In April, about 30 scientists paparticipated in one week of research on the previously almost unexplored Vjosa river in Albania. All experts were amazed by the complexity and sheer size of the river system and every expertise found species, habitat types, dynamic river processes, that have been long lost on all regulated rivers in central Europe. Watch this 3-minute video, featuring stunning drone footage of the extensive Vjosa river landscape.
The ZDF planet e documentary “Hydropower Madness - The destruction of rivers in the Balkans” about the dam craze putting these rivers at risk received the documentary award of the International Wlodzimierz Puchalski Nature Film Festival Lodz. Congratulations to Birgit Hermes from the ZDF!
For seven years now, Blue Heart partner Center for Environment and the entire Coalition for Sana are gathering at the sources of Sana River in order to fight the construction of hydropower plant Medna, which is being constructed by the Austrian-German Kelag company. The Sana is one of the last remaining rivers that provides habitat for the endangered Huchen.
++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.
They are still alive - the Huchen in the free-flowing Mura in Graz! However, their surrival is at risk!! Previous restauration efforts of the Mura are now being irreversibly destroyed by the start of the construction of the hydropower project in Graz. Watch this video about the fish species "Huchen" in Graz and Franz Keppel - a fighter for fish and rivers. Enjoy! (Sorry, in German only)
Find out in this video what a lower water level as a consequence of hydropower means for fish. The problem of "shallow water zones" due to reservoir flushing has been known for years. The ecological effects on river and fauna are immense. Sorry, in German only. !!Warning: this video contains disturbing images!!
Watch this short video by Uwe Koenzen about the impacts of hydropower based on Soča River. The clip shows the high protection value of the upper Soča as well as die already degraded lower course due to hydropower use. Sorry, in German only (English version planned)!
The Altenau is a creek in Germany, close to Paderborn. In consequence of a flood, it was canalised and impounded since the 1970s. However, decades of dedication finally paid off: the Altenau is now being restored. Recently, another river section was given back to nature.
“Rivers probably are the most endangered habitat of all, but also they are one of the best habitats for restoring. A good restoration project can increase the fish populations very fast if the remaining densities are not too low” Since 2010 the Duero River Basin Authority has removed more than 115 barriers, reconnecting more than 700 km of rivers. Watch their clip!
For everyone who missed the Planet E program “Madness Hydropower – River destruction in the Balkans” on ZDF yesterday – you can now watch it online! Also, don’t miss out on the interviews with Ulrich Eichelmann (Riverwatch CEO) and Ulrike Lunacek (Vice President of the EU Parliament) that weren’t featured in the program...