“Brave Women of Kruščica” honoured for river protection

++ River conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina receive EuroNatur Award 2019 ++ Energy companies want to exploit the last wild rivers of Europe, but resistance among the people is mounting ++

brave women of Kruščica on the bridge
United against hydropower: For more than 500 days and nights, women blocked a bridge in the Bosnian highlands close to the village of Kruščica and prevented two hydropower plants from being built. © Andrew Burr

Radolfzell. For more than 500 days and nights, a group of women from the village of Kruščica blocked a bridge crossing the river of the same name, thereby preventing two hydropower plants from being built. For this brave and persevering protest, the women will accept this year’s EuroNatur Award on October 10th.

Believing that women would not be attacked by the security forces, it was only the women from the village of Kruščica who blocked the bridge over their river from August 2017 to December 2018. Neither police violence nor attempts at intimidation by the investor could make the courageous women give up defending their river. It was only shortly before Christmas 2018 that the women decided to leave the bridge. The competent court had supported the objections against the planned hydropower plants, bringing the peaceful 18-month protest of the women of Kruščica to a happy end for the time being.

“The courage and perseverance of these brave women is impressive and a role model for the work of EuroNatur and its partner organisations in fighting the hydropower lobby in the Balkans,” EuroNatur president Christel Schroeder explains why they have been elected to receive this year’s award. The “brave women of Kruščica” thus rank among personalities like the US best-selling author Jonathan Franzen or the Romanian forest conservationist Gabriel Paun. All of them received the EuroNatur Award for their exemplary commitment in protecting the European natural heritage.

Background information:

  • EuroNatur Award: Laureates of previous years include Roberto Epple, Jonathan Franzen, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, Dr. Mario F. Broggi, and Gudrun Steinacker. The EuroNatur Award is non-monetary. It honours an outstanding commitment in the field of nature conservation. The EuroNatur Award 2019 will be given on 10 October 2019 at 5 p.m. to a delegation of the Kruščica women on Mainau Island (Lake Constance).
  • Campaign to save the Balkan rivers: Around 3000 new hydropower plants are currently planned or under construction between Slovenia and Albania. The nature conservation organisations EuroNatur and Riverwatch as well as local partners in the Balkan countries - in Bosnia-Herzegovina it's CZZS - run the campaign ‘Save the Blue Heart of Europe’ to counter this wave of destruction.

Contact information:
Christian Stielow, Mail: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 – 92 72 15

 

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