Like many others of Europe's last free-flowing rivers in the Balkan region, the Una is in permanent danger of being destroyed by a series of hydro dams. It is one of the few last rivers in the world with a healthy, wild Hucho population and an amazing fishery. For Bosnian guide Anes Halkic, the Una is not just a river. It is his life. Watch the trailer!

 Closed Bridge over Sava near HPP Brežice © Neja Molan

The Sava is one of the most interesting and complex rivers in Europe and the longest river in Slovenia. 12 hydropower projects are planned on the Sava in Slovenia alone. A new local initiative is taking action against the planned HPP Mokrice. “NE JEZimo SAVE  - Stop HPP Mokrice” stands up against the irreversible destruction of the river at their doorstep.

Nominated for World Heritage Site status, Lonjsko Polje in Croatia is a 50 000 hectares stretch of floodplain in the Posavina region. Situated along Lonja River, a Sava tributary that gives the park its name, this huge retention basin is famed for the diversity of its flora and fauna. Watch this video portraying the beauty and diversity of the Lonjsko Polje!

Albanian filmmaker Artan Rama from “Elementi i pestë“ accompanied our scientists on an Vjosa expedition in April 2017 and filmed a documentary about the planned destruction of Europe’s last big wild river. It is about the uniqueness of the ecosystem Vjosa, about affected residents, as well as about the court decision in favour of a free-flowing Vjosa. Enjoy!

Intake of the Tearce 97 (Bistrica 97) hydropower plant deep in the Shar Mountain, nominated Emerald site. © Andrey Ralev

Within the context of the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, the NGO Bankwatch visited eight recently constructed small hydropower plants in Albania, Macedonia and Croatia. All of them were financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Their findings are published in this report. If you always wanted to know whether small is actually beautiful when it comes to hydropower, find out the truth in this study: Broken Rivers

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.

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!

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