News

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

 09/12/2019

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.

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.

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.

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

 06/28/2019

++ 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

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

 06/26/2019

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!

Watch 'Blue Heart' online for free!

 06/25/2019

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.

Action Weeks for Balkan Rivers in July

 06/18/2019

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!

Drina: Environmental permit for Buk Bijela hydropower plant cancelled

 06/05/2019

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.

Blue Heart now on Instagram!

 05/24/2019

We proudly present: BLUE HEART IS NOW ON INSTAGRAM!! Check out our brand-new account for great visuals! The account will show you the incredible beauty of Balkan river landscapes but also portray the threat these rivers are facing as well as the destruction that is already underway. Help us save them - follow rivers, follow us!

Legal toolkit for the preservation of free-flowing rivers published

 05/21/2019

Yesterday, the legal toolkit “Practice your environmental rights – legal tools and mechanisms” has been presented by the NGO Front 21/42. The toolkit provides guidance for national and international CSOs and activists on how to use their environmental rights with a special focus on the protection of rivers from destructive hydropower developments.

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