grough — Out of doors model Patagonia launches Blue Coronary heart marketing campaign to avoid wasting European rivers

Bob Smith, Editor
Thursday 05 April 2018 08:30 PM GMT
Final up to date at Thursday 05 April 2018 08:32 PM GMT

Ulrich Eichelmann, the founding father of the Vienna-based NGO RiverWatch, on the Kalivaç Dam on the Vjosa River in Albania. Picture: Andrew Burr/Blue Coronary heart

A California-based outside firm has launched a multimedia marketing campaign to attempt to save what it says are Europe’s final wild rivers.

Patagonia, famend for its moral stance on environmental issues, has produced a documentary movie and web site and is urging outside fans to signal its petition.

It goals to discourage worldwide banks from investing within the constructing of dams within the Balkans.

The Blue Coronary heart marketing campaign is devoted to defending the rivers on the Balkan peninsula, the place quite a few hydro schemes are deliberate which, it says, threaten a possible environmental catastrophe.

Greater than 3,000 initiatives are deliberate, Patagonia mentioned.

The corporate, based by climber Yvon Chouinard in 1973, mentioned: “Within the Balkan peninsula between Slovenia and Albania, hydropower initiatives threaten to destroy the richly numerous tradition, historical past and ecology of the area often called the Blue Coronary heart of Europe.

“Native activists residing alongside these rivers are combating to avoid wasting their houses and the rivers and lands that outline them. Vigilant and steadfast ladies from the village of Kruščica, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, sat night time and day for nearly a yr in peaceable protest to guard their communities’ rivers and their solely supply of ingesting water, enduring bodily violence from authorities to take action.

“European and native NGOs led by RiverWatch and Euronatur are opposing authorities corruption and international funding that fuels this hydropower gold rush.”

A flotilla protest on the banks of the Vjosa River in Albania, the largest of the last untamed rivers in Europe. Photo: Andrew Burr/Blue Heart

A flotilla protest on the banks of the Vjosa River in Albania, the biggest of the final untamed rivers in Europe. Picture: Andrew Burr/Blue Coronary heart

Patagonia is becoming a member of with native communities and NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Macedonia to place strain on international builders and banks which might be pouring over €700 million to fund the dam-building initiatives, in accordance with a Bankwatch report.

The California firm says one-third of the dams and diversions are deliberate inside delicate protected areas together with 118 in nationwide parks. “If this fierce native opposition fails, communities shall be displaced and the final undammed watersheds on the continent shall be irreversibly broken.”

Patagonia’s Blue Coronary heart web site options what it describes as an endangered and forgotten area and particulars why hydropower dams are soiled know-how that don’t belong within the inexperienced power combine.

Patagonia, together with NGO companions, is asking involved residents around the globe to signal the petition to cease the funding of those dams and shield the final wild rivers of Europe.

Mr Chouinard mentioned: “I imagine this wild place requires and deserves safety.

“It’s a waste of cash and an ethical travesty that a number of the world’s largest monetary establishments have embraced this outdated and exploitative know-how and are financing new dams in a number of the final wild locations in Europe. This can be a struggle too vital to disregard.”

Patagonia mentioned, whereas the motion to decommission dams and shift to wash power is rising worldwide, the variety of proposed initiatives within the Balkan area has doubled since 2015. “Ninety-one p.c of the proposed dams and diversions will present little or no power and are extraordinarily costly to construct and keep,” it mentioned. “Due to their measurement, they require no environmental impression evaluation.”

The UK public premiere of the Blue Coronary heart movie will happen on 2 Might. Particulars are on the Blue Coronary heart web site.  Supporters of the marketing campaign can even signal an internet petition.

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