It's time we told the dam truth

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It's time we told the dam truth


Patagonia is launching its largest ever European campaign today, but it's not about selling hiking jackets. The company is a standard bearer for protecting the last wild rivers in Europe from destruction and pollution. The campaign, Save the Blue Heart of Europe, will be followed by a documentary released in April.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Fri 16 Mar 2018

The Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign by sustainable clothing brand Patagonia, is built around the brand's upcoming documentary which focuses on 3,000 proposed hydropower projects planned for the Balkan region. 

The proposed dams and infrastructure will threaten to destroy the richly diverse culture, history and ecology of the region known as the Blue Heart of Europe. Patagonia's film, Blue Heart, follows local activists protesting the pollution of their homes and rivers and the brand has partnered with local NGOs to help oppose the foreign investment that's fuelling the water-speculation rush.

According to a Bankwatch report released today, 16 March 2018, there is over €700 million pouring into invest it the dam-building projects - but over a third of these are planned in protected areas, including 118 projects in national parks. If the opposition fails, communities will be displaced and some of the last undamned watersheds in Europe will be irreversibly changed.

118 of the new hydropower projects in the Balkans are located in national parks

“It’s a waste of money and a moral travesty that some of the world’s largest financial institutions have embraced this outdated and exploitative technology and are financing new dams in some of the last wild places in Europe. Join us in stopping the construction of these dams and protecting Europe’s remaining wild rivers. This is a fight too important to ignore," says Yvon Chouinard, founder, Patagonia.

Patagonia has also set up a website that introduces the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Macedonia to interested people and looks at why hydropower dams are so destructive to the local environment. The film, Blue Heart, will be released in April. 

You can join Patagonia, by signing the petition here.