The Article of Metamag “More Dams in Europe threat to future of wild fish” written by Emily Macintosh is about the impact which the planned hydropower plants across Europe have on the size of fish populations. Around 2700 dams are planned to be built between Slovenia and Greece. Free flowing rivers in the Balkans are particularly under threat, such as the Vjosa in Albania, the largest and last untamed river in Europe. A new report published from researchers at the University of Graz in Austria showed that nearly one in 10 of Europe’s fish species could face extinction as a result of expanding hydropower in the western Balkans. According to Sergiy Moroz (Senior Policy Officer for Water and Biodiversity at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB)) fragmenting rivers with dams, barrages and other infrastructure is a key reason for the significant losses of fish and other freshwater species across Europe, as well as for the terrible state of many of our water bodies.
Since 2005, a BankWatch study estimates that 727 million Euros of loans for Balkan dams and diversions have been provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank Group. This includes 37 projects in protected areas like national parks and Natura 2000 sites, or internationally recognised areas of high biodiversity value such as Important Bird Areas. The ‘Save the Blue Heart of Europe’ is calling on international banks to stop supporting hydropower projects in the region.
To read the full article click here.