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Valbona, Albania: even though this river is located inside a national park, hydropower projects on this river are in the pipeline. A total of 113 hydropower plants are projected to be built in national parks in the Balkans. © Jan Pirnat

++ Balkan Rivers Tour against dam tsunami ended ++ Kayakers paddled 23 rivers in 6 countries ++ Photo highlights of the tour for download ++ 23 rivers in six countries, 390 river kilometers: on Friday, May 14, a very unique activity ended in the Albanian capital of Tirana – the Balkan Rivers Tour. Over 35 days, kayakers from all over Europe paddled the most beautiful and most threatened rivers in the Balkans in order to draw attention to the looming dam tsunami on the peninsula. A total of over 500 paddlers from 18 nations participated in the activity.

Motion pictures say more than 1000 words. Below are short video impressions covering the entire 36 days of the Balkan Rivers Tour. Enjoy!Residents of the Vjosa valley share our vision: they don’t want PM Edi Rama’s dams – they want their river to remain free. The video shows impressions of the last week of the Balkan Rivers Tour at the Vjosa, Albania. Camera: Rozle Bregar, Miha Avgustin, Aljaz Oblak

A kayak petition with over 1000 signatures was planned to be handed over to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, however he refused to receive it. © Andrew Burr

++ 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.

Protest against projected hydropower plants inside Mavrovo National Park. Residents join the  Balkan Rivers Tour-Team © Jan Pirnat

++ 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.

Save the Sana – stop KELAG: under this slogan, about 200 people protested at the Sana in Bosnia and Herzegovina today © Jan Pirnat

++ Day 8 of the Balkan Rivers Tour: 200 people protest against the dam construction at the Sana river in Bosnia and Herzegovina ++ Today, an international alliance of protested on the river Sana in Bosnia and Herzegovina against the hydropower plant “Medna”, which is currently under construction. The Sana is one of the last remaining rivers in Europe that host healthy populations of the Huchen.

About 150 paddlers opened the Balkan Rivers Tour at Bohinj Lake in Slovenia today. © Matic Oblak

++ 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.

Location of the opening event: Lake Bohinj © Peter Koren

We are happy to invite you to the opening event of an unusual international protest action: the opening event of the BALKAN RIVERS TOUR, April 16th 10:00 to 12:00, Bohinj Lake, Slovenia. For the first time, a group of kayakers from all over Europe will paddle rivers from Slovenia to Albania.

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