On Sunday, about 5000 people protested in Belgrade against the planned construction of hundreds of hydropower plants in Serbia © Radomir Duvnjak

Yesterday, around 5,000 people took to the streets in Belgrade to protest against the sell-off of the rivers in Serbia, particularly against the planned construction of hundreds of hydropower projects. More than 850 hydropower plants are officially planned in Serbia, about 200 of which within nature reserves such as national parks, nature parks, etc.

The brave women of Kruščica celebrating as they vacate the bridge after over 500 days and nights. © Sediva fotografie/ Arnika

 ++ The women left the bridge after more than 500 days and nights ++ Good news close to Christmas: on December 14th, the people of Kruščica in Bosnia and Herzegovina won a crucial court case against two hydropower projects that were planned on their little river. The court stopped all dam plans.

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today.

The countries in the Balkans are facing a dilemma: they must fulfill the EU renewable targets while also follow environmental legislation. This raises the question: Is it possible to increase the renewable energy share AND keep the Balkan Rivers alive? We commissioned an energy expert with this question and his study shows that there is no need for new hydropower!

We all need water to survive. But without healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands, there is no water. The sources of Europe’s water are protected under EU law – but many EU governments want to weaken the law. Together, we MUST stop this from happening. The European Commission now wants you to have your say through its public consultation. This is your only chance to tell them to keep our water law strong.

Between September 27th and 29th 2018, Sarajevo became the center of European river conservationists and dam opponents. At the first European Rivers Summit, about 250 people from over 30 countries discussed how to stop the destruction of Europe’s rivers from hydropower, how to protect the last free-flowing river jewels in the long run and how to restore those already destroyed.

At the first European Rivers Summit held in Sarajevo, between September 27-29, participants expressed their emotions for their rivers! The rivers are different, but the message is always the same: Save Europe's Rivers - Stop the Dams!

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