Yesterday, the second preparatory session in regards to our Poçem HPP complaint was held in the Administrative Court of Albania and the judge officially accepted the lawsuit. The grounds of the lawsuit include an inadequate Environmental Impact Assessment and the absence of proper public consultation of affected residents.
After local communities, national and international scientists and NGOs, as well as the European Parliament have all voiced their protest against hydropower dams on the Vjosa river, it is now the mayors of the Vjoa valley who unify against the projected dams. In an open letter to the mayors of Përmet, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Mallakastër and Selenicë put forward the concerns of the affected communities they represent.
++ Environmental assessments inadequate ++ In the current Enlargement Report of the European Parliament, the Parliament explicitly criticizes the Albanian government in regards to its hydropower policies. In the centre of their criticism are the hydropower projects on the Vjosa – Europe’s last big wild river.
Watch this short video by Uwe Koenzen about the impacts of hydropower based on Soča River. The clip shows the high protection value of the upper Soča as well as the already degraded lower course due to hydropower use. Sorry, in German only!
++ Threats and opportunities for one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Flood protection approach developed ++ World Wetlands Day on February 2 ++ On the occasion of this year’s World Wetland Day on February 2, the environmental organisations Riverwatch and EuroNatur today present the “White Book Sava” – a comprehensive work about one of the ecologically most valuable but least known rivers of Europe.
Watch this video about the beautiful rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina, their threats and their defenders. 300 HPPs are projected throughout the country and the Coalition for the Protection of the Rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina is trying to prevent the damming of their rivers.
++ New Hope for Balkan Rivers: EBRD withdraws from financing hydropower project in Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia ++ Success for campaign in Macedonia - this is the second decision against damming in the park, since the World Bank has refused to finance Lukovo Pole project last year. Read more...
++ Scientists’ analysis sent to Prime Minister Edi Rama ++ Shortly before Christmas, the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and other government representatives got mail from renowned scientists from Austria and Germany.
++ Dam project on Europe’s last wild river was intended to be realised without adequate environmental assessment or civic participation ++ Legal precedent for rule of law in Albania ++ Tirana, Vienna, December 2, 2016. The planned destruction of the Vjosa, one of Europe’s last big wild rivers, is now being challenged in court.
Hydropower is not green, it is not even carbon neutral, as Washington State University researchers now confirm. “In their paper to be published next week in BioScience, the researchers reported that reservoirs of all sorts are important sources of the potent greenhouse-gas methane. The gas is produced by decomposing organic material underwater,” so the Seattle Times report...
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.