News

Milestone bank summit in Belgrade a step towards protecting Balkan rivers

 03/01/2019

++ Greater transparency still needed ++ The ‘Save the Blue Heart of Europe’ campaign gave a cautious welcome to a first-of-its-kind summit between the financial sector and green activists, where a roundtable about the role of banks in the destruction of Balkan rivers by hydropower dams was centre stage.

100 of scientists in support of free flowing Mura River

 02/28/2019

In a joint statement sent to the ministry, 100 scientists from Slovenia, Austria, Germany and other European countries expressed their support for the protection of the Mura River and welcome the decree of Minister of Environment Jure Leben to stop hydropower dams. Furthermore, they encourage the Slovenian government for a rapid confirmation of the decree.

Award for the Blue Heart: Cornelia Wieser receives 2nd Trophée de femmes 2019

 02/26/2019

Last weekend, the project "Save the Blue Heart of Europe" was honored with an award: on February 22, Riverwatch employee Cornelia Wieser received the second environmental prize "Trophée de femmes 2019" for her work in the protection of Balkan rivers. The prize was awarded by the Foundation Yves Rocher in La Gacilly, France.

Albania fails to comply with Energy Community Law

 02/25/2019

Today, the Energy Community Secretariat received a complaint against the Albanian Government. EcoAlbania, Riverwatch and EuroNatur – the three organisations behind the campaign for the protection of the Vjosa River in Albania – have raised concerns about the procedures for the Kalivaç and Poçem hydropower projects (HPP) not being in line with Energy Community rules.

Success for Mura: Slovenian Minister of the Environment cancels hydropower plans

 02/15/2019

On Wednesday, February 13th, the Slovenian Minister of the Environment presented a draft regulation to stop the eight planned hydropower projects along the Slovenian stretch of the Mur river. All concessions for the Mur projects will be withdrawn. This brings the Minister considerably closer to his promise to protect the free-flowing Mur for future generations.

5000 at protest in Serbia: We don’t give you our rivers!

 01/28/2019

Yesterday, around 5,000 people took to the streets in Belgrade to protest against the sell-off of the rivers in Serbia, particularly against the planned construction of hundreds of hydropower projects. More than 850 hydropower plants are officially planned in Serbia, about 200 of which within nature reserves such as national parks, nature parks, etc.

Victory for the "Brave women of Kruščica"

 12/21/2018

 ++ The women left the bridge after more than 500 days and nights ++ Good news close to Christmas: on December 14th, the people of Kruščica in Bosnia and Herzegovina won a crucial court case against two hydropower projects that were planned on their little river. The court stopped all dam plans.

Comprehensive Study on Ecosystem Vjosa published

 12/07/2018

More than 60 scientists from Albania, Austria and Germany have collected their knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of the Vjosa on 385 pages. The comprehensive study "The Vjosa in Albania - a riverine ecosystem of European significance", published in Acta ZooBot Austria, was presented by the lead scientists at Tirana International Hotel on December 6th.

Hydropower projects on the Vjosa: Bern Convention opens case-file against Albania

++ Hydropower plant projects Poçem and Kalivaç to be suspended immediately. ++ Standing Committee to the Bern Convention recognizes imminent danger to unique ecosystem. ++ Success for nature conservation NGOs in their struggle to save one of Europe’s last free flowing rivers. ++

Eco-Masterplan shows value of Balkan Rivers

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today by the NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur.