++ On the occasion of the World Music Day on June 21st, 40 artists support the Blue Heart campaign for the protection of Balkan Rivers ++ The musicians want to shake people up and contribute to preventing the looming destruction of nature in their home countries. Darko Rundek from Croatia, Rambo Amadeus from Serbia/Montenegro, Jelena Milušić from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Srdjan Jevdjević/Kultur Shock (USA, originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina) are only four of a total of 40 supporting artists.
The EU Commission has now presented its 2030 biodiversity strategy within the Green Deal. It includes the target of restoring at least 25,000 kilometers of rivers. We welcome these guidelines; however, this only makes sense if the destruction of rivers is stopped at the same time.
We need your help: Threatened in their livelihood by a proposed dam on the Vjosa, the village of Kutë in Albania – one of the most sun-kissed countries in Europe – wants to show that the destruction of Europe’s last wild river is not even necessary. They can produce their own energy on their roofs, creating more income for the community.
On her first 70 km, the Vjosa flows through Greece territory and is called Aoos. The last 20 km towards the border with Albania remain unprotected. These two studies commissioned by Pindos Perivallontiki provide evidence of the region’s biological importance as well as the need for a transboundary Wild River National Park and show that further development of hydropower is not necessary to reach the RES development goals.
++ Residents block illegal construction of hydropower plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina ++ Today, residents and environmental activists blocked construction works on the river Bjelava and its tributary, the Mala Bjelava, despite the ban on assembly and Corona-related curfew. From 7 am, about two dozen people prevented workers from reaching the construction site. Unable to resume their works, they eventually left.
++ Investors exploit the corona crisis for illegal construction of hydropower plants ++ Unique rivers in the Balkans at risk! ++ While Europe is in lockdown, investors are increasingly taking advantage of the unusual situation to build controversial hydropower projects in secret.
Late March and early April is the time of the Huchen. It is the period when this fascinating species spawns in gravel rich, free-flowing rivers. The Balkan rivers, like the Sava, Drina, Una, Sana, Kupa, are the last stronghold of this globally threatened species. However, the following photos were recently taken in the Mank, a small river in Austria by Erhard Kraus.
++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Energy Community against Serbia on the basis of its failure to fully assess the environmental impacts of small hydropower before their construction ++ The four NGOs are raising concerns about how Serbia decides whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed for small hydropower projects (<2 MW) prior to their development.
++ One of the largest science petitions in global freshwater ecology calls to stop Vjosa dam projects in Albania ++ Scientists demand Albanian government to respect scientific standards in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Kalivaç hydropower project ++
The international and Albanian freshwater science community raise their voices to warn of the severe consequences of the proposed dams on the Vjosa (and her tributaries). Listen to the many aspects of concern, including erosion of the coastline, loss of biodiversity, threat of dam break due to earthquake-prone area, loss of economic income and many more. Will the Albanian government listen to science?
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.