News - Mavrovo NP

North Macedonian government revokes seven small hydropower plant concessions in Shar Planina National Park

 10/13/2022

Last week, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia made an extraordinary decision to revoke seven concessions for small hydropower plants in the newly proclaimed Shar Planina National Park. This monumental action strongly encourages NGOs' fight for free-flowing rivers and serves as a stepping stone to cancelling concessions for all small hydropower plants in Mavrovo National Park and other protected areas.

Bern Convention targets crimes against nature in the Balkans

At the urging of nature conservation organizations, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention took another look at various projects in the Balkans at its most recent meeting. These include an airport in the middle of the Narta Lagoon in the Vjosa delta in Albania or a series of hydropower plants along the Neretva in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Rebuke for Albania: Bern Convention insists on Albanian government to suspend hydropower projects on Vjosa river

During the recent annual meeting of the Standing Committee in Strasbourg, the Committee once again urged the Albanian authorities to suspend all preparations towards both hydropower projects until a strategic environmental impact assessment and social impact studies have been carried out.

Another victory for free-flowing rivers inside Mavrovo National Park

 10/04/2019

In Mavrovo National Park, the construction permits for two small hydropower plants on the Zirovnicka River have been officially annulled, after the concession process for another project on the same river was cancelled in May. The decision was taken after a review request submitted by Front 21/42, our partner organization in North Macedonia, right after the investor announced the start of the construction.

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.

Mavrovo: concession procedure for HPP Zirovnica 3 cancelled!

 05/16/2019

On May 14th 2019, the Government of Republic of North Macedonia decided to cancel the concession procedure for a low-performing hydropower project on the Zirovnicka river inside Mavrovo National Park, on the basis of a request for annulment, submitted by Blue Heart partner Front 21/42. The project was violating national and international law and undermined the protection status of the national park.

North Macedonia: No-go zones for hydropower projects must be designated

++ NGOs, government representatives, experts, hydropower developers and the local community discuss challenges and solutions at an international conference on nature protection and hydropower projects in North Macedonia ++ Yesterday, the first ever national approach for defining no-go zones for hydropower projects was presented at a conference in North Macedonia.

Fight for Mavrovo National Park continues

 03/12/2019

Zirovnicka river, one of the biggest tributaries of Radika river in the park, is at stake. Local communities in Zirovnica strongly opposes the two planned hydropower projects but the investor is determined to push through with it, even threatening those who oppose. To support the affected community, please sign the petition Green Zones for Blue Rivers in Macedonia.

Petition: Green Zones for Blue Rivers in Macedonia

 05/16/2018

The Macedonian Blue Heart campaign team (Front 21/42 and Eko-svest) launched a petition for the protection and against the destruction of the last free rivers in their country. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. The petition is posted in the national language only – that shouldn’t keep you from signing. Find the English translation here:

Bern Convention: Macedonian government is urged to halt construction of hydropower plants in national park

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.

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