Key areas

The centrepiece of our campaign to Save the Blue Heart of Europe  is made up of three areas of particularly high ecological value. Under no circumstances should these river landscapes be built on. Instead we are striving for a sustainable development of these areas (for example, by soft eco-tourism and the marketing of regional products). The Balkan rivers have enormous potential for this, as they are the last wild rivers in Europe!



Vjosa — Europe's wild jewel

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                River Vjosa in Albania</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
© Romy Durst

The Vjosa river is one of our continent's last great wild rivers. Huge banks of gravel, small gravel bars and dreamlike bays come and go with the dynamics of the water. In tranquil sections, species-rich alluvial forests line the river banks. The great value of the Vjosa is that it is unspoilt. Yet this could soon be a thing of the past; the construction of a chain of eight hydropower plants is on the horizon. More...

Mavrovo – Macedonia's largest national park

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                river Radika in Mavrovo National Park in North Macedonia </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
© Goran Safarek

The landscape of the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia is still characterised by extensive beech forests, alpine meadows and largely undamaged river landscapes. Here under the cloak of green energy, amongst other plans, two major dam projects are proposed that threaten to wipe out a biodiversity that has taken millenia to develop. These plans make a complete nonsense of the idea of a national park. More...

The Sava – Europe’s prime source of natural flood prevention

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                natural riverbed of the river Sava</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

The distinct features of the Sava River are its vast alluvial forests, extensive wetland, and traditional villages along the river. Rare species, such as the White-tailed Eagle, the Lesser-spotted Eagle, the Black and White Stork, or the Spoonbill find habitat here; ancient domesticated species are gazing in the pastures. Moreover, the Sava floodplains are a prime example for natural flood prevention. But the river is facing a double threat. The Sava River is under attack from two sides: the integrity of the upper and middle section is threatened by new hydro dam projects while the lower part is at risk of regulations due to plans for a navigational upgrade. More...

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News: Blue Heart of Europe

Even one dam can destroy the river

A recently published study summarises the value of the Vjosa River system as one of the few remaining reference sites for dynamic floodplains in...

Activists demand European political support for a Vjosa National Park in Albania

++ The new slogan, Vjosa National Park Now, is a plea to protect Europe’s last big wild river ++

Albania Faced with a Choice: National Park or Destruction of the Vjosa River

The future of Europe’s largest unspoilt river hangs in the balance

Vjosa: Environmental groups submit proposal for Europe’s first Wild River National Park

++ Because of the Albanian government's inaction, nature conservation organisations are now taking action ++ Vjosa National Park could become a...

No green light for small hydropower in EU Finance Taxonomy

Hydropower is not a sustainable investment. EU Commission should listen to science.

Vjosa: Political game with the future of Europe´s last wild river

++ 94 % of Albanians in favour of establishing Vjosa National Park ++ IUCN confirms the potential of Vjosa River for becoming a National Park ++...

Small hydropower plants in the Balkans soon a thing of the past?

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) announced Nov. 26 that starting in 2021, the government would no longer provide subsidies that support...

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...