News

HPP Kalivaç revisited – Vjosa at risk once again

++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.

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Albanian Court stops dam project on the Vjosa

++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.

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Scientists for Vjosa

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.

Lunacek: Don’t destroy Vjosa! Build your power plant somewhere else!

Vice President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek lobbies for a free-flowing Vjosa and against projected hydropower plants!  “It is true that Albania needs energy and more development, but that should not be done by destroying nature’, she tells Albanian journalists in Brussels.

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European Parliament discusses Sava River

++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified ++ Today, one of the last living rivers of Central Europe received valuable attention in Brussels. Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and the European Association of Wetlands International made the Sava River an issue in the European Parliament.

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Poçem lawsuit accepted by Albanian Administrative Court

Yesterday, the second preparatory session in regards to our Poçem HPP complaint was held in the Administrative Court of Albania and the judge officially accepted the lawsuit. The grounds of the lawsuit include an inadequate Environmental Impact Assessment and the absence of proper public consultation of affected residents.

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Vjosa mayors united against dams

After local communities, national and international scientists and NGOs, as well as the European Parliament have all voiced their protest against hydropower dams on the Vjosa river, it is now the mayors of the Vjoa valley who unify against the projected dams. In an open letter to  the mayors of Përmet, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Mallakastër and Selenicë put forward the concerns of the affected communities they represent.

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European Parliament demands National Park for Vjosa and stop to hydropower projects

++ Environmental assessments inadequate ++ In the current Enlargement Report of the European Parliament, the Parliament explicitly criticizes the Albanian government in regards to its hydropower policies. In the centre of their criticism are the hydropower projects on the Vjosa – Europe’s last big wild river.

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Video: Soča at risk

Watch this short video by Uwe Koenzen about the impacts of hydropower based on Soča River. The clip shows the high protection value of the upper Soča as well as the already degraded lower course due to hydropower use. Sorry, in German only!

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“White Book Sava” presented

++ Threats and opportunities for one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Flood protection approach developed ++ World Wetlands Day on February 2 ++ On the occasion of this year’s World Wetland Day on February 2, the environmental organisations Riverwatch and EuroNatur today present the “White Book Sava” – a comprehensive work about one of the ecologically most valuable but least known rivers of Europe.

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