++ Albanian Prime Minister receives unusual petition for the protection of the Vjosa ++ Balkan Rivers Tour ends in Tirana ++ Amid the applause of hundreds of spectators kayakers marched with their kayaks through the Albanian capital of Tirana today to hand over a kayak petition to PM Edi Rama. However, neither Edi Rama nor a representative of the government was willing to receive the petition. The police spaciously blocked the entrance. Rozman placed the kayak in front of the police cordon.
++License granted by the Macedonian Ministry of Environment was illegal ++ Violation of national environmental law ++ Nature conservationists call upon financier EBRD to withdraw from project “Boskov Most” immediately++ According to an official statement by the Macedonian administrative court, plans for the large hydropower project Boskov Most in the Macedonian Mavrovo National Park are devoid of any legal basis.
++ Day 19 of the Balkan Rivers Tour: protest action against dam construction inside Mavrovo National Park ++ Hydropower projects endanger the last Balkan lynxes ++ On May 4, an international alliance of kayakers, anglers, residents and nature conservationists protested against the construction of hydropower plants inside Mavrovo National Park.
++ Grand kayak tour to save the Balkan Rivers starts today ++ Today, about 150 paddler are opening the Balkan Rivers Tour on the Sava river in Slovenia. Led by former Slovenian Olympic athlete Rok Rozman, kayakers from all over Europe will paddle the most stunning and most threatened rivers in the Balkans over the next 35 days. This is without par in Europe. With this tour, they are taking a clear stance against the imminent dam tsunami.
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.
Another Albanian river at risk: the beautiful Valbona river is facing the construction of several planned hydropower plants along its course, not stopping at national parks and other strictly protected area - as so often the case. Local communities are protesting and need your help: please sign and share the petition addressed to Prime Minister Edi Rama!
On January 22, the documentary “The Vjosa Story” by our river ambassadors from Leeway Collective will be screened in Tirana, Albania. It is an incredible documentary about kayaking the Vjosa - one of the last wild rivers in Europe - from its source in Greece to its mouth into the Adriatic Sea in Albania. Don’t miss this opportunity to watch this amazing film on a big screen!
++ Bern Convention’s international expert commission calls for halt to hydropower development in Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia ++ EBRD and World Bank shall withdraw from financing hydropower projects in the National Park ++
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.