On Saturday, August 15th, hundreds of people from all over Serbia came to the village of Rakita with spades and mattocks to destroy illegal pipes of the Zvonce hydropower plant in their beloved Rakitska river. The investor laid the pipes illegally, but authorities didn’t act, so the people took matters into their own hands: “If the State is not doing its job and respecting the rule of law, we will do it for them!” was the motto of the action.
++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Energy Community against Serbia on the basis of its failure to fully assess the environmental impacts of small hydropower before their construction ++ The four NGOs are raising concerns about how Serbia decides whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed for small hydropower projects (<2 MW) prior to their development.
Last Friday, the Serbian citizen activist group “Let´s Defend Rivers of Stara Planina” received a special honor: at the National Theater in Belgrade, they were awarded the “Most Exeptional Team Award 2019” at the Extraordinary People Event. The group has been fighting against dozens hydropower development int the nature park Stara Planina for years and has stopped many.
Prominent support: After being approached by Stara Planina activists at a concert in Niš, reggae legend Manu Chao spontaneously visited Topli Do on the next day to play a song on the bridge and demonstrate his solidarity with the movement resisting hydropower projects in the region. Our rivers concern us all and all over the world, people defend their rivers against destruction by hydropower, fighting the same fight. We must stand together! Me gusta
In Stara Planina Nature Park, Serbia, the battle between local communities and SHPP investors has reached a new level. The Union of Local Communities (SMZSP) declared a state of emergency due to non-compliance with Serbian laws. The SMZSP has organized a 24/7 solidarity watch in Topli Do to prevent illegal construction and protect the law. The Union has also called on President Vučic to finally act against illegal construction and in favour of strictly protected species, threatened by the construction.
Yesterday, around 5,000 people took to the streets in Belgrade to protest against the sell-off of the rivers in Serbia, particularly against the planned construction of hundreds of hydropower projects. More than 850 hydropower plants are officially planned in Serbia, about 200 of which within nature reserves such as national parks, nature parks, etc.
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.