The Blue Heart of Europe is an international campaign created to bring awareness about a relatively unknown threat for the main water basins in Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula.
“Nowhere else on the continent can one find such a tremendous number and variety of pristine, wild rivers, crystal clear streams, extensive gravel banks, untouched alluvial forests, deep gorges, spectacular waterfalls, and even karstic underground rivers.”
These unique areas are threatened and planned to be dammed on a large scale. 2,683 hydropower plants are projected to be built in the next few years – commonly with support of businesses and loans from inside the European Union and beyond.
Planned hydropower plants
“These rivers are one of the most important hotspots for European biodiversity, especially fish and molluscs, hosting many threatened as well as endemic species. Rare vegetation communities and water depended fauna can be found not only in these very rivers, but also in adjacent alluvial habitats (…)
Did you know that the Balkan rivers host 69 fish species that live only here and nowhere else in the world? Or did you know that over 40% of all endangered freshwater mussels and snails of Europe can be found in these freshwater systems?”
The Blue Heart of Europe project focuses mainly on 3 Key Areas:
- Vjosa River – Albania (one of Europe’s last living wild rivers)
- Marvrovo National Park – Macedonia (one of Europe’s oldest national parks)
- Sava River – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia (Sava River (944km long) connects four countries and more than 8 million people who live in and from its catchment area)
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