Balkan Rivers Tour 3: Protest, art and river sports on wild rivers

The Balkan Rivers Tour returns for the third year in a row to Vjosa to make policymakers and the public aware of the importance of free rivers and to give a voice to residents affected by the inappropriate development of hydropower plants. Balkan Rivers Defense from Slovenia and EcoAlbania will hold several activities in the Vjosa Valley and in Tirana on September 7-10, 2018.

Tour of the Balkan rivers 3

The Balkan Rivers Tour (BRT) started as a crazy idea and turned into the largest direct river protection action in Europe. When former Olympic athlete, kayaker and biologist Rok Rozman started the tour in 2016, his goal was simple: to have fun kayaking the rivers of the Balkans and expose the devastation that hydropower is causing in the region. After extensive international media coverage and protests in the Balkans during the first tour, the BRT has returned to an annual kayaking and protest tour where everyone is welcome to join to travel and paddle the rivers of the Balkans, discovering the fascinating wild rivers and the untouched wild nature of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. Using whitewater kayaks as a tool to shine a spotlight on little-known rivers being destroyed by dams big and small, BRT gets the attention of decision-makers, then passes the megaphone to local residents, who demand that the rivers theirs to remain wild, protected and free.

The protest. (c) EcoAlbania

BRT 3 activities start in Vjosa

This year, the tour of the Balkan rivers starts at the Vjosa river!

The activities that will take place will combine kayaking, protests, film screenings and everyone is welcome to join in every stage and activity of the tour.

  • On Friday, dt. 07.09.2018 kayaking begins in Vjosa, in the Këlcyrë-Tepelën stream (10:00 – 15:00). At 19:00 the movie “The Unharmed” will be shown near the Cultural Center in Tepelena.
  • On Saturday, dt. 08.09.2018 kayaking continues in one of the most beautiful and at the same time most threatened parts of Vjosa, in the Tepelenë-Pocem stream (11:00-16:00). Kayakers will be welcomed by local residents at the Pocem bridge (the place where the Pocem dam is planned to be built) and where a protest action is expected to take place. Meanwhile, in the evening, the campsite will be set up near Hotel Poçemi.

In the following days, the activities that will be carried out in Tirana follow.

  • Sunday, dt. 09.09.2018, at 19:00, the movie “The Undamaged” will be shown at Kinema Agimi.
  • On Monday, dt. 10.09.2018, a protest will be held by tour participants, residents of the areas affected by the planned Poçem and Kalivaç hydropower plants and citizens of Tirana at Piramida, at 10:00.