The Ribnicka is one of many small rivers in the Mavrovo National Park. The construction of the power plants and the necessary infrastructure would have fatal consequences for the species-rich area in North Macedonia. © Front 21/42

++ NGOs, government representatives, experts, hydropower developers and the local community discuss challenges and solutions at an international conference on nature protection and hydropower projects in North Macedonia ++ Yesterday, the first ever national approach for defining no-go zones for hydropower projects was presented at a conference in North Macedonia.

Freshwater systems are threatened like no other ecosystem globally. In Europe, the last intact rivers are located in the Balkans, but are severely at risk due to 3000 dam projects. We have come up with a scientifically founded plan to protect these river jewels: the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers. For the purpose of today’s World Water Day, we present to you this video explaining it in two minutes.

On Thursday, March 7th, we will present the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament at the event “Save the Balkan Rivers: Resisting Hydro Power Plants in the Balkans & Albania”, organized by the European Parliamentary Group of the European United Left. You can join us at 2:30 pm via the live stream, translated in 8 languages.

The Mura in Slovenia © Goran Safarek

In a joint statement sent to the ministry, 100 scientists from Slovenia, Austria, Germany and other European countries expressed their support for the protection of the Mura River and welcome the decree of Minister of Environment Jure Leben to stop hydropower dams. Furthermore, they encourage the Slovenian government for a rapid confirmation of the decree.

The Vjosa in Albania – Europe‘s last untouched river beauty – is at risk. © Gregor Subic

Today, the Energy Community Secretariat received a complaint against the Albanian Government. EcoAlbania, Riverwatch and EuroNatur – the three organisations behind the campaign for the protection of the Vjosa River in Albania – have raised concerns about the procedures for the Kalivaç and Poçem hydropower projects (HPP) not being in line with Energy Community rules.

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