In the framework of the project “Saving Europe’s last free flowing wild river – Vjosa/Aoos”, Pindos Perivallontiki is organizing an evening, on 22/11/2018, at 20:00, at the hall Dim. Chatzi (Palaia Sfageia), dedicated to the Aoos/Vjosa river and the Balkan rivers in general. The aim is to raise public awareness of the threats facing the Balkan river ecosystems, the “blue heart” of Europe. At the same time, we will learn about the resistances that are developing at local and international level to counter these threats and protect the last free-flowing rivers in Europe.
The programme of the event includes:
– Screening of the documentary film “Blue Heart”: a new documentary by Patagonia telling the story of the struggle to prevent the destruction of Europe’s last free-flowing rivers by the construction of 3,000 hydroelectric projects. We will see moving examples of struggle from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and FYROM.
– Update from Olsi Nika (EcoAlbania) on the situation of the Aoos/Vjosa river and the struggles on the Albanian side for its protection.
– Information by Yannis Papadimitriou (member of the Network of Ecological Organizations of Epirus) on the international coordination efforts to save Europe’s rivers.
A few words about the film:
the fight to save Europe’slast wild rivers
Patagonia’s latest documentary film, “Blue Heart”, describes the battle to save Europe’s last free-flowing rivers, and aims to raise global awareness of a potential environmental disaster in Europe. In the Balkan Peninsula, home to the last free-flowing rivers in Europe, more than 3,000 hydroelectric projects are planned that threaten to destroy the natural and man-made environment of the region. If the fierce resistance of the locals is overcome, an ecosystem of 20,000 kilometres of crystal-clear, rushing water will be destroyed forever by thousands of dams and diversions, while in the Western World dam construction is frozen.
“This incredible number of dams and diversions being planned in the Balkans will result in an irreversible environmental disaster, but few people in Europe and around the world realize this,” said Ryan Gellert, Patagonia’s General Manager. “We hope that this film will bring global attention to the local communities fighting to protect the free-flowing rivers in their area and provide information to the world about what dams really are: technologically outdated and environmentally destructive.”
“I believe that wildlife should and deserves to be protected. To destroy it because of an expensive and outdated technology is a waste of resources and a moral outrage,” says Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia.
The film, a Patagonia production in collaboration with European NGOs, some from the Balkans, directed by Britton Caillouette, seeks to contribute to the wider effort to raise global awareness of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign. Through the film and the campaign, Patagonia is asking people to take action directly and join the signature campaign to put pressure on international investment groups and banks that finance the construction of dams, even in protected areas.