Neretva Science Week



28th of June - 3rd of July, 2022

A 6-day long event with a diverse team of biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists, that follow...
THE MISSION to contribute to protecting rivers as knowledgeable experts and scientists, with...
THE AIM of collecting data and increasing visibility for a unique river system, by...
THE APPROACH of concentrating relevant expertises in an inspiring collaborative field campaign.


was a follow up of two successful science weeks at the Vjosa in Albania in 2017 and 2021 and it is part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign. A diverse team of over 40 biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists gathered with the common mission of contributing to protecting rivers. They collected data to showcase what is at risk when a unique river is threatened by hydropower development. They concentrate their relevant expertises in an inspiring collaborative field campaign. The preliminary report is available here.

Wilderness. Little was known about the biodiversity of the Upper Neretva. © Ulrich Eichelmann



is a 230 km long river flowing through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia before its confluence with the Adriatic Sea. While larger parts of the river network are already reservoirs, the upper “Gorni Neretva” and its tributaries can still be considered free- flowing. Here, the river constitutes the heart of a karstic valley widely regarded as a natural heritage of regional significance. This part of the river is threatened with the construction of at least 25 new dams. Now is a critical moment to collect data to provide evidence of what is at risk if hydropower development continues in this valley, and increase public visibility of these valuable ecosystems.



In addition to the 40+ scientists that will be active during the science week, we have invited an artist from Sarajevo to join the event. During participatory sessions with the scientists, she captured the findings of the scientists, as well as the atmosphere, in beautiful graphics.
Secondly, Levente Koppány, a chef de cuisine joined us to cook for all participants during one of the evenings. Levente was recently a finalist chef on a young chef competition in Milano.

This will be our "base camp" during the science week, the little "ghost town" Ulog. © Ulrich Eichelmann



as part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, which calls for scientists to help protecting important rivers, to assess data and also to speak up for saving the free-flowing rivers against dam projects in the Balkans. It followed the model of the Vjosa Science Weeks (see this video for an impression) and engaged local as well as international scientists in research on the Neretva and surrounding rivers, for this week, and in the long run.

For more information contact:

Gabriel Singer
Lead scientist Neretva Science Week
University of Innsbruck

Sandra Josović
Communication for Center of Environment, BiH

Vera Knook
Scientists for Balkan Rivers Coordinator


© Ulrich Eichelmann


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