We need your help: Threatened in their livelihood by a potential dam on the Vjosa, the village of Kutë in Albania – one of the most sunkissed countries in Europe – wants to show that the destruction of Europe’s last wild river is not even necessary. They can produce their own energy on their roofs, creating more income for the community.

The investor does not have a construction permit. © Robert Oroz

++ Residents block illegal construction of hydropower plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina ++  From 7 am, about two dozen people prevented workers from reaching the construction site despite the ban on assembly and Corona-related curfew. Unable to resume their works, they eventually left.

Late March and early April is the time of the Huchen. It is the period when this fascinating species spawns in gravel rich, free-flowing rivers. The Balkan rivers, like the Sava, Drina, Una, Sana, Kupa, are the last stronghold of this globally threatened species. However, the following photos were recently taken in the Mank, a small river in Austria by Erhard Kraus. 

Example of the reality of small hydro, the MHE Ravni na Pristavaci close to Užice/Serbia © Amel Emric

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Energy Community against Serbia on the basis of its failure to fully assess the environmental impacts of small hydropower before their construction ++ The four NGOs are raising concerns about how Serbia decides whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed for small hydropower projects (<2 MW) prior to their development.

In 2018, 11 scientists of the IGB sampled the entire river network of the Vjosa  in a three weeks long expedition. They stand up for their findings and urge to protect this intact ecosystem, which has become extremely rare throughout the world.

The international and Albanian freshwater science community raise their voices to warn of the severe consequences of the proposed dams on the Vjosa (and her tributaries). Listen to the many aspects of concern, including erosion of the coastline, loss of biodiversity, threat of dam break due to earthquake-prone area, loss of economic income and many more. Will the Albanian government listen to science?

Great honor for Stara Planina Defenders! They receive the "Most Exceptional Team Award 2019" © Dušan Bodiroga

Last Friday, the Serbian citizen activist group “Let´s Defend Rivers of Stara Planina” received a special honor: at the National Theater in Belgrade, they were awarded the “Most Exeptional Team Award 2019” at the Extraordinary People Event. The group has been fighting against dozens hydropower development int the nature park Stara Planina for years and has stopped many.

The village of Kutë don't want the Vjosa dammed. They are resisting the hydropower project. ©  Andreas Götz

We need your help!! Donate to the project and help to show that there is no need indeed for dams on Vjosa. Most of the villagers’ arable land would be drowned in the proposed dam reservoir. Instead, they can produce their own energy on their roofs, creating more income for the community, and save Europe’s last wild river at the same time! DONATE HERE

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