Transposition of Advocacy Experience as Triple-Loop Social Learning in Albania: Fighting HPPs in Protected Areas from the Vjosa River Basin to the Canyons of Osumi

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This paper traces the learning experiences of communities, living near protected areas, taking to the Administrative Court, in view of a lack of environmental crime law that would render these cases penal procedures, government decisions awarding the right to build hydropower plants to several national and international companies. We focus on the first four such administrative lawsuits in Albania, arguing against the construction of HPPs in the protected areas of the Vjosa river basin, the Valbona Valley National Park, the Seta river, and the Canyons of Osumi, from 2016 to 2018. Based on Brown et al.'s definition of triple-learning loops as a process transformative of decision-making paradigms and of the learning process itself (2015, pg. 1685), we demonstrate how the fight to protect national parks, bio monuments and dependent livelihoods, accompanied by social media campaigns and protests, have informed practices of participatory social learning (Brown 2015, 1686). We break down the dynamics of the multi-level and multi-agency approaches of these claims, to denote and explain the role of multiple social actors opposing the lack of compliance with environmental legislation on protected areas. We, ultimately, argue that the switch in feedback loops has acted as a catalyst for sustained behavioural change, and rendered possible the transposition of advocacy practices across different communities.
triple learning loops, protected areas, environmental law, adaptability, Albania