Do you have a story to tell or experiences to share? Pitch your fight for river protection and present at the Balkan River Summit 2024! Find all the information about different contribution formats, key themes, and contact details in the post.

With this visual action, the activists aim to draw attention to four dams illegally built within the national park © EcoZ

Activists from the NGO EcoZ and citizens from the region organised an unusual action on the mountain slope of Kosovo´s Sharr National Park. With this visual action, the activists aim to draw attention to four dams illegally built within the national park and raise awareness not only in Kosovo but across Europe and the world. We demand the removal of the dams within the Sharr National Park.

In the six Western Balkan states there are still untouched rivers and river sections that are ecologically very valuable; here the confluence of the Ljuta and Neretva in Bosnia-Herzegovina. © Joshua David Lim

A new report published by ClientEarth provides an interim assessment of how effectively six Western Balkan countries are safeguarding their rivers by incorporating key EU laws related to hydropower projects into their national legislation. The analysis reveals that there has been some progress. However, the report also highlights specific systemic failures to comply with the EU framework.

© Iva Jericevic

Save the Date for the most epic river rendezvous of the year! Join us at the 2nd Balkan River Summit organized by the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign - 5 days of networking, workshops, and adventure!

 1,500 people from 37 villages signed the pipe petition when it toured through the valley © Geri Bleta

Last Saturday, representatives of the communities of the Shushica river valley and other locals from Vlora and Vjosa valley travelled to Tirana to hand over a special petition to Prime Minister Edi Rama. People from 37 villages in the valley have united in a powerful statement against the water abstraction project from the Shushica River.

The Vjosa and the neighbouring deltas of the Shkumini and Semani rivers in Albania constitute the last large intact deltas in the Mediterranean Basin. © Joshua D. Lim

From 22 to 28 April 2024, a science delegation from Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy collected multidisciplinary data in the partially undiscovered and intact Vjosa Delta. Every observation of this expedition aims to unveil the ecological importance of this area and advocate for its inclusion in the Vjosa Wild River National Park (WRNP) in accordance with IUCN standards.

The triple deltas in a glance: the Vjosa Delta, the Semani Delta and the Shkumbin Delta (c) Google Earth 2023

Deltas, where rivers meet the sea, are intricate landscapes shaped by millennia of natural forces. However, they're not just facing challenges; they're in crisis. A comprehensive study delves into Mediterranean deltas, revealing a story of resilience and the urgent need for conservation. 258 deltas and river mouths in the Mediterranean Sea have undergone assessment. Shockingly, a mere 4% of these vital ecosystems remain in their pristine, untouched state today.

In this tree nursery, native tree species will grow until tall enough to be replanted at the Vjosa’s shore. It is part of the ReForestVjosa Project © Elona Shkembi/EcoAlbania

On this year’s International Day of Forests on March 21st, we are proud to inaugurate our first tree nursery along the picturesque banks of the Vjosa River. The inauguration ceremony, held in Tepelena, marked the official launch of the ReForestVjosa project, a comprehensive reforestation initiative aimed at revitalizing the Vjosa's ecosystem and mitigating erosion along its shores.