News - Press Release

Vjosa – Environmental groups submit proposal for Europe’s first Wild River National Park

Today, 20 Albanian environmental organisations under the direction of EcoAlbania submitted a detailed proposal for the creation of the Vjosa National Park to the Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi. The group of NGOs feel compelled to take this step since Albanian government representatives have been announcing the national park for months, but have not taken any steps towards its implementation.

Vjosa: Political game with the future of Europe´s last wild river

 12/17/2020

++ 94 % of Albanians in favour of establishing Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN confirms the potential of Vjosa River for becoming a National Park ++ Albanian Environmental Minister has opposing plan ++ Today, EcoAlbania, Riverwatch and EuroNatur informed the public about the latest developments regarding the Vjosa.

The devastating business of the Kelag in the Balkans

 12/03/2020

The Austrian Kelag likes to present itself as a modern company with the highest environmental and social standards. However, reality paints a quite different picture: the Kelag is a problematic company in the Balkans. For years, environmental organizations and local residents have been protesting against its hydropower projects and the behavior of its employees, especially in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Complaint on Bosnia-Herzegovina dams on Neretva river submitted to Bern Convention

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A related complaint was submitted to the Energy Community Secretariat in August for failure to protect the pristine upper stretches of the river Neretva from eight planned hydropower projects. ++

Alliance against Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is growing

++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian President speaks out in favour of Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN promises support ++ Today, the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, together with representatives of the Universities of Tirana and Vienna and the Mayor of Tepelena Tërmet Peçi, inaugurated the Vjosa Research Center

Fishes in Mediterranean region endangered due to hydropower boom

 07/08/2020

Hydropower plants are one of the main causes for the decline of numerous fish species in the Mediterranean region. This is the result of a new study. In total, 251 endangered freshwater fish species along with their stock situation in rivers in the Mediterranean basin were recorded. The impact of existing and planned hydropower plants on these populations was also evaluated.

Historic decision for rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina

++ Parliament imposes construction freeze for hydropower projects ++ Tuesday night, the Parliament of the Federation of BiH decided on a moratorium on all new small hydropower projects in the country. This means that no more new plants will be approved, and projects that have already been approved will be audited to see whether or not their approval was legally admissible.

Increasing destruction of nature in times of pandemic – expansion of hydropower under protection of curfew

++ 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.

Albanian and international science community stands up against damming the Vjosa river

 02/17/2020

++ 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 ++

New report: hydropower subsidies wreak environmental havoc and line influential pockets in the Western Balkans

Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited wealthy business people close to or part of the region’s governments, with little benefit for electricity generation, finds a new study released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.