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

Two studies for the restoration of the Sava River and its floodplain published

Two brand-new studies for the revitalization of the Sava River and its floodplain have been published presented to key stakeholders from 19 to 22...

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ River defenders from Bosnia and Herzegovina win the Goldman Environmental Prize ++ For the second time in the past three years an activist has has...

Science week at the Vjosa tributaries

++ 35 scientists from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany assess the two major Vjosa tributaries for a week ++ Data will be used to fight planned...

Plans for Kalivaç dam finally shelved

Great news for the Albanian Vjosa: The Kalivaç dam, which for many years hovered like a sword of Damocles over Europe's last great wild river, will...

EU funds for the destruction of nature?

For years, EuroNatur and its partner organisations have been fighting against the controversial Mokrice hydropower plant on the Sava River. The...

Bird paradise in Albania threatened by construction of an airport

++ An airport is to be built in the Narta Lagoon on the Adriatic ++ A stopover site of major international importance for migratory water birds ++ 8th...

Pressure continues for a Vjosa National Park as new government forms in Albania

The election may be over, but the fight for the Vjosa is not.

Webinar on legal instruments for river protection

In order to accelerate the development of hydropower in Europe, mandatory legal procedures and environmental impact assessment requirements are often...

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...