River news

Still plenty of room for improvement in the Western Balkans

There is still a long way to go for all the countries of the Western Balkans if they want to become members of the EU - especially when it comes to nature conservation. Every year, the EU Commission publishes country reports on all EU accession candidates. The latest reports are particularly critical of the construction of hydropower plants as well as of an airport construction project in Albania’s Narta Lagoon.

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Skavica mega dam: Albanian court to scrutinise special law for U.S. contractor Bechtel

++ Constitutional complaint filed by NGOs accepted for trial ++ First milestone in fight against one of Europe’s largest reservoirs ++ Thousands of people face displacement ++ Critically endangered Balkan lynx highly threatened by dam ++

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Growing opposition to Albanian airport

++ Bern Convention calls on Albania to stop airport construction near Narta Lagoon ++ Project in Vjosa Delta endangers thousands of migratory birds ++ Conservation organisations filed lawsuits against destructive and illegal construction ++

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Controversial airport construction in Albanian protected area casts shadow as far as Munich

++ Operating company Munich Airport International (MAI) is linked to illegal Vlora airport ++ Construction to take place in protected area of special importance for international bird migration ++

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Disappointing results of last trilogue on Renewable Energy Directive

++ Woody biomass and hydropower can continue to count towards renewable energy targets ++ No will for sustainable climate policy in the EU in sight ++

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Major success: River Vjosa becomes National Park

++ Today the Vjosa River in Albania has been proclaimed Europe’s first Wild River National Park ++ EuroNatur, Riverwatch and many other partners have been working towards this day for many years ++ The River Aoos on the Greek side, the tributaries of the Vjosa and its Delta also need to be granted extensive protection ++

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Vjosa Wild River National Park: Feasibility Study is a major milestone

The Vjosa River in Albania, one of the last wild rivers of Europe, is one major step closer to protection today as the team of Albanian and international experts working to create Vjosa Wild River National Park presented their vision, roadmap, and feasibility study to the Albanian Government.

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Legal action against the Vlora Airport in Albania

New developments on the planned airport construction in the Narta lagoon: The lawsuit filed by our partners against the project was ruled as inadmissible in the first instance, but they are not backing down and have filed an appeal. Additionally, our partners have filed another lawsuit against the Albanian Council of Ministers.

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Bern Convention demands Bosnia-Herzegovina to stop all dam projects on Neretva River

On 2nd December, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation of European Wild Flora and Fauna and Natural Habitats), decided to open a case-file against Bosnia-Herzegovina demanding to stop all hydropower plants in the Neretva River system and to establish protected areas, instead.

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Environmental groups suing the Albanian authorities for the illegal construction of the Vlora Airport

Environmental groups challenge the contract for the construction of Vlora International Airport as null due to the irregularities and the violation of laws. The airport, which is already under construction, is a massive threat to the natural ecosystem of the Vjosë-Nartë Protected Landscape. The development permit was issued before the finalization of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and the EIA process itself is irregular and not in compliance with general requirements according to the law.

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