On Wednesday 27 June, a Save the Blue Heart of Europe debate and film screening was held at the EU Parliament, to an audience of policymakers, media and NGOs. The issue of protecting the Balkan Rivers from the threat of 3,000 proposed HPPs was debated, along with the question: What role can the EU play to ensure a win-win scenario by safeguarding nature and leading the region’s low-carbon future?
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).
++ Representatives of the Bern Convention emphasize the conservation value of the river ++ Albanian Government signs concession contracts for HPP Kalivac nevertheless ++ Representatives of the Bern Convention visited the Vjosa in order to investigate to which extent plans for hydropower development are jeopardizing the objectives of the Bern Convention. The on-the-spot appraisal was accompanied by an independent expert.
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.
Once again, Blue Heart partner Center for Environment and the entire Coalition for the River Sana gathered at the source of the river and protested against the destruction of the river. The blame goes to the Austrian-German Kelag company, which were responsible for building the horrifically destructive Medna powerplant.
On June 17th, a charity dance event for the benefit of Balkan Rivers will be held at the Schmelz in Vienna. Several groups invite you to get to know folk dances from all over Europe and beyond. Admission is free; any voluntary donation will benefit the campaign "Balkan Rivers - Save the Blue Heart of Europe".
Between April 17th and May 6th, eleven scientists went on an expedition to collect data on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions for the entire Vjosa river network. With great effort, 300 river kilometers were sampled by use of the most state-of-the-art methods and equipment. The Vjosa’s exceptional value was confirmed once more:
Dublin-based documentary photographer, Nick St.Oegger, is launching his debut photo book: Kuçedra: Portraits of Life on Europe’s Last Wild River. The book is a snapshot into life along the Vjosa, as it faces the threat of being changed forever. The book is now available for purchase HERE.
So what the hell is water? Is it rare or common, generous or dangerous? Is it OK to drink water-intensive sodas and wear water-filled jeans? Is it important that our rivers are still clean enough to swim in? Should oil pipelines cross freshwater streams? Should rivers be used as hydroelectric generators?
The Macedonian Blue Heart campaign team (Front 21/42 and Eko-svest) launched a petition for the protection and against the destruction of the last free rivers in their country. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. The petition is posted in the national language only – that shouldn’t keep you from signing. Find the English translation here: