Riverwatch CEO talks about the state of European rivers and warns of the impending damming of the river network in the Balkans. Austrian companies and banks are also involved in the expansion of dam projects in protected areas.
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World Fish Migration Day 2020 is approaching, a one-day global celebration to improve the public's understanding of the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers and how to reduce our impacts on them. On MAY 16th, thousands of organizations, schools, aquariums, zoos and communities organize events. Join in!
We at Riverwatch are fighting for the preservation of the last unimpaired rivers as well as for the restoration of those already canalized or dammed. Because rivers are so much more than water.
Produced by Kristof Reuther
#RiversUnite #DamsDivide #TheDamTruth #AllDamsAreDirty
The first pan-European inventory of existing and planned hydropower plants shows the immense pressure on rivers throughout the continent. In addition to the 21,387 existing hydropower plants, another 8,785 are planned, mainly in the Alps and the Balkans. Devastating impacts on biodiversity and society are to be expected.
From September 10th to 13th I visited Hasankeyf in Turkey and the Tigris for the very last time. I said my goodbyes to residents, the river, the landscape. One of the most significant regions of humanity will be submerged, in the reservoir of the Ilisu dam. Even today, two weeks later, I can barely bring myself to put this into writing. It is literally incomprehensible.
The Balkan region—richly diverse in cultures, languages and history—is home to the last wild rivers on the European continent. The region truly is the Blue Heart of Europe. However, a hydropower gold rush is putting these rivers at risk: Hydropower is the only “renewable” energy source sending species to extinction, displacing people globally, and contributing to climate change.
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.
On Wednesday, February 13th, the Slovenian Minister of the Environment presented a draft regulation to stop the eight planned hydropower projects along the Slovenian stretch of the Mur river. All concessions for the Mur projects will be withdrawn. This brings the Minister considerably closer to his promise to protect the free-flowing Mur for future generations.
Between September 27th and 29th 2018, Sarajevo became the center of European river conservationists and dam opponents. At the first European Rivers Summit, about 250 people from over 30 countries discussed how to stop the destruction of Europe’s rivers from hydropower, how to protect the last free-flowing river jewels in the long run and how to restore those already destroyed.