The first findings of the expedition were summarized in this report, to provide some very preliminary impressions, highlights and an overview from each of the specialty groups of what was done during this impressively international and collaborative effort. The data collected will be analysed in much more detail over the next months and a more detailed final report is expected by the end of the year 2022.

Greenfield large hydropower investments across southeast Europe face major risks and low realisation rates, according to a new report by CEE Bankwatch, EuroNatur, Riverwatch and WWF Adria published today, which also highlights nine high-risk project cases. Vulnerability to drought, legal issues, increasing public resistance and lack of financing are among the factors which have stopped a slew of large hydropower projects in recent years.

​​From 27 June to 3 July, more than 50 scientists, accompanied by journalists, activists, chefs and an artist from across Europe, participated in a science week on the Neretva River in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the multidisciplinary expedition, the scientists studied and collected samples of the local biodiversity and we will use the data to help stop hydropower projects on the Bosnian river.

After ten years of dedicated action by local communities, environmentalists, scientists and artists to permanently protect the Vjosa River and its tributaries, today, the Albanian government took the historic step of signing a commitment to establish a Vjosa Wild River National Park. The Wild River National Park will protect the entire network of the Vjosa from the Greek border to the Adriatic Sea, including the free-flowing tributaries. This is something that has never been done before in Europe.

Several hydropower plants are planned on the upper Neretva © Amel Emric

At the urging of nature conservation organizations, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention took another look at various projects in the Balkans at its most recent meeting. These include an airport in the middle of the Narta Lagoon in the Vjosa delta in Albania or a series of hydropower plants along the Neretva in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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