BALKAN RIVERS TOUR 5 | Sava: Bohinj to Belgrade
We need your ideas and action!
39 days. 4 countries. 1.000km of kayaking. 1 River. The Sava.
April 24th – June 1st 2020.
The Sava River. It’s an icon of the Balkans, and a river that connects Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The Sava is incredibly rich, wild and important to the cities and towns along its length. But all of this is threatened by up to 14 new dams planned to be built on the Sava and 500 new dams planned on its tributaries.
Our crazy BRD crew will kayak the entire length of the Sava River. Joined along the way by people that understand the importance of wild rivers, we will spend 39 days and 1.000 km in our kayaks using only paddles to get us from the source in the Julian Alps of Slovenia to the confluence with Danube in the white city of Belgrade, Serbia.
During the 39 days of kayaking (from April 24th till June 1st) we will bring together locals, nature conservation organizations, kayakers, fishermen, scientists, schools, media outlets and decision makers to show how incredible and important the Sava catchment is for wildlife and local residents and how foolish it would be to destroy all that with new dams, destructive gravel extraction and dredging.
WHY KAYAK 1.000 KM?
To show how diverse the Sava is.
To see the many different animal and plant species that still call it home.
To explore how the flood forests protect cities along its banks.
To get to know the many incredible tributaries that add to the Sava’s waters.
And to understand how it connects different landscapes, nations and traditions while remaining the river which defines the Balkan peninsula.
COME PADDLE WITH US!
We are inviting you to paddle the Sava with us for the first and the last stage of the BRT5 program. Become part of the BRT5 team and paddle the smaller stretches of river with simple logistics, and more manageable paddling for recreation paddlers. Full program for those days can be found and downloaded here. The middle stages (2&3) of BRT5 will entail long days of fast paddling, where the team will cover 45+ km of flat water every day, sleeping on the river banks with limited support. When we paddle through towns and cities everyone is welcome to join, but the exhausting long days are for the BRT5 team only.
BRT5 NEEDS YOUR IDEAS!
Put your ideas into action and become part of the BRT5 Team
It is time to prove the fight for rivers in the Balkans is more than a project, it is a movement!
Got some cool ideas? Want to make a difference? Ready to take action and get involved in the fight for wild rivers? You already fight for rivers and would just like to join forces for this event? Plan your own River Action and become a part of the tour!
WHAT IS A BRT5 RIVER ACTION + HOW TO MAKE ONE?
River Actions are where your ideas come to life. You have the freedom to come up with your own action on the Sava or a tributary. It could be your home river, on a river you know or a completely unknown river in the Sava catchment.
It can be a kayaking trip, a bike trip or a hiking trip along a tributary. Or maybe you have a citizen science project with your school. A garbage clean up and a football game! A protest and a picnic! An art installment or day of painting. Any combination works, as long as it’s for a river, on a river of the Sava catchment!
1. Fill out the form to get your idea heard! Form available here: BRT5 River Action Application Form
2. Wait for the BRT5 team to get in touch with you to approve your event.
3. Start making connections, spreading the word, and planning your action. If it involves participation of others, we will give you posters and a social media promo package to get people excited about your event.
4. We will list your action on our interactive River Action Map and on out FB page and in return you will send us a 1-2 page long summary (after your action) with 5-10 photos or short video so we can create a portfolio of all the BRT5 River Actions and deliver it to decision makers and especially investors into destructive hydro power schemes to show that there is a web of connected river defenders in the Balkans!
Our goal is to have more River Actions than proposed dams!
WHY THE SAVA NEEDS HELP?
There are many threats that the Sava faces:
- With 9 existing (highly destructive) hydro power plants on Sava river in Slovenia, there are plans for as many as 14 new HPPs in Slovenia and Croatia
- The creation of a channel cutting a corner out of the Sava to connect it to the Danube in Croatia.
- Many other industrial activities like dredging for navigation and gravel extraction threaten and damage the river and could ultimately kill one of the last corridors for wildlife in Europe.
- More than 500 new HPPs planned throughout the Sava catchment, on tributaries that feed this rich river.
WHAT WILL BRT5 SHOUT?
No new dams on the Sava. Why?
- The Sava is an integral part of Europe’s greater freshwater ecosystem, home to Natura 2000 and IUCN Red List species.
- It is an amazing climate change mitigation tool with active flood forests that keep towns and cities safer than they would otherwise be.
- The Sava needs better biodiversity protection measures as well as support for sustainable ecotourism and local economy which can produce more revenue than destructive industry.
Instead of mass destruction through HPPs, which would be heavily subsidized by tax payer’s money- your money – enabling rampant corruption and completely unnecessary devastation, we demand from decision makers and investment institutions to back out from hydro and support cheaper and true green alternatives. What this means on the ground? Install solar panels on existing infrastructure, wind turbines on highways and start the transition to sustainable economy with smaller general power consumption.
Combined into one simple concept…
Give the Sava more space through the creation of new
protected areas and the restoration of degraded stretches of rivers.
BECOME AN ACTIVE PART OF BRT5!