“The Western Balkan countries are unique, with an enormous number of pristine rivers providing habitats for rare and endemic plants and animals. These jewels of nature are threatened by an uncontrolled boom of hydropower plants, which causes irreversible damage to the natural environment and violates the rights of local communities,” explains project coordinator Zuzana Vachunova from Arnika. The 4 days long summer school intends to bring together the civic society, students, academics and independent experts to the topic of protection of the rivers of Western Balkans. “Our goal is to contribute to strengthened cooperation and campaigning capacities of the civil society organizations throughout the region,” Vachunova adds.
The summer school will be held offline, but it will also provide several online presentations (in English with translation to local language), such as the morning sessions with the anti-dams superheroes from Russia, India, Mozambique, France. “Summer school participants will have a chance to hear and discuss various aspects of campaigning - legal, media and PR, or events/happenings - from both regional and international experts. They will get inspiration from successful initiatives for territorial nature protection or will discuss how to create 'an army of River Keepers',” invites Dragana Skenderija, coordinator of the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Informal part (canoeing, hiking, movie screening) depending on weather and epidemiological situation is also part of the summer school.
Full program and the details for participants can be found here.
The summer school is organized by Arnika – Centre for Citizens’ Support (Czechia), Center for Environment (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), with the financial support of the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Central European Initiative.