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Ulrich Eichelmann says farewell to Hasankeyf, the drowning World Heritage Site. © Riverwatch

From September 10th to 13th I visited Hasankeyf in Turkey and the Tigris for the very last time. I said my goodbyes to residents, the river, the landscape. One of the most significant regions of humanity will be submerged, in the reservoir of the Ilisu dam. Even today, two weeks later, I can barely bring myself to put this into writing. It is literally incomprehensible.

The Balkan region—richly diverse in cultures, languages and history—is home to the last wild rivers on the European continent. The region truly is the Blue Heart of Europe. However, a hydropower gold rush is putting these rivers at risk: Hydropower is the only “renewable” energy source sending species to extinction, displacing people globally, and contributing to climate change.

The Mura in Slovenia © Goran Safarek

In a joint statement sent to the ministry, 100 scientists from Slovenia, Austria, Germany and other European countries expressed their support for the protection of the Mura River and welcome the decree of Minister of Environment Jure Leben to stop hydropower dams. Furthermore, they encourage the Slovenian government for a rapid confirmation of the decree.

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.

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.

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.

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