Patagonia

Discover the Blue Heart

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.

The Threatened Balkan Rivers

The Hydropower Gold Rush

More than 3,000 hydropower dams and diversions are either proposed or in the process of being built in the Balkans, in addition to the more than 1,000 that already exist. These dams will cause irreversible damage to rivers, wildlife and local communities.

  • 1,003 existing dams
  • 188 in-progress dams
  • 2,798 proposed dams

Explore the Balkan region

Above the Željeznica River near Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

80% of Balkan Rivers Are Very Healthy

(The opposite of rivers in central Europe.)

A hydromorphology assessment on 35,000 kilometers of Balkan rivers found that 30 percent are pristine and 50 percent are very healthy—the highest percentages in Europe.

The Željeznica River near Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Europe’s Last Undammed River Is in Albania

Over 270 kilometers of Albania’s Vjosa River are untamed and free-flowing—including all of its tributaries. On the Vjosa and its tributaries, 38 hydropower dams are proposed.

A beautiful bend in the Vjosa river seen from Tepelenë, Albania.

Famous polyphonic singer, Golik Jaupi, and friends in Albania.

Flotilla protest on the lush banks of the mighty Vjosa River in Albania.

A Threatened Biodiversity Hotspot

If the dams are built, thirty endangered species are at risk and 69 endemic fish species threatened, including the Danube salmon. The Balkan lynx is also extremely vulnerable.

The Una River in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The threatened Huchen, or Danube salmon

The Una River in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dam protesters on the Kruščica River, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Rivers in National Parks Aren’t Safe

Nearly 1,500 dams are proposed or being built in protected areas, with 118 in national parks. The number of proposed projects in these areas has doubled since 2015.

Panajot Chorovski, a Balkan lynx conservationist in Macedonia.

Endangered lynx cub discovered in Mavrovo National Park.

91 Percent Will Provide Little Energy

A vast amount of planned Balkan Hydropwer dams are smaller then 10MW installed capacity. No environmental impact assessment is required for projects of this size.

The unfinished Kalivaç Dam on the Vjosa River near the city of Tepelena, Albania.

Lengarica Canyon in the Pindus Mountains, Albania.

Meet the Activists

Activists are fighting to save their homes and the rivers and lands that define them, using their voices to tell the world what is happening in their backyards.

Albania
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Macedonia
Vjosa

Nataša Crnković

Nataša Crnković works with the Centre for Environment on nature conservation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, advocating for protected rivers with a focus on engaging local communities.

Luka Tomac

A Croatian muralist and photographer, Luka Tomac utilizes art combined with activism to fight dams near Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina—a wild place he loved as a child.

Olsi Nika, EcoAlbania

An NGO founded in 2014, EcoAlbania is a collective of professors, biologists and social workers protecting and educating others about the natural ecosystems of Albania.

Save the Blue Heart of Europe

Tell International Banks to Stop Investing in the Destruction of Europe’s Last Wild Rivers

Sign the Petition

01

The Dam Truth

Dams are Dirty and so is the hydropower they create.

Learn

02

Discover the Blue Heart

The Balkan region has preserved the last wild rivers on the European continent.

Explore

03

Save the Blue Heart

Tell International Banks to Stop Investing in the Destruction of Europe’s Last Wild Rivers.

Take Action

Get the word out

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