Press Release

The other Balkan route

++ Balkan Rivers Tour against dam tsunami ended ++ Kayakers paddled 23 rivers in 6 countries ++ Photo highlights of the tour for download ++ 23 rivers in six countries, 390 river kilometers: on Friday, May 14, a very unique activity ended in the Albanian capital of Tirana – the Balkan Rivers Tour. Over 35 days, kayakers from all over Europe paddled the most beautiful and most threatened rivers in the Balkans in order to draw attention to the looming dam tsunami on the peninsula. A total of over 500 paddlers from 18 nations participated in the activity.

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New hope for Balkan Rivers: World Bank drops funding for hydropower project in Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia

++ Other financiers must follow suit ++ The World Bank withdrew its funding for one of the two big hydropower projects inside MavrovoNational Park in Macedonia.

 

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New Bankwatch study: European “green energy” funding for hydropower threatens pristine Balkan rivers

A wave of hydropower development fuelled by European public funding and EU companies is endangering pristine river environments in the Balkans, finds a new study by CEE Bankwatch Network released today.

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Stage win for nature protection: Bern Convention demands provisional stop for the construction of HPPs in Mavrovo NP in Macedonia

++ EBRD and World Bank shall withdraw from projects – further assessment requested ++

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Kelag destroys in Bosnia-Herzegovina one of the last habitats for the Huchen in Europe

++The Austrian-German energy company is constructing a hydropower on the Sana River, endangering a globally threatened fish species ++ NGOs and scientists protesting++

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New Hope for Mavrovo National Park

++ Bern Convention’s international expert commission calls for halt to hydropower development in Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia ++ EBRD and World Bank shall withdraw from financing hydropower projects in the National Park ++

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STOP Mokrice dam! Hydropower project in Slovenia violates legislation

++ Hydropower project in Slovenia violates domestic and international legislation and threatens rare flora and fauna ++ International and Slovenian NGOs call on the Minister of Environment to reject the project – NGOs prepare EU complaint ++

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Three new insect species discovered in Macedonia

++ Previously unknown caddisfly and stonefly species discovered in Mavrovo National Park. Species endangered due to hydropower development. ++ One doesn’t have to travel to the Amazonas or descent to the depths of the sea in order to discover new species. A closer look at the Balkans is enough.

Dam craze puts protected areas in the Balkans at risk

++ 113 hydropower plants projected in national parks ++ Next Sunday, on May 24th, is the “European Day of Parks” – a day to celebrate protected areas in Europe and advertise their values and benefits. However, particularly on the Balkans there is little reason to celebrate. On the contrary, a recent study shows that 535 projects  are currently planned within strict nature conservation areas, 113 of which in the midst of national parks.

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European Parliament criticizes Albania’s hydropower policies

++ Stop of hydropower projects on the Vjosa and its tributaries demanded ++ Protest against hydropower projects in Albania. The European Parliament called upon the Albanian government to rethink the projected hydropower projects along the Vjosa River and its tributaries, “…since these projects would harm one of Europe’s last extensive, intact and near-natural river ecosystems”.