News - Science

Eco-Masterplan shows value of Balkan Rivers

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today by the NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur.

Vjosa Science Expedition

 06/08/2018

Between April 17th and May 6th, eleven scientists from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Albania went on an expedition to collect data on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions for the entire Vjosa river network. With great effort, 300 river kilometers were sampled by use of the most state-of-the-art methods and equipment. During this expedition – led by Dr. Gabriel Singer of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin – the Vjosa’s exceptional value was confirmed once more:

Two new animal species discovered in the area of projected dam on Vjosa

++ International research team finds 300 animal species in only one week, including a new fish and stonefly species ++ Sediment transport could grind electricity generation of the projected hydropower plant Poçem to a halt within 25 years ++ Earlier this year in April, 25 scientists from 4 countries researched the river section of the Vjosa in the area of the projected hydropower plant Poçem.

"Scientists for Vjosa" on Patagonia’s Blog

 09/07/2017

The impressions of the scientific head of the Vjosa research week in April – Dr. Fritz Schiemer – were published on Patagonia’s Blog “The Cleanest Line”. The blog post explains why the Vjosa is so valuable from a scientific point of view and features stunning photos as well as video, showing the scientists at work

Video: Scientists for Vjosa

 08/04/2017

In April, about 30 scientists paparticipated in one week of research on the previously almost unexplored Vjosa river in Albania. All experts were amazed by the complexity and sheer size of the river system and every expertise found something at the Vjosa – species, habitat types, dynamic river processes – that has been long lost on all regulated rivers in central Europe. Watch this 3-minute video about the Scientists for Vjosa week, featuring stunning drone footage of the extensive Vjosa river landscape.

Scientists for Vjosa

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.

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