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.
After the Kosovar Minister for Environment verbally attacked activist Shpresa Loshaj and presented Riverwatch's role in a skewed way in a recent interview about the Kelkos case in the TV Program “Rubikon” on November 25th, we felt compelled to rectify our position in an open letter to the Minister:
The Kosovar Minister for Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure informed the public via Facebook about the presentation of a concept for the area Zalli I Rupes. In this post, Riverwatch is mentioned and it might give the impression, that Riverwatch has been part of a process towards re-opening of the hydropower plants in the region and that we have given a “green light” for this. This is not the case.
Today biologist Slameršek was awarded the Wolfgang Staab Nature Conservation Prize 2021 for her outstanding commitment to nature of European value. This prize is awarded annually and is endowed with 20,000 Euros – financed by the Wolfgang Staab Nature Conservation Fund of the Schweisfurth Foundation.
After a decade of efforts to protect the Vjosa River in Albania, this petition will gather the voices of all supporters and demand an action that will make a real change: Proclaiming Vjosa as a National Park. Sign the petition and share it with your friends so that we join our efforts to protect what nature took centuries to create.
Last week, Kosovo's Supreme Court ruled that three KELKOS hydropower plants near the village of Deçan must be shut down pending a final court decision. Moreover, KELAG withdraws complaint against two activists.
Under the slogan "Lets defend the Balkan Rivers", activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia Sarajevo met in Sarajevo on Saturday, July 3, to decide on a pan-Balkan alliance for the protection of the rivers in the region. From now on, the various organizations want to work more closely together, because the issues are the same in all countries
On Wednesday evening, Maida Bilal received the renowned 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize on behalf of the “brave women of Kruščica”. The prize is endowed with 200,000 USD. The Jury justified their decision on the grounds that hydropower is not green, and is one of the greatest threats to wild rivers and the people living along their banks. Maida Bilal and the other women fought for one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe - and won.
From May 29 to June 6, a science delegation from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany collects multidisciplinary data from the two major Vjosa tributaries Shushica and Bënça. This research week is a follow-up of a comparable undertaking at the Vjosa in 2017, which contributed substantially to our success in establishing the ecological value of the Vjosa, fending off the hydropower projects (HPP) and which led to the designation as a protected area.