About the campaign

The Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign's declared aim is to preserve the Balkan rivers as a unique piece of Europe's natural heritage and to save the most ecologically valuable rivers and sections of watercourses from destruction! 

Three key areas

The campaign is concentrating on three key areas of particularly high ecological value: the Vjosa in Albania, the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia and the length of the Sava river in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzogovina and Serbia. All three areas are threatened by major dam construction projects. We want to stop these projects.

We do not wish to completely stop the development of hydropower in the Balkans. However, plans for the development of hydropower must, as a matter of urgency, take account of factors affecting nature conservation. This demands a comprehensive strategy.

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                river Tara in Montenegro</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Montenegro's longest river: the River Tara.

© Riverwatch

Campaign goals: 

  • to inform the public of the ecological value of and threat to the Balkan rivers. The campaign also uses the social media for this purpose. Visit our Facebook and Instagram account!
  • to stop the projects to build dams in the campaign's three key areas.
  • to instigate the drafting of a master plan. This is intended to highlight rivers and sections of rivers that, in view of their importance for biodiversity conservation and structural variety, should not  be developed under any circumstances.
  • Increase the knowledge about the biodiversity of the Balkan rivers, which play an important role with regard to biological continuity and are particularly rich in species not found anywhere else in the world.

Partners: Riverwatch, the conservation organisations of the relevant countries

Sponsors: Mava Foundation, EuroNatur donors and sponsors

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Save the Blue Heart of Europe - official website

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How you can help


Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to protect rivers in Europe.


Twice a month, EuroNatur provides you with the latest campaign and project information about Europe's natural heritage free of charge and at first hand.

News: Blue Heart of Europe

Dams on Neretva river: Complaint submitted to Bern Convention

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A...

Slovene Government planning to expand hydroelectric power

A series of hydroelectric power stations are planned to be built along the River Save in Slovenia; the government in Ljubljana has granted several...

Nature conservation essential for EU accession

Hydropower, deforestation, biodiversity: The Commission's report on the EU candidate countries sets out clear requirements for nature conservation.

BREAKING NEWS: Albanian PM Rama reacts – Kalivaç will not be built

In a reaction to the statement of Albanian President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced to the media today that he also is in favor of...

Alliance against Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is growing

++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian...

Deadline expired: Protect rivers consistently now

Conservation organizations are demanding a moratorium on the construction of small hydro power plants from the government of the Federation of Bosnia...

Activists in Serbia get hands-on in fight against hydropower

In the Stara Planina region, residents from the village of Rakita have joined forces with conservationists to damage the pipes of a hydropower plant...

Fishes in Mediterranean region endangered due to hydropower boom

++ New study confirms: hydropower plants have a devastating impact on fish populations in rivers around the Mediterranean ++ Numerous species are...

Success for nature conservation: construction freeze for hydropower projects

++ Parliament imposes historic decision for rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina ++

The "Brave Women of Kruščica" must fight again

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the women residents of the village of Kruščica are once again preparing to blockade their river. Investors have announced...

Artists speak up for Balkan Rivers

++ On the occasion of the World Music Day on 21 June 40 artists support the Blue Heart campaign for the protection of Balkan Rivers ++

Expansion of hydropower under protection of curfew

++ Increasing destruction of nature in times of pandemic ++ Investors exploit the corona crisis for illegal construction of hydropower plants ++...

Complaint against Serbia submitted to Energy Community

EuroNatur and three other NGOs submit a complaint to the Energy Community against Serbia’s failure to fully assess the environmental impacts of small...

Albanian and international science community stands up against damming the Vjosa

++ 776 scientists demand in a petition an end to the dam projects on the Vjosa in Albania ++ Scientists demand Albanian government to respect...

Rebuke for Albania: Bern Convention insists on Albanian government to suspend hydropower projects on Vjosa river

The Bern Convention Standing Committee has decided to keep the case against the Albanian government in regards to the projected Pocem and Kalivac...