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

© Romy Durst
© 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

© Goran Safarek
© 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

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby
© 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

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...

New Study: Hydropower development puts Europe’s fish paradise at risk

The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European...

International banks fuelling a hydropower tsunami that’s decimating pristine Balkan rivers – study

Multilateral development banks have supported no fewer than 82 hydropower projects across southeast Europe, including in protected areas, according to...

Albania plans to build airport in protected area

New international airport to be constructed in Narta Lagoon ++ Albanian parliament approved the project yesterday ++ EuroNatur and its partners call...

Study proves: Small power plants, big damage

European-financed small hydropower plants damaging pristine Balkan landscapes

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