RiverWatch, an international organization dedicated to the protection of rivers and watercourses in the Balkans and the fight against water exploitation, together with the Center for the environment (FoE Bosnia and Herzegovina), with the help of many artists from the region, launched an online campaign “Artists for Balkan Rivers”, this Sunday on World music day.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of alarming plans to build more than 3,000 small hydropower plants on rivers in the wider Balkans, of which, alone in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than 400 are planned or are already under construction. Wanting to point out the importance of our rivers in the sustainable future of coming generations, the goal of campaign is to familiarize the general public with the issue of river exploitation and education on the harmfulness of investing in small hydropower plants and observing rivers as an energy source instead of a source of life.
The campaign “Artists for Balkan Rivers” was symbolically launched on World Music Day, and its leaders are many Balkan artists – musicians, writers, painters, photographers, directors, actors, designers, who all selflessly contributed to this cause.
Among others, the campaign is supported by: Darko Rundek, Dževad Karahasan, Rambo Amadeus, Selma Alispahić, Jelena Milušić, Gino Srđan Jevđević, Marko Tomaš, Aida Čorbadžić, Rikardo Druškić, Martina Mlinarević Sopta, Dinno Kasalo, Selma Spahić, Mona Šeratović, Far Marko Feher, Mort, Haris Pasovic, Selvedin Avdic, Orhan Maslo, Smirna Kulenovic, Sead Sashivarevic, Mario Knezovic, Zdravko Cvjetkovic, Elma Tetargic, Marija Sestic, Mevludin Sejmenovic, Dado Dzihan, Aleksandra Nina Knezevic, Sanel Maric Mara, Sassja, Lala , Milutin Sretenović, Muhamed Kafedžić, Enes Zlatar, Mostar Sevdah Reunion, Emina Hodžić Adilović, Soraja Ćehić, Marina Mimoza, Basheskia, Ermin Bravo, Vedrana Tais, and many others.
“Art is a thread that has always had the power to bring people together and provide new ideas, so it is especially encouraging that with us we have our musicians, as well as many writers, theater workers and other creators. We believe that those, whose vocation is emotion, will inspire many to raise their voices strong enough to be heard, and that together with them we all will send a clear message for the preservation of our rivers and the environment. We hope that this very message will be brought by a river of people, there where it needs to be delivered”, stated Redžib Skomorac, coordinator of the campaign “Save the blue heart of Europe” in BiH.
He also added that “it is time when the short-term exploitation of natural resources has to be replaced by longer-term goals for which legitimacy will be given by all citizens, and that the exploitation of drinking water will remain only in history textbooks.”
The blue heart of Europe, which beats the strongest in the rivers of the Balkans, is in great danger of disappearing. Almost all watercourses in the Balkans are threatened with irreversible destruction, and thus the disappearance of other natural resources, ecosystems, as well as a significant impact on local communities throughout the region is inevitable. Specifically, the construction of small hydropower plants, especially by encouraging private capital investment in renewable energy sources, which is often subject to corruption, is one of the biggest threats to our rivers and social processes in BiH and the region.
Therefore, we invite all artists and lovers of rivers, as well as all those who know how to be humble enough before the beauties of nature, to hear and spread the messages that the protagonists of this campaign have prepared for us, and which we will publish on our social networks in the coming period.
Let’s save our rivers!