What is the Blue Heart?

Where in Germany can you still find the original wild rivers? You'll need a magnifying glass. But in the Balkans such utopias still exist on a large scale, even today. In the countries bordering the eastern Adriatic  and in Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria and some parts of Greece, one can still find pristine streams, untouched gorges, extensive alluvial forests, rivers with huge gravel bars and spectacular waterfalls.  This is where the Blue Heart of Europe beats.

Save the Blue Heart of Europe

Note: This video may contain ads. EuroNatur is not responsible for ad selection and assumes no liability for ad content.

Virtually untouched river landscapes

Nowhere else in Europe is there a comparable number and range of natural and undamaged river landscapes as in the Balkans. Over 80 per cent of these vital lifelines have good or even very good ecological status.  By comparison, only 10 per cent of Germany's rivers are still classified as near-natural, whereas 60 per cent are heavily regulated.

Biodiversity hotspot

The blue heart of Europe is a barely known jewel in Europe's natural treasure chest and it is largely uncharted territory. However, the first studies hint at an enormous range of species and habitats. The Balkan wild rivers are amongst Europe's key biodiversity hotspots.

Forty per cent of Europe's endangered species of freshwater molluscs (bivalves and snails) live in the rivers and lakes of the Balkan peninsula. In addition to this, the region has the distinction of having a high density of endemic fish species; there are 69 fish species that occur only in the Balkan rivers and nowhere else in the world.

Campaign brochure "Save the Blue Heart of Europe"

Download (18 MB)

Save the Blue Heart of Europe - official website

More ...

Do you want to help?

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to protect rivers in Europe.

News: Blue Heart of Europe

Hydropower projects on the Vjosa: Bern Convention opens case-file against Albania

++ Hydropower plant projects Poçem and Kalivaç to be suspended immediately. ++ Standing Committee to the Bern Convention recognizes imminent danger to...

Eco-Masterplan shows value of Balkan Rivers

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++...

#GivingTuesday: Join in and help to protect our river treasures!

The countdown is on: November 27th is #GivingTuesday. This is the day when the initiative of the same name calls upon people all around the world to...

Launch for transnational programme to protect the Sava River

The SavaParks Network, which has been initiated by EuroNatur, received an EU funding grant for a new Sava conservation project. The launch event took...

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...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection