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Riverwatch (Ulrich Eichelmann and Cornelia Wieser) at the Drina Regatta, protesting dam projects in the name of the threatened Huchen. © Nataša Crnković

++ 20,000 people at this year's event on Drina River in Serbia ++ NGO's protested against damming the globally most important Huchen (Danube Salmon) River ++ At this year’s event, NGOs in cooperation with angling (fishing) associations protested against hydropower plans for the first time in the 24-year history of the regatta.

The unfinished Kalivaç dam. Now, a new concession shall revive its construction. © Roland Dorozhani

++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.

Attorney Vladimir Meçi, interviewed by Albanian media after the Court announced its decision. This was the first-ever environmental lawsuit in Albania. © Olta Hadushaj

++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.

The floodplains of the Sava offer a unique potential for natural flood retention. © Goran Šafarek

++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified ++ Today, one of the last living rivers of Central Europe received valuable attention in Brussels. Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and the European Association of Wetlands International made the Sava River an issue in the European Parliament.

 

This is how the banks of the Mur look after the tree massacre in Graz last week. © Rettet die Mur

If you want to see for yourself what „green and clean“ hydropower actually looks like, you currently have the chance to do so at the river Mur in Graz. In preparation for a highly contested hydropower project in Graz, about 700 trees – amongst them old willows, poplars and elm trees – have been clear-cut at the banks of the Mur under police protection and against heavy protests of thousands of people last week.

++ Threats and opportunities for one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Flood protection approach developed ++ World Wetlands Day on February 2 ++ On the occasion of this year’s World Wetland Day on February 2, the environmental organisations Riverwatch and EuroNatur today present the “White Book Sava” – a comprehensive work about one of the ecologically most valuable but least known rivers of Europe.

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