Plans for hydropower plants on the Mura halted

Good news for the Mura: Slovenian Environment Minister Jure Leben has called a halt to the construction of all planned hydropower plants on the Mura River. The decision should serve as a positive example for other countries in the region.

Natural riverlandscape at the Mur

© Arno Mohl/WWF

Slovenia’s Environment Minister has taken a significant step towards fulfilling his promise to preserve the free-flowing Mura for future generations. On 13 February, he put forward a draft decree aiming to put a stop to the eight planned hydropower plants on the Slovenian section of the river. The Minister also confirmed that the environmental impact assessment process for the construction of the "Hrastje-Mota” hydropower plant is to be halted.

"With this decision, Environment Minister Jure Leben is setting a shining example in the fight against the dam boom in the Balkans", said Theresa Schiller, EuroNatur project manager, welcoming the Minister’s decree. It was only in July 2018 that the floodplain landscape along the Slovenian section of the Mura was  recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Construction of the planned hydropower plants would have undermined this designation. The draft regulation still has to be approved by the Slovenian government before it can become legally binding.

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