Sunday, October 24, 2021

Balkan green activists join forces in fight to save rivers

Must read

imageCommodities7 minutes ago (Jul 03, 2021 12:01PM ET)

(C) Reuters. Environmentalists from across the Balkans hold a press conference after a meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina July 3, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic


By Daria Sito-Sucic

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Activists from more than 20 environmental organisations in the Balkans joined forces in Bosnia’s capital on Saturday to campaign against hydroelectric dams in the region.

Representatives from green groups in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia formed an association with the motto “Let’s Defend the Balkan Rivers” to pressure their respective lawmakers to ban dams.

There has been a boom in the construction of mini hydropower plants throughout the Western Balkans over the past decade or so, helped by government subsidies for renewable energy projects and guaranteed contracts to buy the electricity produced.

“The whole Balkans has been under attack,” said Robert Oroz, whose organisation has been fighting to stop the Zeljeznica River in central Bosnia being dammed for four years.

As the activists gathered by a river in Sarajevo, however, dozens of angry protesters who said they were employed by companies making parts for hydropower plants tried to disrupt a news conference to announce the new green association.

“This movement in the Balkans is unique in Europe,” said Anes Podic from the Sarajevo-based Eko Akcija. “If it was not for the activists, all our rivers would have long been set in concrete.”

Environmental activists are slowly becoming a respectable force in a region where no green political party has yet been registered. European Union member Croatia is leading the way, where the new mayor of Zagreb is a long-time green activist.

In Serbia, some environmental organisations have formed alliances and are preparing to run in local elections next year.

“Simply, the people have gathered around something which is not dividing them,” said Serbian environmental activist Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta.

“The protection of nature is the only topic which makes sense to the people after 30 years of hopelessness,” he said, referring to the period following the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

Balkan green activists join forces in fight to save rivers

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Latest article