News

Save The Date: World Fish Migration Day 2018

Connecting Fish, Rivers and People! The World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) is an annual global-local event to create awareness for the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. The next World Fish Migration Day is on April 21, 2018. Will you participate? Register your event! Also find the video and brochure.

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Video: Nature Park Lonjsko Polje in Croatia

Nominated for World Heritage Site status, Lonjsko Polje in Croatia is a 50 000 hectares stretch of floodplain in the Posavina region, between the Sava River and Mt Moslavačka Gora. Situated along Lonja River, a Sava tributary that gives the park its name, this huge retention basin is famed for the diversity of its flora and fauna. Watch this video portraying the beauty and diversity of the Lonjsko Polje:

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Albanian Vjosa documentary: Diga mbi Vjosë

Albanian filmmaker Artan Rama from “Elementi i pestë“ accompanied our scientists on an Vjosa expedition in April 2017 and filmed a documentary about the planned destruction of Europe’s last big wild river. It is about the uniqueness of the ecosystem Vjosa, about affected residents, as well as about the court decision in favour of a free-flowing Vjosa. Enjoy!

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Bankwatch Study: Broken Rivers

Within the context of the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, the NGO Bankwatch visited eight recently constructed small hydropower plants in Albania, Macedonia and Croatia. All of them were financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Their findings are published in this report. If you always wanted to know whether small is actually beautiful when it comes to hydropower, find out the truth in this study: Broken Rivers

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Albanian industrial confederation demands halt of dam plans on Vjosa River

In Albanian society, the opposition against the projected hydropower plants on the Vjosa River is receiving further support. In an open letter to the country´s Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri, the Confederation of Albanian industries is calling for a moratorium on the construction of dams on the Vjosa River and its tributaries.

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NO to HPPs on Vrbas!

The Vrbas is one of the last remaining rivers providing habitat to the critically endangered ‘tiger of rivers’ – the Huchen. The construction of further HPPs on the river would put this species even more at risk as well as endangering the water supply for residents of Banjaluka. Our Blue Heart partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Center for Environment – are fighting projects, which would destroy the Vrbas once and for all. Read their latest press release!

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Bern Convention: Macedonian government is urged to halt construction of hydropower plants in national park

Plans for 17 hydropower plants throughout Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park must be immediately suspended, so the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention ruled at its annual meeting last week. The Standing Committee emphasizes its special concerns with regard to the still ongoing developments of small hydropower plants within the park.

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New report: Hydropower Tsunami in the Balkans

A new data set makes the extent of the threat to the Blue Heart of Europe visible: the dam tsunami has started to roll. Currently, about 2,800 hydropower plants are being planned between Slovenia and Greece, 187 are under construction, more than 1,000 (or 37%) are located inside protected areas. Since 2015, about 160 to 180 hydropower plants have been constructed in that region.

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Videos of the Vjosa Concert

Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find below some video impressions of the event. Also read our press release and check out the photo gallery!

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Article: The Allure and Perils of Hydropower

This article, published first in mid-Novemer in the magazine Undark, explores why some highly developed country have started efforts to take down hydroelectric dams and why countries like Albania insist on repeating the mistakes that are now costing fortunes to rectify. It also prominently features the Vjosa and efforts to save it. Enjoy!

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