Press Release

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”.

Study confirms: The Heart of the Huchen beats on the Balkans

Globally endangered fish species detected in 43 rivers on a length of 1,840 km ++ 1,000 km of which threatened by hydropower projects ++ campaign to stop dams. As a contribution to this year’s UN World Water Day (22.3.), representatives of the fields of science and fisheries in cooperation with environmental NGOs present a study about the distribution of the Huchen on the Balkan Peninsula.

The Vjosa River at a Crossroad – Dam Tsunami or National Park?

NGOs uncover: 33 hydropower plants projected ++ Austrian and Italian companies involved ++ New initiative supports national park idea. Today, the international NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur, together with their local partner EcoAlbania, are presenting a paper, which for the first time reveals the full extent of the threat to the Vjosa catchment area.

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Vjosa in Albania: Municipalities of Përmet and Çarshovë want National Park instead of dams

150 people discuss the future of the river - parliamentarians will be informed. On Wednesday and Thursday the first public discussions about the future of the Vjosa Valley took place in Çarshovë and Përmet in southern Albania. While  the government envisages the construction of eight dams along the river, the mayors and people of the affected communities support the alternative idea of establishing a national park.

Case against Macedonia

European Convention on Nature Conservation investigates hydropower projects in Mavorovo National Park. The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention is initiating proceedings against Macedonia due to the projected construction of hydropower plants in the Mavrovo National Park. A group of experts appointed by the Standing Committee will investigate whether the projects violate the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.

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NGO Protest: Sava River at Risk

Zagreb, Vienna, Radolfzell, December 1, 2014 In an open letter, fifteen environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) protest against the intention of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC) to adopt a management plan for the Sava River basin. This management plan is based on misleading and false data; it is violating EU legislation and risking the future of the Sava – one of the most valuable river ecosystems in Europe.

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Ulrich Eichelmann receives international environmental award

Last night, Riverwatch CEO Ulrich Eichelmann and coordinator of the Blue Heart of Europe campaign was awarded one of the most significant environmental awards of Europe, the “Great Binding Prize for Nature Conservation”, in Vaduz/Liechtenstein. He received this honor for his international commitment to the protection of rivers.

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Hydropower plant in Mavrovo National Park twice as expensive as projected

Skopje, October 21, 2014 The controversial hydropower project Boskov Most inside the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia is estimated to be twice as expensive as originally projected. This will be one of the topics discussed at today’s meeting of NGOs with members of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The NGOs demand the bank’s withdrawal from hydro projects in the national park.

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