Led by former Slovenian Olympic athlete Rok Rozman, kayakers from all over Europe will paddle the most stunning Balkan rivers between April 16 and May 20.
The so-called "Balkan Rivers Tour" is an activity against the dam tsunami which is threatening to destroy the unique river landscape on the Balkan Peninsula. Without any regard for protected areas, endangered species or local communities, about 2,700 hydropower are projected to be built between Slovenia and Albania. Banks and companies from West European countries such as Austria, Germany or Italy are involved in many of these project.
Under umbrella of campaign Save the Blue Heart of Europe the project started on April 16th in Slovenia and will be end on May 20th in Albania. It will encompass 6 countries, 18 rivers, 11 events and in 35 days connect outdoor enthusiasts, passion, science, Nature conservation organizations, outdoor brands and top rated media in a mix that will be working together in order to raise awareness and directly address decision makers with our demands for last free flowing Rivers of the continent to be preserved.
After 8 days of the Balkan Rivers Tour 200 people protest against the dam construction at the Sana river in Bosnia and Herzegovina
An international alliance of 200 kayakers, anglers, residents and nature conservationists protested on the river Sana in Bosnia and Herzegovina against the hydropower plant "Medna", which is currently under construction. Constructor is the Austrian-German energy company KELAG. The Sana is one of the last remaining rivers in Europe that host healthy populations of the Huchen (Hucho hucho), a species that is globally threatened and popular amongst anglers. "We won't give up the Sana and our fight against the KELAG" says Nataša Crnković from the Center for Environment – an organisation that has tried to prevent this project for seven years together with 22 more organisations that form the Coalition for Sana.
„What the KELAG is doing on one of the most important Huchen rivers is just shameful. Neither in Germany, nor in Austria would they get away with it", so Ulrich Eichlemann from Riverwatch and coordinator of the "Save the Blue Heart of Europe" campaign.
"Bosnia and Herzegovina has the most stunning rivers in Europe. Rivers like the Sana, Una or Neretva are unique. Anglers, kayakers, nature conservationists – we all must join forces to prevent the dam craze here and on the entire Balkan Peninsula", so Rok Rozman, organiser of the Balkan Rivers Tour. Following the protest picnic, the kayakers paddled the Sana through the construction site and downstream.
Follow the events here.