In late May, the Banja Luka District Court cancelled the environmental permit for the planned 93 MW Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the river Drina in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of a complaint submitted by the Aarhus Centar in 2018. The Drina is also the most important habitat of the endangered Danube Salmon, found only in some of the cleanest rivers in the Danube basin of southeast Europe.
We proudly present: BLUE HEART IS NOW ON INSTAGRAM!! Check out our brand-new account for great visuals! The account will show you the incredible beauty of Balkan river landscapes but also portray the threat these rivers are facing as well as the destruction that is already underway. Help us save them - follow rivers, follow us!
Yesterday, the legal toolkit “Practice your environmental rights – legal tools and mechanisms” has been presented by the NGO Front 21/42. The toolkit provides guidance for national and international CSOs and activists on how to use their environmental rights with a special focus on the protection of rivers from destructive hydropower developments.
As a result of public resistance to small-scale hydropower projects in the Balkans, and in consequence to the milestone bank summit between the financial sector and green activists on March 1st, the EBRD is considerably tightening its standards: the bank will ask commercial banks to refer all high-risk projects – including all hydropower plants – for additional checks, starting with 2020.
On May 14th 2019, the Government of Republic of North Macedonia decided to cancel the concession procedure for a low-performing hydropower project on the Zirovnicka river inside Mavrovo National Park, on the basis of a request for annulment, submitted by Blue Heart partner Front 21/42. The project was violating national and international law and undermined the protection status of the national park.
The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska has authorized initiatives on declaration of protected areas on the River Sana. The notion was submitted by environmentalists based on previous biological research. Regrettably, a hydropower plant was launched on the river last year. The new regulation will protect river’s springs and canyon.
Recently, the Administrative Court of the Republic of Slovenia invalidated the environmental permit of the Mokrice HPP on Sava river. The projected hydropower plant cannot be constructed – for the time being, the Sava is safe. The lawsuit against the project was filed by the Slovenian Native fish Society (DPRS) in December 2018. In its recent decision, the Court pointed to a number of procedural and substantive irregularities.
The Doljanka River in Bosnia and Herzegovina needs your help! The former NBA Player Mirza Teletović is financing the destruction of the river in his home town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the local resistance. Public consultation of the local community was not carried out adequately, nor was there a proper environmental impact study. Please sign this petition to protect the Doljanka River from these destructive hydropower projects.
++ NGOs, government representatives, experts, hydropower developers and the local community discuss challenges and solutions at an international conference on nature protection and hydropower projects in North Macedonia ++ Yesterday, the first ever national approach for defining no-go zones for hydropower projects was presented at a conference in North Macedonia.