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.

© Riverwatch
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.
  • 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

Save the Blue Heart of Europe - official website

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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.

News: Blue Heart of Europe

Hydropower projects on the Vjosa: Bern Convention opens case-file against Albania

++ Hydropower plant projects Poçem and Kalivaç to be suspended immediately. ++ Standing Committee to the Bern Convention recognizes imminent danger to...

Eco-Masterplan shows value of Balkan Rivers

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++...

#GivingTuesday: Join in and help to protect our river treasures!

The countdown is on: November 27th is #GivingTuesday. This is the day when the initiative of the same name calls upon people all around the world to...

Launch for transnational programme to protect the Sava River

The SavaParks Network, which has been initiated by EuroNatur, received an EU funding grant for a new Sava conservation project. The launch event took...

Swiss river conservationist receives EuroNatur Award 2018

++ EuroNatur Award 2018 goes to Roberto Epple ++ Europe-wide launch of online campaign #ProtectWater on the 9th of October ++

First European Rivers Summit held in Sarajevo

++ 250 people attend Summit to save Europe’s rivers and stop the damming ++ Participants call upon EU and Heads of State to stop funding hydropower ++...

Another victory for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ Women block bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina for over a year to protect their river ++ New attempt by the investor to vacate the bridge has been...

Illegal construction works in Valbona-National Park are still going on

Charade of Justice in Albania: Different courts mutually cancel their decisions in the case of the planned power plant Dragobia. The suffering ones...

Blue Heart in the European Parliament

On Wednesday 27th June, there was a screening of the documentary film “Blue Heart” in the European Parliament in Brussels. In the subsequent debate...

Over 120.000 signatures against hydropower in the Balkans

++ Petition against the financing of dam projects in the Balkans signed by more than 120,000 people ++ Petition handed over to the EBRD in London...

Construction stop of hydropower plant in Valbona Valley

There is hopeful news regarding the Albanian Valbona River: The Administrative Appeals Court in Tirana ruled to stop immediately all the construction...

Bern Convention visits Vjosa in Albania

Representatives of the Bern Convention visited the Vjosa in order to investigate to which extent plans for hydropower development are jeopardizing the...

Brave women of Kruščica win court case against dam construction

A major court victory has been won by a group of activists protecting their community and river from the threat of new dam construction.

World premiere of the "Blue Heart" film

The film "Blue Heart" celebrated its world premiere at the disused Idbar dam in Bosnia-Herzegovina and delighted the audience.

International appeal to support the brave women of Kruščica

Women wanted: A global appeal to women to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina on 28 April to occupy for an evening a bridge as part of the Blue Heart...

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