Bridge blocked - river saved - honoured with EuroNatur Award

++ EuroNatur Award 2019 goes to the “brave women of Kruščica" ++ Bridge occupied for over 500 days to block construction of hydropower plants ++ Award ceremony on 10 October 2019 on Mainau Island ++

A picture of solidarity: The "brave women of Kruščica" guarded their beloved river round the clock. © Ulrich Eichelmann/Riverwatch

Radolfzell. The women of the village of Kruščica in Bosnia and Herzegovina showed bravery, perseverance and moral courage: for over 500 days and nights they staged a round-the-clock occupation of a bridge over the river in their village and, as a result, prevented the construction of two hydropower plants. In doing so, they not only defied adverse winter temperatures; in August 2017 they were also subjected to brutal police violence. For their outstanding commitment to the protection of their river, the EuroNatur Award 2019 is awarded to the "brave women of Kruščica".

"The courage and tenacity of these brave women is remarkable and now serves as a model for other groups in the Balkans who are peacefully but resolutely fighting for the preservation of their rivers," said EuroNatur President Christel Schroeder, explaining the choice of this year’s award winner. The award ceremony will take place at 17:00 on Thursday, 10 October, on Mainau Island.

At 20:00, on the evening before the award ceremony, EuroNatur is hosting a film presentation in the Zunfthaus der Narrizella Ratoldi (Kaufhausstraße 3) in Radolfzell. The documentary "Blue Heart”, which tells of the resistance of southeastern Europe’s local populations to the hydropower lobby, will be screened. The “brave women of Kruščica” play a major role in "Blue Heart" and the delegation accepting the EuroNatur Award will also be present at the screening.

Background information:
EuroNatur Award: In being honoured with the EuroNatur Award, the "brave women of Kruščica" join a long line of well-known personalities. Previous winners include Jonathan Franzen, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, Dr. Mario F. Broggi, Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer and Gudrun Steinacker. The EuroNatur Award is a non-monetary award which honours outstanding achievements in nature conservation. The EuroNatur Award 2019 will be presented to a delegation of women from Kruščica at 17:00 on Thursday, 10 October 2019, on Mainau Island, Lake Constance.

Campaign to save the Balkan rivers: Between Slovenia and Albania, around 3,000 new hydropower plants are currently either planned or under construction. In order to oppose this tidal wave of destruction, nature conservation organisations EuroNatur and Riverwatch, together with local partners in the Balkans, launched the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign.

Film screening: The film screening will take place on Wednesday, 9 October 2019 in the Zunfthaus der Narrizella Ratoldi (Kaufhausstraße 3, Radolfzell). Following the screening there will be a discussion session with the women as well as with EuroNatur Executive Director Gabriel Schwaderer. Admission to the event is free and doors will open at 19:30. A preview of the film can be seen in this trailer.

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

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