On March 25, the European Parliament adopted the 2021 Albanian Progress Report in which they “urge the [Albanian] government to minimise the impact on biodiversity by stopping hydropower development in protected areas, in particular in areas near the Valbona and Vjosa rivers, and to establish as soon as possible the Vjosa National Park, extending the whole length of the river...”
On March 7th, the rivers in the Balkans received a lot of attention in the European Parliament at the event “Save the Balkan Rivers: Resisting Hydro Power Plants in the Balkans & Albania”, organised by the Parliamentary Group “European United Left/Nordic Green Left” (GUE/NGL). People from all over the Balkans, and especially from Albania, raised their concerns about the hydropower expansion and the need to put an end to it.
On Thursday, March 7th, we will present the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament at the event “Save the Balkan Rivers: Resisting Hydro Power Plants in the Balkans & Albania”, organized by the European Parliamentary Group of the European United Left. You can join us at 2:30 pm via the live stream, translated in 8 languages.
On Wednesday 27 June, a Save the Blue Heart of Europe debate and film screening was held at the EU Parliament, to an audience of policymakers, media and NGOs. The issue of protecting the Balkan Rivers from the threat of 3,000 proposed HPPs was debated, along with the question: What role can the EU play to ensure a win-win scenario by safeguarding nature and leading the region’s low-carbon future?
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.
++ 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.
Tirana, Vienna, Radolfzell, April 15, 2016 Today, the European Parliament criticized the Albanian government for the planning of hydropower projects and called upon them to be more considerate of protected areas and other sensitive nature areas, especially national parks. In the current Enlargement Report that was adopted by the parliament in Brussel yesterday, the Vjosa river is specifically mentioned.
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.