News

Artists for Balkan rivers: Concert with Darko Rundek for rivers in Kraljevo/Serbia

 07/23/2021

On July 13, the famous Darko Rundek and band supported the fight to save the Kraljevo mountain rivers with a free concert, organized by the Right to Water Initiative in cooperation with the Artists for the Rivers of the Balkans within the Blue Heart campaign. About 2,000 visitors created an inspiring atmosphere at the main square in Kraljevo.

New Study: Up to 4.6 million people potentially affected by hydropower plans in the Balkans

 07/20/2021

Hydropower plants and dams have detrimental effects on river ecosystems, but they also affect people in negative ways. In a recent study, researchers from the CALTUS Institute Namibia presented a newly developed model to assess the number of people potentially affected by already operating, under construction and planned hydropower projects (HPPs) in the Balkan region.

New Alliance for the Protection of the Balkan Rivers - "Different Countries - Collective Struggle"

Under the slogan "Lets defend the Balkan Rivers", activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia Sarajevo met in Sarajevo on Saturday, July 3, to decide on a pan-Balkan alliance for the protection of the rivers in the region. From now on, the various organizations want to work more closely together, because the issues are the same in all countries

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

On Wednesday evening (16.00 local time), Maida Bilal received the renowned 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize on behalf of the “brave women of Kruščica”. The prize is endowed with 200,000 USD.  The Jury justified their decision on the grounds that hydropower is not green, and is one of the greatest threats to wild rivers and the people living along their banks. Maida Bilal and the other women fought for one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe - and won.

Discovering the unknown: Science week at the Vjosa tributaries

 06/07/2021

From May 29 to June 6, a science delegation from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany collects multidisciplinary data from the two major Vjosa tributaries Shushica and Bënça. This research week is a follow-up of a comparable undertaking at the Vjosa in 2017, which contributed substantially to our success in establishing the ecological value of the Vjosa, fending off the hydropower projects (HPP) and which led to the designation as a protected area.

Pressure continues for a Vjosa National Park as new government forms in Albania

 04/28/2021

The election may be over, but the fight for the Vjosa is not. Over the last several months, support for the Vjosa has grown tremendously in Albania, other European countries, and around the world. As a result of campaigning, Edi Rama’s government agreed to a low-level ‘nature park’ protection for the Vjosa in March - which is a good first step.

Legal Toolkit on how to protect rivers from hydropower development released

 04/22/2021

We are happy to present the Legal Toolkit which provides guidance to activists and civil society organisations in navigating the possibilities for legal actions in river protection. The toolkit will be presented on 29 April (2-4 pm CET) in a webinar. We will be happy to answer your questions and receive feedback on the toolkit.

New Study: Biodiversity, potential impacts, and legal framework for hydropower development of the Vjosa

 04/13/2021

This baseline survey summarises the value of the Vjosa River system as one of the few remaining reference sites for dynamic floodplains in Europe on the one hand, and reveals the detrimental effects dams could have on the river system on the other. Only one dam will significantly destroy the ecological continuum of a pristine river.

Next Webinar: Legal Tools to Protect Rivers from Hydropower Development!

 04/09/2021

In our next webinar on Thursday, 29 April (14-16:00), we will be presenting our Legal Toolkit for the protection of rivers. Together with our partners from Wetlands International Europe and ClientEarth, we invite you to share and discuss your experiences and questions regarding legal steps taken against hydropower projects! REGISTER HERE

EU demands Vjosa National Park in Progress Report on Albania

 03/29/2021

On March 25, the European Parliament adopted the 2021 Albanian Progress Report in which they “urge the [Albanian] government to minimise the impact on biodiversity by stopping hydropower development in protected areas, in particular in areas near the Valbona and Vjosa rivers, and to establish as soon as possible the Vjosa National Park, extending the whole length of the river...”

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