Last year we have granted projects from different parts in the world. This year, applications came again from all over the planet with a large number of applications from the Balkans. Most projects are new initiatives, but we also continue our cooperation with some successful projects from last year.
For example, Balkanka from Bulgaria, received funding for a flow-meter in 2019. Still impressed with how efficiently they work, we decided to support them with equipment again.
We will also continue our support of the Marañón Waterkeeper (MWK) in Peru. Undoubtedly, 2019 was a very successful year for them, but their 2020 is going to be full of highlights. Besides more legal work to finally annul the Chadin II and Veracruz dam concessions and loads of other projects, the MWK is planning a huge "Marañón River Tour". More info on the tour will be out soon!
For the Austrian and German initiative "Wasser ist Leben - Rettet die Saalach" that has been active since 2018, but their struggle for a free flowing Saalach intensified since October 2019. We will support them with their campaigning and legal work throughout 2020 again.
The new initiatives…
"Save the Heart of Kendal" are campaigning for a Natural Flood Management in the river Kent catchment, instead of tolerating the proposed Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme that would include the construction of a large dam.
The "Save Glen Etive" campaign was started in response to the approval of seven hydro power projects on the main tributaries of the River Etive in Scotland, UK. For the initiative there is no legal option to stop the HPP, as the planning process was completed satisfactorily under Scottish planning law. They are now taking every possible measure to draw attention to the problem to still stop the 7 HPP.
Next, there is "Udruženje za sport ekologiju i kulturu Lepenica" (the Association for Sport, Ecology and Culture Lepenica) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, founded only in October 2019 with the goal to prevent two small hydro power plants (SHPP) on Lepenica river. A second organisation from Bosnia and Herzegovina that we will support is Vijogor (find them on Facebook). They are fighting the SHPP "Janjina 2" in the municipality of Cajnice.
An older and more known organisation is TOKA in Albania. TOKA has been fighting the 14 (fourteen!) proposed dams in Valbona valley since 2016. We will support them with equipment to install gauges to monitor water level and discharge in the river.
The amazing Serbian activists…
We will give grants to five groups in Serbia:
"Sokobanjsko ekološko društvo" (The Ecological Society of Sokobanja), "Ecological Association Rzav", "Savez mesnih zajednica Stare planine" (The Association of Local Communities of Stara Mountain), the Local community of the village of Topli Do and the documentary film project "The Roar of the Tiger - Topli Do". The latter three are working together very closely.
Finally, we will be contributing to a short film by two young film makers: Kristof is a master student of applied limnology at BOKU Vienna, Austria, and Jonas studies environmental science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The film will be about the reintroduction of Atlantic salmon in the Rhine river system in Germany.
We are looking forward to a year full of small steps and big jumps for free flowing rivers!
And if you'd like to learn what the ideas behind our choices are then just continue reading.