A new data set makes the extent of the threat to the Blue Heart of Europe visible: the dam tsunami has started to roll. Currently, about 2,800 hydropower plants are being planned between Slovenia and Greece, 187 are under construction, more than 1,000 (or 37%) are located inside protected areas.
Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find below some video impressions of the event. Also read our press release and check out the photo gallery!
France’s Minister of the Environment Nicolas Hulot has approved the removal of two large hydropower plants. The river Sélune in Normandy will be freed of the 35m high Vezin dam as well as the 15 m high Roche-Qui-Boit dam. Demolition works will start in Spring 2018. This reconnects 90 kilometer of watercourse, facilitating free passage for salmons, eels and many other species.
This article, published first in mid-Novemer in the magazine Undark, explores why some highly developed country have started efforts to take down hydroelectric dams and why countries like Albania insist on repeating the mistakes that are now costing fortunes to rectify. It also prominently features the Vjosa and efforts to save it. Enjoy!
A study investigating hydropower conflicts in Albania reveals alarming circumstances: In these 4 years, 34 people have been arrested; six casualties are recorded, including one murder and one murder attempt. The study confirms that conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and even murder are deeply connected with hydropower development in Albania.
After successfully preventing the construction of two big dam projects inside Mavrovo National Park – one of Europe’s oldest national parks – its rivers and creeks are still threatened by low performing hydro projects. Low performing plants are being promoted under the disguise “small is beautiful”, but they are just as devastating to smaller creeks than big plants are to large rivers. There is nothing green about them, especially not within the boundaries of a national park.
Recently, a report by a team of international lawyers revealed that the plot to kill anti-dam activist Berta Cáceres went up to the top of the Honduran energy company behind the dam, Desarrollos Energéticos, known as ”DESA.” It demonstrates that energy companies not only get away with ecocide and human rights abuses in connection with dam construction, they even kill human beings with impunity.
Read the most recent update of the Initaitive to Keep Hasankeyf Alive: Environmental and heritage destruction have accelerated in Turkey’s historic city of Hasankeyf as crews work day and night, seven days a week to collapse vulnerable portions of the cliffs ringing the town and fill in some 200 caves.
In September, Patagonia took a group of “Change Makers” to the Balkan to explore the stunning rivers, learn about the threats they are facing and what we do to save them. Today, we present to you the first outcome of this trip: a short video about the rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, produced by Grégory Mignard from the “Captain Yvon Association”. Enjoy!
Last Sunday, on October 29, the Albanian Minister for Energy announced, that the Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is to be constructed by the Turkish company Ayen Enerji, in cooperation with the Albanian company Fusha. Ayen Enerji is the same company which already failed the Poçem HPP.