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

Study proves: Small power plants, big damage

European-financed small hydropower plants damaging pristine Balkan landscapes

Mavrovo-Nationalpark: Demand for a halt to construction of hydroelectric power plants

Bern Convention: Macedonian government requested to halt construction of hydropower plants in national park

Albanian industrial confederation demands halt of dam plans at Vjosa River

In Albanian society, the opposition against the projected building development of the Vjosa River is receiving further support. In an open letter to...

Hydropower Tsunami on Balkans

New hydropower report: Dam tsunami on Balkans is speeding up ++ 2.800 hydropower projects planned, 187 under construction ++ more than 1.000 of them...

Hands off Vjosa!

“Mos ma prek Vjosën (Hands off Vjosa!)” was the slogan at an atmospheric open air concert held in Tirana, where musicians let everyone hear about the...

Two new animal species discovered in the area of projected dam on Vjosa

++ International research team finds 300 animal species in only one week, including a new fish and stonefly species ++ Sediment transport could grind...

Huchen protesting at Drina Regatta

++ 20,000 people at this year's event on Drina River in Serbia ++ NGO's protested against damming the globally most important Huchen (Danube Salmon)...

Hydropower project Kalivaç revisited

Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP++ NGOs prepare their opposition

Dam project stopped for the present

++ Albanian Court stops dam project on the Vjosa ++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++

 

Scientists for Vjosa

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++

European Parliament discusses Sava River

++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified

Albania: European Parliament demands national park for Vjosa and stop to hydropower projects

In the current Enlargement Report of the European Parliament, the Parliament explicitly criticizes the Albanian government in regards to its...

“White Book Sava” presented

On the occasion of this year’s World Wetland Day on February 2, the environmental organisations Riverwatch and EuroNatur today present the “”White...

New Hope for Balkan Rivers

Funding for the two large hydropower projects in Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia, has been axed. After the World Bank withdrew from financing the...

Scientists call environmental assessment for Vjosa hydropower project a farce

Renowned scientists from Austria and Germany have analysed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the hydropower project Poçem on the Vjosa...

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