In Albanian society, the opposition against the projected hydropower plants on the Vjosa River is receiving further support. In an open letter to the country´s Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri, the Confederation of Albanian industries is calling for a moratorium on the construction of dams on the Vjosa River and its tributaries.
The Vrbas is one of the last remaining rivers providing habitat to the critically endangered ‘tiger of rivers’ – the Huchen. The construction of further HPPs on the river would put this species even more at risk as well as endangering the water supply for residents of Banjaluka. Our Blue Heart partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Center for Environment – are fighting projects, which would destroy the Vrbas once and for all.
Plans for 17 hydropower plants throughout Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park must be immediately suspended, so the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention ruled at its annual meeting last week. The Standing Committee emphasizes its special concerns with regard to the still ongoing developments of small hydropower plants within the park.
A new data set makes the extent of the threat to the Blue Heart of Europe visible: the dam tsunami has started to roll. Currently, about 2,800 hydropower plants are being planned between Slovenia and Greece, 187 are under construction, more than 1,000 (or 37%) are located inside protected areas.
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find below some video impressions of the event. Also read our press release and check out the photo gallery!
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find above and below some video impressions of the event.
This article, published first in mid-Novemer in the magazine Undark, explores why some highly developed country have started efforts to take down hydroelectric dams and why countries like Albania insist on repeating the mistakes that are now costing fortunes to rectify. It also prominently features the Vjosa and efforts to save it. Enjoy!
A study investigating hydropower conflicts in Albania reveals alarming circumstances: In these 4 years, 34 people have been arrested; six casualties are recorded, including one murder and one murder attempt. The study confirms that conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and even murder are deeply connected with hydropower development in Albania.
After successfully preventing the construction of two big dam projects inside Mavrovo National Park – one of Europe’s oldest national parks – its rivers and creeks are still threatened by low performing hydro projects. Low performing plants are being promoted under the disguise “small is beautiful”, but they are just as devastating to smaller creeks than big plants are to large rivers. There is nothing green about them, especially not within the boundaries of a national park.
In September, Patagonia took a group of “Change Makers” to the Balkan to explore the stunning rivers, learn about the threats they are facing and what we do to save them. Today, we present to you the first outcome of this trip: a short video about the rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, produced by Grégory Mignard from the “Captain Yvon Association”. Enjoy!