News

Austrian Kelag forced to take three hydropower plants in Kosovo off the power grid

In Kosovo, Kelag had to take the three hydropower plants Deçani, Belaja, Lumbardhi II, operated by its subsidiary KELKOS, from the grid! All three plants are located inside a national park. Kelag put these power plants in operation years ago. However, since they still failed to fulfilled the environmental requirements for construction and operation despite numerous requests, they had to take the three power plants off the grid at 00:00 the night before yesterday.

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BREAKING NEWS: Albanian PM Rama reacts – Kalivaç will not be built

In a reaction to the statement of Albanian President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced to the media today that he also is in favor of establishing a Vjosa National Park and that the Kalivaç dam has been rejected by the Minister for Environment. We highly welcome todays statement of Albania's PM Edi Ramas, that the Vjosa river will be saved and the Kalivaç dam will not be build. Following the PM’s message, this is the right time to start a dialogue about the future of the Vjosa.

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Alliance against Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is growing

++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian President speaks out in favour of Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN promises support ++ Today, the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, together with representatives of the Universities of Tirana and Vienna and the Mayor of Tepelena Tërmet Peçi, inaugurated the Vjosa Research Center

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Energy Community tightens policy guidelines on small hydropower projects and opens procedures against Albania

In response to growing public opposition against destructive small hydropower in the region and an increasing number of complaints to the Energy Community Secretariat the Energy Community Secretariat has now published special policy guidelines on small hydropower projects. Furthermore, the Energy Community Secretariat has officially opened a dispute settlement procedure against Albania.

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Leonardo DiCaprio supports global alliance for the protection of rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prominent support for the Blue Heart and the rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Leonardo DiCaprio joins the appeal of a global alliance of conservation organisations to put a breakthrough resolution passed in June by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina into effect. The resolution banned the construction of new small hydropower projects within its territory, however, the deadline for implementing this resolution ends on September 23rd.

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Civil disobedience: Activists remove pipes of illegal hydropower plant in Serbia!

On Saturday, August 15th, hundreds of people from all over Serbia came to the village of Rakita with spades and mattocks to destroy illegal pipes of the Zvonce hydropower plant in their beloved Rakitska river. The investor laid the pipes illegally, but authorities didn’t act, so the people took matters into their own hands: “If the State is not doing its job and respecting the rule of law, we will do it for them!” was the motto of the action.

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Fishes in Mediterranean region endangered due to hydropower boom

Hydropower plants are one of the main causes for the decline of numerous fish species in the Mediterranean region. This is the result of a new study. In total, 251 endangered freshwater fish species along with their stock situation in rivers in the Mediterranean basin were recorded. The impact of existing and planned hydropower plants on these populations was also evaluated.

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Historic decision for rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina

++ Parliament imposes construction freeze for hydropower projects ++ Tuesday night, the Parliament of the Federation of BiH decided on a moratorium on all new small hydropower projects in the country. This means that no more new plants will be approved, and projects that have already been approved will be audited to see whether or not their approval was legally admissible.

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Artists speak up for Balkan Rivers

++ On the occasion of the World Music Day on June 21st, 40 artists support the Blue Heart campaign for the protection of Balkan Rivers ++ The musicians want to shake people up and contribute to preventing the looming destruction of nature in their home countries. Darko Rundek from Croatia, Rambo Amadeus from Serbia/Montenegro, Jelena Milušić from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Srdjan Jevdjević/Kultur Shock (USA, originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina) are only four of a total of 40 supporting artists.

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Rivers in the Green Deal

The EU Commission has now presented its 2030 biodiversity strategy within the Green Deal. It includes the target of restoring at least 25,000 kilometers of rivers. We welcome these guidelines; however, this only makes sense if the destruction of rivers is stopped at the same time.

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