Save Wild Rivers

Save Wild Rivers

In 2018, we joined forces with activists and NGOs in the Balkans, to save the last wild rivers of Europe from the threat of over 3,000 proposed dams. People are rising up again to protect Europe’s largest wild river the Vjosa, and are fighting to create the first wild river national park in Europe.

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In conservation, you have to be prepared to lose more than you win. But occasionally, you score a big victory.

The untamed and meandering Vjosa is one of Europe’s last wild, living rivers. Thanks to the untiring work of groups such as Balkan Rivers, Euronatur, RiverWatch, and supported by ClientEarth, its future now looks more secure.

Albanian President Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama have given their support to the establishment of a Vjosa National Park. It was also announced this week that the Minister for Environment has rejected the construction of the Kalivaç dam, which would have destroyed this unique river system forever. #savetheblueheartofeurope

Rivers are vital lifelines for our planet, supporting a vast array of biodiversity and providing an important water source for local communities. But with increasing threats, rivers are now the most endangered habitats globally and need a stronger defense force to protect them.

People are rising up to protect Europe’s largest wild river—the Vjosa. This waterway runs untamed from source to sea, embracing a mosaic of habitats and cultures that have been tied to it for thousands of years. Vjosa Forever chronicles the ongoing struggle to secure the future of this unique river system, from political uncertainty and opportunistic greed to the hope of creating a Vjosa National Park (the first of its kind in Europe). With an Albanian election in April of 2021, river-lovers, local citizens and global conservationists fear that this “Queen of Europe" faces its greatest danger yet. At this historic moment, people everywhere have an obligation to speak for the Vjosa; to keep it running wild, forever.

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