Anka Makovec – The lady that defined what is possible in river conservation

I was born in Slovenia beside the beautiful mountain river Soca, a blue-green jewel from our Alps. That deep love for pristine Nature went everywhere with me when my spirit of adventure took me to the other side of the world, finishing up on a magic island of Tasmania, home to now world renown – wild river Franklin. 

anka-webThe Balkan Rivers Tour

Only when you personally experience such enchantment, you will begin to understand WHY so many love it so deeply. It was in the early 1980s that the news hit the headlines that the huge dam is going to be built in our beloved wilderness. We soon realised that our unique treasure could soon be lost, drowned under a huge Hydro lake. It shook people deeply when the stark truth was out.

Before long, the news kept showing streets packed with protest marches, right across the country. SAVE THE FRANKLIN, SAVE THE WILDERNESS slogans kept appearing everywhere! On banners, t-shirts, caps, shop windows and cars. The money worshiping people raised their anger calling for more industrial developments. Their banners declared: DAM IT!

The political establishment sided with them, starting to roll in the machinery and boats filled with the police force, to keep the green protesters at bay. In the capital of Hobart, conservationist

Dr. Bob Brown, called a public meeting for immediate action plans. He insisted ours will be a peaceful stance, strictly a non-violent direct action. The community started to divide into the

Pro and Against camps with unreal speed. Press and protesters created a real human tide. Bob knew that I was recently involved in similar events in my home country, together with my part of the Mihelic family in Bovec, teaching me all about the Non-violent Actions.

So I was sent to the town of Strahan on the West coast to open and run the Wilderness Society Centre as the meeting place for our direct actions.

These were hectic times involving also Tasmanian Aboriginal group who made it possible that the area was put on the World Heritage List, and thus saved for all time.

You are on great path to do similar things with the project Balkan Rivers Tour and we are with you with all compassion!

The Balkan Rivers Tour is a joint activity by Leeway Collective, EuroNatur, Riverwatch, and WWF, organized within the framework of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign. Without any regard for protected areas, endangered species or local communities, about 2,700 hydropower plants are projected to be built between Slovenia and Albania. With this campaign, we want to stop this dam tsunami.

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