On October 18th and 19th, Albania became a hotspot of freshwater science. Renowned scientists from USA, Japan and many European countries participated in the Wild Rivers Science Symposium and the Wild Rivers Night on October 18th in Tirana. They spent the following day on boats paddling Europe`s last big intact river – the Vjosa. Two days that connected scientists and strengthen their efforts to save the last free flowing rivers.
Prominent support: After being approached by Stara Planina activists at a concert in Niš, reggae legend Manu Chao spontaneously visited Topli Do on the next day to play a song on the bridge and demonstrate his solidarity with the movement resisting hydropower projects in the region. We must stand together! Me gusta!
++ EuroNatur Award goes to dedicated river conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina ++ Dam boom threatens the last wild rivers of our continent ++ On October 10th, a delegation of the “Brave women of Kruščica” accepted the EuroNatur Award 2019 on the island of Mainau on Lake Constance.
In Mavrovo National Park, the construction permits for two small hydropower plants on the Zirovnicka River have been officially annulled, after the concession process for another project on the same river was cancelled in May. The decision was taken after a review request submitted by Front 21/42, our partner organization in North Macedonia, right after the investor announced the start of the construction.
Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited wealthy business people close to or part of the region’s governments, with little benefit for electricity generation, finds a new study released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.
In Stara Planina Nature Park, Serbia, the battle between local communities and SHPP investors has reached a new level. The Union of Local Communities (SMZSP) declared a state of emergency due to non-compliance with Serbian laws. The SMZSP has organized a 24/7 solidarity watch in Topli Do to prevent illegal construction and protect the law.
SAVE THE DATE: One day - two events for free rivers! We are pleased to announce the International Wild River Science Symposium and the Wild Rivers Night in Tirana/Albania on October 18th, 2019. The symposium will bring together renowned scientists from around the world. The symposium will end in an entertaining evening event with selected talks and live music.
With the halting of the incentive scheme for wind farms in March, the destructive technology of small hydropower is now the only renewable source of energy receiving significant support in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While providing a minimal contribution to overall electricity generation, small hydropower causes enormous damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s communities, economy and unique biodiversity.
++ First ever international Action Weeks for Balkan Rivers ++ People took to the streets in many countries of the Balkan region ++ They protested against the destruction of the last wild river landscapes in Europe ++ From July 6 to 16, 2019 around 1000 people took part in protests in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece against hydropower expansion on the Balkan rivers.
++ Sediment study of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) proves serious consequences of the planned power plants on the Vjosa ++ For over a year, scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) have been studying the sediment transport of the Vjosa river for different high and low water phases