++ 20,000 people at this year's event on Drina River in Serbia ++ NGO's protested against damming the globally most important Huchen (Danube Salmon) River ++ At this year’s event, NGOs in cooperation with angling (fishing) associations protested against hydropower plans for the first time in the 24-year history of the regatta.
The scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna who joined the Vjosa Science Week in April authored an article about the fight for the Vjosa for the summer edition of the Universum Magazine. Apart from stunning photos, the article also offers insight into Albania’s history as well as into its natural and cultural treasures. DOWNLOAD the article as PDF (sorry, in German only)
The ZDF planet e documentary “Hydropower Madness - The destruction of rivers in the Balkans” about the dam craze putting these rivers at risk received the documentary award of the International Wlodzimierz Puchalski Nature Film Festival Lodz. Congratulations to Birgit Hermes from the ZDF!
Ö1 also participated in our Vjosa Science Week in April. Today at 19:05, the first part about this activity will be aired: http://oe1.orf.at/programm/20170706/480492 If you miss it, you can listen to it on demand for 7 days! The second part will be broadcasted next Thursday (July 13) at 09:05 (rerun at 22:08) http://oe1.orf.at/programm/20170713/481999
For seven years now, Blue Heart partner Center for Environment and the entire Coalition for Sana are gathering at the sources of Sana River in order to fight the construction of hydropower plant Medna, which is being constructed by the Austrian-German Kelag company. The Sana is one of the last remaining rivers that provides habitat for the endangered Huchen.
++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.
++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.
++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.
Vice President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek lobbies for a free-flowing Vjosa and against projected hydropower plants! “It is true that Albania needs energy and more development, but that should not be done by destroying nature’, she tells Albanian journalists in Brussels.
++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified ++ Today, one of the last living rivers of Central Europe received valuable attention in Brussels. Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and the European Association of Wetlands International made the Sava River an issue in the European Parliament.
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.