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The brave women of  Kruščica have stood guard on the access bridge, 24 hours a day, for over 300 days, in order to prevent construction of a hydropower plant © Andrew Burr

A major court victory has been won by the Brave Women of Kruščica, a group of activists protecting their river from the threat of dam construction. The competent court in BiH this week ruled that the environmental permit for dam construction should be annulled immediately, meaning that any further construction work on the proposed dam is illegal.

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. 

Riverwatch (Ulrich Eichelmann and Cornelia Wieser) at the Drina Regatta, protesting dam projects in the name of the threatened Huchen. © Nataša Crnković

++ 20,000 people at this year's event on Drina River in Serbia ++ NGO's protested against damming the globally most important Huchen (Danube Salmon) River ++ At this year’s event, NGOs in cooperation with angling (fishing) associations protested against hydropower plans for the first time in the 24-year history of the regatta.

The unfinished Kalivaç dam. Now, a new concession shall revive its construction. © Roland Dorozhani

++ Albanian government re-opens the concession procedure for the Kalivaç HPP ++ NGOs prepare their opposition ++ After 20 years of construction postponements, the Albanian government decided to cancel the contract for the unfinished hydropower project Kalivaç on the Vjosa river in Albania. Shortly after, the Ministry of Energy and Industry opened the procedures for re-issuing the concession.

Attorney Vladimir Meçi, interviewed by Albanian media after the Court announced its decision. This was the first-ever environmental lawsuit in Albania. © Olta Hadushaj

++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.

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