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.
On June 4th, well-known artists from Albanian and abroad performed at the "Vjosa Forever" concert in Tepelena in support of the #VjosaNationalParkNow campaign: At the concert, organized by Blue Heart partner EcoAlbania, hundreds of supporters filled the Lord Byron square in Tepelena and enjoyed the electrifying performances of the #ArtistsForVjosa
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “making the invisible visible” with a special emphasis on the importance of groundwater. Groundwater is quantitatively the most important freshwater resource as there is 100 times more groundwater than surface water. In fact, it is where we source most of our fresh drinking water.
The German development bank KfW has today confirmed that it has dropped plans to finance the controversial Janjići hydropower plant on the river Bosna in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The plant would entail a 16 m high dam and would flood a picturesque section of the river with a series of rapids upstream from Zenica.
After a fundraising campaign, solar panels are installed on the rooftops of public buildings and streets of Kutë village on the Vjosa in Albania as an alternative to hydropower plants for the benefit of the local community and environment
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.