Saving One of Europe’s Last Free-Flowing Rivers

The joint effort between several countries, under the 'Save the Blue Heart of Europe' umbrella aims to protect the Aoos river.

The remote and untouched Aoos River meandering through Greece and Albania is at the center of a wider campaign called “Save the Blue Heart of Europe.”

It is coordinated by Germany’s EuroNatur, Riverwatch from Austria, IUCN Ecaro, EcoAlbania and Greek partners MedINA, Pindos Environmental and Green Tank. The initiative’s point is “saving one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe: Aoos/Vjosa.”


This effort started in 2017 and now the area between the North Pindos National Park and ​​Mount Grammos, including the Aoos and its tributaries, are protected.

“The reason was the announcement in Albania of large hydroelectric projects which ultimately did not proceed due to reactions,” said Alexandra Pappas, coordinator at MedINA.

She noted that the effort coincided with the debate across Europe to spare 25,000 kilometers of rivers over the next decade from artificial barriers. 

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