At a formal ceremony in Tepelena this morning, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama and his Minister of the Environment and Tourism Mirela Kumbaro declared the River Vjosa a Wild River National Park. As from today, the entire River Vjosa in Albania from its border with Greece to the Adriatic sea and its free flowing tributaries – a river system totalling more than 400 kilometres in length – have the very high level of protection.
The feasibility study is the result of six months of extensive fieldwork and in-depth analysis by a team of over 30 experts in areas such as eco-tourism, geomorphology, ecology, planning and management of protected areas, sustainable financing of national parks, legislation, and social and environmental impact assessment.
We invite you to join our next webinar on January 31st (6pm MET) to learn about the results of the 50 scientists that joined the Neretva Science Week in summer 2022 and how their science contributes to the protection of this highly intact river system. Please REGISTER HERE to join this webinar.
European governments request that the Albanian government suspends the construction of the airport in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Area due to non-compliance with national and international laws. The Government is urged to start a comprehensive Wildlife Monitoring Programme.
On Friday, December 2, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention decided to open a case-file against Bosnia-Herzegovina demanding to stop all hydropower plants in the Neretva River system and to establish protected areas, instead.
Every two years, we analyse the situation of hydropower development in the Balkans. Since the last update of this kind in 2020, another 246 HPPs came into operation, leaving hundreds of kilometres of rivers and streams devastated. The good news: some positive signals have recently come from Bosnia and Hercegovina and Albania.
The "Freedom to the Rivers" concert for the preservation of the rivers of the Balkans, featuring Partibrejkers and Darko Rundek & Team will take place on November 11, 20:00, in the Borik Sports Hall in Banja Luka. Free admission! The concert, which was postponed in September due to bad weather, is organized by Bosnian Blue Heart partner Center for the Environment within the framework of the campaign.
The famous choreographer Gentian Doda (was bleibt kollektiv) is bringing eleven dancers from all over the world to Tirana for a contemporary dance performance as a tribute to Vjosa! Premiere: October 24 and 25, 2022 @ National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana
Our group of allies is increasing! Scientists in our network not only lend their own data but also use their independent voices to advocate for the protection of rivers.
The interactive map to explore the region in detail based on different criteria.
The Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers is a comprehensive study which, for the first time, combines knowledge about biodiversity (fish, mussels, caddisflies), integrity of rivers and floodplains (hydromorphology), as well as the location of protected areas.
We are a coalition of NGOs who have launched the campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” in order to raise awareness about the imminent dam craze on the Balkan peninsula and to spare the most valuable rivers and river stretches from destruction.