Balkan River Summit 2024 - Uniting Voices for the Blue Heart of Europe

About the Summit

For over ten years, the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign has tirelessly worked towards protecting free-flowing rivers from Slovenia to Greece. This effort has grown into an incredible movement, with activists all over the Balkan Peninsula achieving tremendous successes in halting dam projects and saving river jewels of the Blue Heart. However, the fight is far from over, as new challenges and opportunities for river protection continue to emerge.

This year’s Balkan River Summit will provide a forum for all river protectors and supporters to reconnect, celebrate successes, exchange stories, inspire each other, and jointly strategise for the future.

The Balkan River Summit 2024 will occur in Podgorica, Montenegro from 29 September to 3 October 2024. On the 29th of September, we will all celebrate World Rivers Day together!

Registration is free, and it is open NOW! Save your spot and share this information. Registration open until July 31!




Key Themes

As we develop the programme further and confirm speakers, here is a glimpse of what to expect throughout the five-day summit:

Blue Heart Campaign and Activism

  • 10+ years Blue Heart campaign: new challenges, activist responses, and ideas for river protection in the Western Balkans
  • How can the arts, science, and legal activism help river protection?
  • Uniting voices for Balkan rivers within and across borders
  • Activism and self-care

Environmental and River Protection Strategies

  • Blue Heart at risk: multiple threats to rivers in the Western Balkans
  • Durable river protection mechanisms: what does it mean in the Western Balkans?
  • Rural development without hydro – wild rivers and sustainable livelihoods

Policy and Climate Change

  • Climate change, biodiversity loss and the renewables transition – do we need more dams?
  • EU accession and environmental policy

The summit's session formats include various engaging and interactive activities. Participants can look forward to

  • Networking impulses where you can connect and share ideas with like-minded individuals.
  • "Pitch Your Fight" sessions will feature campaign and project presentations, allowing attendees to showcase their efforts and gain support.
  • Capacity-building workshops to enhance skills and knowledge.
  • Exchange, brainstorming, and planning sessions will provide collaborative thinking and strategising opportunities.
  • Keynote speeches and panel discussions will offer in-depth explorations of key topics led by experts in the field.


Tentative Programme – complete programme available soon


  • Special event on World Rivers Day: Call to action for river protection in Montenegro
  • Opening of the Summit and reception with live music


  • Balkan River Summit – Part I
  • Buffet Dinner


  • Balkan River Summit – Part II
  • Closing of the Summit and party with live music


  • Fieldtrip A: One-day excursion to rivers in Montenegro (Zeta, Morača & Cijevna)
  • Fieldtrip B: Overnight excursion to rivers in Montenegro (Zeta, Komarnica & Morača; return on 03/10 evening)


Call for Contributions

We invite you to contribute to the event through the following formats:

  • Pitch Your fight: Present your campaign or project and share your fight for river protection.
  • Capacity-building and skill-Sharing workshops: Lead a workshop to enhance skills and share valuable knowledge.
  • Opinions and ideas: Share your insights and innovative ideas on various topics related to river conservation.
  • Thematic panels: Participate in or organise a panel discussion on key themes relevant to our mission.

Submit your interest in speaking or presenting using the email address below with the subject line: "Call for Contributions." Please specify which format you are interested in and include a brief description (200-300 words), including if and how it fits at least one of the key themes listed above.

Don’t want to present anything, but have an idea for a session/panel/workshop you would like us to organise? Let us know, too!


Travel Waiver

We have limited support for travel costs available. Please submit your application including:

  • Your name and affiliation
  • A statement of interest of a maximum of one page specifying why you would like to attend the summit and why you require travel support.
  • An updated CV

 Submit your application using the email address below with the subject line: “BRS Travel Cost Waiver Application.”


Have any questions? Contact us!


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