona të shumta dhe tepër. Për këtë problem kam folur dhe shkruar disa herë. Do të sillja në kujtesë projektin e Shpellës së Zezë (Pëllumbasit), sensasioni i speleologjisë shqiptare, ku janë zbuluar skelete të arinjve të shpellave (Ursus speleaus), që kanë jetuar nga 10 000 deri 400 000 vjet më parë, dukuri e rrallë në shkallë europiane. Njëherazi janë zbuluar dhe mbetje të njeriut neolitik të shpellave. Projekti ynë parashikon veç infrastrukturës turistike brenda dhe jashtë shpellës, edhe vendosjen e imitimeve te modeleve të arinjve dhe njeriut të shpellave dhe të mjediseve jetësore të tyre. Kjo do ta kthente këtë shpellë, vetëm rreth 15 km larg Tiranës, në një muze në natyrë gjeologo-gjeografik, paleontologjik, arkeologjik, turistik me vlera për studiuesit por edhe për gjithë të tjerët. Duke vlerësuar resurset e tjera turistike afër shpellës (kanionet e Skoranës e Murdharit - monumente natyre, malin e Pashkasheshit me kreshtë të rrafshët, objektet e shumta të trashëgimisë kulturore, vetë fshatrat Pëllumbas, Pashkashesh, Fag, etj me tradita shumë të pasura) është propozuar që muzeu i Shpellës së Zezë të shërbejë si bërthamë e kompleksit apo parkut turistik Shpella e Zezë - Skoranë - Pëllumbas - Murdhar. Në të ardhmen ky kompleks të lidhet me kompleksin tjetër të madh turistik Shëngjergj - Mali me Gropa - Bizë.

Të gjithë që e kanë njohur, përfshi edhe pushtetarët tanë, e kanë vlerësuar shumë këtë projekt, realizimit i të cilit do të krijonte një korridor të madh turistik në juglindje të Tiranës, ku do të shkarkoheshe Tirana mbi një milionëshe, dhe jo vetëm ajo, në fundjavë apo edhe më gjatë. Ai do t`i jepte zhvillim të madh këtij korridori, që dallohet për varfëri dhe boshatisje të fshatrave.

But this project is sleeping in the drawers of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the National Agency of Protected Areas and in my archive. I will remain a hostage if this project continues to sleep in these drawers. Meanwhile, at the very least, these great values, which many countries in the world would love, must be fanatically preserved, because they are extremely fragile and irreversible. We should scream when a tree is cut down, but the tree, if you plant it and take care of it, grows back. But when a stalagmite or stalactite breaks, it would not be enough to lower it. It takes hundreds and thousands of years to form them. While in our country there are not a few bars, and not only those, "decorated" with pieces of these unrepeatable miracles. No one bothers or protests against this environmental crime that is being done to our caves. In the photo you see two Italian speleologists who, together with their group, explored the Kabashi cave in Gramsh. They have removed their shoes, walk barefoot in the cave so as not to damage the crystals of amazing beauty. Let this photo, the example of the Italian speleologists, be a powerful call to protect our karst caves, this true treasure of our nature, which we must leave to the generations at least undamaged, otherwise we would deserve their curse.

 

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