Plans for 17 hydropower plants throughout Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park must be immediately suspended, so the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention ruled at its annual meeting last week. The Standing Committee emphasizes its special concerns with regard to the still ongoing developments of small hydropower plants within the park.
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana last night. In front of over 4000 people, prominent Albanian musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects.
For everyone who cannot attend the Vjosa concert in Tirana in person tonight: the Deutsche Welle will broadcast the concert in parts live, including interviews with the musicians prior to the concert. Tune in at around 6:15pm at https://www.facebook.com/dw.shqip/
On October 18, we will hold a big concert for the protection of the beautiful and threatened Vjosa River, the last big wild river in Europe! Free entry! Where: Skanderbeg square in front of the National History Museum in Tirana When: October 18, 19:00
++ International research team finds 300 animal species in only one week, including a new fish and stonefly species ++ Sediment transport could grind electricity generation of the projected hydropower plant Poçem to a halt within 25 years ++ Earlier this year in April, 25 scientists from 4 countries researched the river section of the Vjosa in the area of the projected hydropower plant Poçem.
In April, about 30 scientists paparticipated in one week of research on the previously almost unexplored Vjosa river in Albania. All experts were amazed by the complexity and sheer size of the river system and every expertise found something at the Vjosa – species, habitat types, dynamic river processes – that has been long lost on all regulated rivers in central Europe. Watch this 3-minute video about the Scientists for Vjosa week, featuring stunning drone footage of the extensive Vjosa river landscape.
The scientists from the Natural History Museum Vienna who joined the Vjosa Science Week in April authored an article about the fight for the Vjosa for the summer edition of the Universum Magazine. Apart from stunning photos, the article also offers insight into Albania’s history as well as into its natural and cultural treasures. DOWNLOAD the article as PDF (sorry, in German only)
++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.
++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.
++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.
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.