Neretva Science Week


The first Neretva Science Week took place from 28th of June - 3rd of July, 2022. A second Neretva Science Week is currently being planned. 

A 6-day long event with a diverse team of biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists, that followed...
THE MISSION to contribute to protecting rivers as knowledgeable experts and scientists, with...
THE AIM of collecting data and increasing visibility for a unique river system, by...
THE APPROACH of concentrating relevant expertises in an inspiring collaborative field campaign.


gathered a diverse team of 50 biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists with the common mission of contributing to protecting rivers. They collected data to showcase what is at risk when a unique river is threatened by hydropower development. They concentrate their relevant expertises in an inspiring collaborative field campaign. The preliminary report is available here.

Wilderness. The Alder forest surrounding the upper Neretva is a key part to this unique riverine ecosystem © Vladimir Tadic



is a 230 km long river flowing through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia before its confluence with the Adriatic Sea. While larger parts of the river network are already reservoirs, the upper “Gorni Neretva” and its tributaries can still be considered free- flowing. Here, the river constitutes the heart of a karstic valley widely regarded as a natural heritage of regional significance. This part of the river is threatened with the construction of at least 25 new dams. Now is a critical moment to collect data to provide evidence of what is at risk if hydropower development continues in this valley, and increase public visibility of these valuable ecosystems.



In addition to the 40+ scientists that will be active during the science week, we invited an artist from Sarajevo to join the event. During participatory sessions with the scientists, she captured the findings of the scientists, as well as the atmosphere, in beautiful graphics.
Secondly, Levente Koppány, a chef de cuisine joined us to cook for all participants during one of the evenings. Levente was recently a finalist chef on a young chef competition in Milano.

The scientists celebrating the intact and diverse Neretva River at the Ulog bridge.
The scientists celebrating the intact and diverse Neretva River at the Ulog bridge. © Vladimir Tadic



as part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, which calls for scientists to help protecting important rivers, to assess data and also to speak up for saving the free-flowing rivers against dam projects in the Balkans. It followed the model of the Vjosa Science Weeks (see this video for an impression) and engaged local as well as international scientists in research on the Neretva and surrounding rivers, for this week, and in the long run.

For more information contact:

Gabriel Singer
Lead scientist Neretva Science Week
University of Innsbruck

Sandra Josović
Communication for Center of Environment, BiH

Vera Knook
Scientists for Balkan Rivers Coordinator


Sunset during the Neretva Science Week © Vladimir Tadic


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