News

Another victory for free-flowing rivers inside Mavrovo National Park

In Mavrovo National Park, the construction permits for two small hydropower plants on the Zirovnicka River have been officially annulled, after the concession process for another project on the same river was cancelled in May. The decision was taken after a review request submitted by Front 21/42, our partner organization in North Macedonia, right after the investor announced the start of the construction.

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New report: hydropower subsidies wreak environmental havoc and line influential pockets in the Western Balkans

Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited wealthy business people close to or part of the region’s governments, with little benefit for electricity generation, finds a new study released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.

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Stara Planina Union of Local Communities declares “state of emergency” over SHPPs

In Stara Planina Nature Park, Serbia, the battle between local communities and SHPP investors has reached a new level. The Union of Local Communities (SMZSP) declared a state of emergency due to non-compliance with Serbian laws. The SMZSP has organized a 24/7 solidarity watch in Topli Do to prevent illegal construction and protect the law.  The Union has also called on President Vučic to finally act against illegal construction and in favour of strictly protected species, threatened by the construction.

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Reversal of subsidies for wind power in BiH prompts legal action

With the halting of the incentive scheme for wind farms in March, the destructive technology of small hydropower is now the only renewable source of energy receiving significant support in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While providing a minimal contribution to overall electricity generation, small hydropower causes enormous damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s communities, economy and unique biodiversity.

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Wave of protest against Balkan dam building frenzy

++ First ever international Action Weeks for Balkan Rivers ++ People took to the streets in many countries of the Balkan region ++ From July 6 to 16, 2019 around 1000 people took part in protests in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece against hydropower expansion on the Balkan rivers.

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New Vjosa study: hardly any energy, no sand for the beach

++ Sediment study of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) proves serious consequences of the planned power plants on the Vjosa ++ For over a year, scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) have been studying the sediment transport of the Vjosa river for different high and low water phases

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Vision for Vjosa: Europe’s 1st Wild River National Park!

Recently, we presented our vision for Europe´s first Wild River National Park, protecting the Vjosa and her tributaries along her entire course in Albania from source to sea, instead of destroying it with dams. However, the idea only works if free-flow and connectivity is preserved – a single dam would undermine this vision. Read OUR FACTSHEET to learn about possible borders, sizes and how this Wild River National Park could be implemented!

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Watch 'Blue Heart' online for free!

Have you seen ‘Blue Heart’ yet? No? Well, it’s your lucky day, because it is now available for free on youtube – with subtitles in 11 languages! The documentary, produced by Farm League on behalf of Patagonia, follows our campaign and other, local stakeholders through the Balkans to document the crime committed on Europe’s last river jewels and on communities who live by them.

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Action Weeks for Balkan Rivers in July

Thousands of people are affected by the projected dam tsunami in the Balkans. Many of them are fighting back – they are determined to protect their river, whatever the cost - “We give our life, but not our river” is a common attitude. Together we are stronger - we must support and unite them in their fight, tell their stories and protest with them in solidarity. Join us at the Balkan-wide Action Weeks in July!

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Drina: Environmental permit for Buk Bijela hydropower plant cancelled

In late May, the Banja Luka District Court cancelled the environmental permit for the planned Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the river Drina in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of a complaint submitted by the Aarhus Centar in 2018. The Drina is the most important habitat of the endangered Danube Salmon, found only in some of the cleanest rivers in the Danube basin of southeast Europe.

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