The countries in the Balkans are facing a dilemma: they must fulfill the EU renewable targets while also follow environmental legislation. This raises the question: Is it possible to increase the renewable energy share AND keep the Balkan Rivers alive? We commissioned an energy expert with this question and his study shows that there is no need for new hydropower!

All singers joined their voices in the grand finale of the Concert for Balkan Rivers. © Nick St. Oegger

++ Rambo Amadeus, Eda Zari, Damir Imamovic and Tamara Obrovac sing to stop the hydropower tsunami on the Balkans ++ Hundreds of people raised their voices at the open-air Concert for Balkan Rivers at Sarajevo’s BBI centre on Saturday, September 29th. They were singing along with the popular musicians and thus raising awareness for the massive destruction of rivers which is going on all over the Balkan peninsula.

Join us at the free Open-Air Concert for Balkan Rivers in Sarajevo on September 29th! Famous artists from the Balkans raise their voices to save Europe’s last wild rivers. Come and dance with us for free rivers! Featured artists: Rambo Amadeus, Eda Zari, Damir Imamovic, Tamara Obrovac, DJ Ismar

The villagers were alerted quickly and blocked access to the river. © Abaz Dželilović

++ Women block bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina for over a year to protect their river ++ New attempt by the investor to vacate the bridge has been successfully fended off ++ Documentary on resistance against dams in the Balkans now available on iTunes ++

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

Thomas Waitz, Member of the European Parliament of the Greens, invited politicians, river conservationists and media representatives to the EU Parliament in Brussels. © Jason Alden/Patagonia

On Wednesday 27 June, a Save the Blue Heart of Europe debate and film screening was held at the EU Parliament, to an audience of policymakers, media and NGOs. The issue of protecting the Balkan Rivers from the threat of 3,000 proposed HPPs was debated, along with the question: What role can the EU play to ensure a win-win scenario by safeguarding nature and leading the region’s low-carbon future?

On-the-spot appraisal at the Vjosa. This is where the hydropower plant Pocem is projected to be built. © EuroNatur

++ Representatives of the Bern Convention emphasize the conservation value of the river ++ Albanian Government signs concession contracts for HPP Kalivac nevertheless ++ Representatives of the Bern Convention visited the Vjosa in order to investigate to which extent plans for hydropower development are jeopardizing the objectives of the Bern Convention. The on-the-spot appraisal was accompanied by an independent expert.

The brave women of  Kruščica have stood guard on the access bridge, 24 hours a day, for over 300 days, in order to prevent construction of a hydropower plant © Andrew Burr

A major court victory has been won by the Brave Women of Kruščica, a group of activists protecting their river from the threat of dam construction. The competent court in BiH this week ruled that the environmental permit for dam construction should be annulled immediately, meaning that any further construction work on the proposed dam is illegal.

For the ninth year in a row, activists protested at the sources of the river Sana. This year they demand that the sources of Sana should be proclaimed Monument of Nature. © Viktor Bjelic

Once again, Blue Heart partner Center for Environment and the entire Coalition for the River Sana gathered at the source of the river and protested against the destruction of the river. The blame goes to the Austrian-German Kelag company, which were responsible for building the horrifically destructive Medna powerplant.

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