++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A related complaint was submitted to the Energy Community Secretariat in August for failure to protect the pristine upper stretches of the river Neretva from eight planned hydropower projects. ++
In Kosovo, Kelag had to take the three hydropower plants Deçani, Belaja, Lumbardhi II, operated by its subsidiary KELKOS, from the grid! All three plants are located inside a national park. Kelag put these power plants in operation years ago. However, since they still failed to fulfilled the environmental requirements for construction and operation despite numerous requests, they had to take the three power plants off the grid at 00:00 the night before yesterday.
++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian President speaks out in favour of Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN promises support ++ Today, the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, together with representatives of the Universities of Tirana and Vienna and the Mayor of Tepelena Tërmet Peçi, inaugurated the Vjosa Research Center
In response to growing public opposition against destructive small hydropower in the region and an increasing number of complaints to the Energy Community Secretariat the Energy Community Secretariat has now published special policy guidelines on small hydropower projects. Furthermore, the Energy Community Secretariat has officially opened a dispute settlement procedure against Albania.
Leonardo DiCaprio joins the appeal of a global alliance of conservation organisations to put a breakthrough resolution passed in June by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina into effect. The resolution banned the construction of new small hydropower projects within its territory, however, the deadline for implementing this resolution ends on September 23rd.
On Saturday, August 15th, hundreds of people from all over Serbia came to the village of Rakita with spades and mattocks to destroy illegal pipes of the Zvonce hydropower plant in their beloved Rakitska river. The investor laid the pipes illegally, but authorities didn’t act, so the people took matters into their own hands: “If the State is not doing its job and respecting the rule of law, we will do it for them!” was the motto of the action.
Hydropower plants are one of the main causes for the decline of numerous fish species in the Mediterranean region. This is the result of a new study. In total, 251 endangered freshwater fish species along with their stock situation in rivers in the Mediterranean basin were recorded. The impact of existing and planned hydropower plants on these populations was also evaluated.
++ Parliament imposes construction freeze for hydropower projects ++ Tuesday night, the Parliament of the Federation of BiH decided on a moratorium on all new small hydropower projects in the country. This means that no more new plants will be approved, and projects that have already been approved will be audited to see whether or not their approval was legally admissible.
++ On the occasion of the World Music Day on June 21st, 40 artists support the Blue Heart campaign for the protection of Balkan Rivers ++ The musicians want to shake people up and contribute to preventing the looming destruction of nature in their home countries. Darko Rundek from Croatia, Rambo Amadeus from Serbia/Montenegro, Jelena Milušić from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Srdjan Jevdjević/Kultur Shock (USA, originally from BiH) are only four of a total of 40 supporting artists.
We need your help: Threatened in their livelihood by a potential dam on the Vjosa, the village of Kutë in Albania – one of the most sunkissed countries in Europe – wants to show that the destruction of Europe’s last wild river is not even necessary. They can produce their own energy on their roofs, creating more income for the community.