For the past eight months, river activists from around the world demanded a Vjosa National Park Now. There have been 23 visual actions across 13 countries in the middle of cities, national parks, in front of national monuments or in special natural places.
'Vjosa Forever' chronicles the ongoing struggle to secure the future of the unique Vjosa river system, from political uncertainty and opportunistic greed to the hopes of creating a Vjosa National Park (the first of its kind in Europe). With an Albanian election in April of 2021, river-lovers, local citizens and global conservationists fear that this ‘Queen of Europe’ faces its greatest danger yet. At this historic moment, people everywhere have an obligation to speak for the Vjosa; to keep it running wild, forever.
On March 4th, 2021, we held our first webinar, followed live by 350 people via Zoom Webinar and Facebook live stream. Weren't able to join? No problem - watch the recording below! In this webinar we gave an overview about the river jewels of Europe, the threat they are facing and our campaign to save them. We explained how we try to achieve the impossible: to save the Balkan rivers from a dam tsunami of more than 3,400 hydropower projects.
The international and Albanian freshwater science community raise their voices to warn of the severe consequences of the proposed dams on the Vjosa (and her tributaries). Listen to the many aspects of concern, including erosion of the coastline, loss of biodiversity, threat of dam break due to earthquake-prone area, loss of economic income and many more. Will the Albanian government listen to science?
Have you seen ‘Blue Heart’ yet? No? Well, it’s your lucky day, because it is now available for free on youtube – with subtitles in 11 languages! The documentary, produced by Farm League on behalf of Patagonia, follows our campaign and other, local stakeholders through the Balkans to document the crime committed on Europe’s last river jewels and on communities who live by them.
Freshwater systems are threatened like no other ecosystem globally. In Europe, the last intact rivers are located in the Balkans, but are severely at risk due to 3000 dam projects. We have come up with a scientifically founded plan to protect these river jewels: the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers. For the purpose of today’s World Water Day, we present to you this video explaining the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in two minutes.
Between September 27th and 29th 2018, Sarajevo became the center of European river conservationists and dam opponents. At the first European Rivers Summit, about 250 people from over 30 countries discussed how to stop the destruction of Europe’s rivers from hydropower, how to protect the last free-flowing river jewels in the long run and how to restore those already destroyed.
At the first European Rivers Summit held in Sarajevo, between September 27-29, participants expressed their emotions for their rivers! The rivers are different, but the message is always the same: Save Europe's Rivers - Stop the Dams!
Vjosa and Valbona receive prominent support! “Blessed be the free rivers" (“Lum Lumi i Lirë“!) aims to give a voice to the threatened rivers Vjosa and Valbona and create a deep echo of awareness in the public. Eda Zari, Elina Duni, Linda Rukaj, Rhani Krija (Official), Vlashent Sata, Emiljan Dhimo, Shpat Deda, Gert Kapo, Henning Jung, Kleidi Eski, Sokol Çunga, Mikaela Minga collaborated to produced this amazing song and video.
Tomorrow, Tuesday (July 17) at 19:40, the documentary "Europe's last wild river - is a dam threatening Albania's nature" about the Vjosa - the fight against the projected dams, and why this rivers is so important to scientists - will be aired on ARTE! Don’t miss it! Sorry, in German only… Find more info HERE
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.