++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today.
++ 250 people attend Summit to save Europe’s rivers and stop the damming ++ Participants call upon EU and Heads of State to stop funding hydropower ++ Between September 27th and 29th, 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.
++ 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.
++ 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 ++
Yesterday, representatives of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign to save Europe’s last remaining wild rivers hand-delivered a petition endorsed globally by more than 120,000 people to high level executives at the London headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
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.
Against the spectacular backdrop of the Idbar dam wall in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the film “Blue Heart” was screened for the very first time last night. About 500 people visited the world premiere of the film, which documents the fight against the dam tsunami in the Balkans and the effort to protect these unique rivers in Europe.
+++ The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European river fish species will be endangered +++ The rivers in the Balkans constitute Europe’s fish sanctuary, according to a new study presented today by Riverwatch and EuroNatur.
Plans for 17 hydropower plants throughout Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park must be immediately suspended, so the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention ruled at its annual meeting last week. The Standing Committee emphasizes its special concerns with regard to the still ongoing developments of small hydropower plants within the park.