SEE: Natura 2000 network for EU countries and hydropower projects

, NGOs

The Natura 2000 network, which is based on special protection areas
under the Flora Fauna Habitat Directive as well as on bird protection
areas under the Bird Directive, exists in SI, HR, BG and GR. In total,
232 HPPs can be found in Natura 2000 areas, 77 of which are already in
operation or being constructed. Of the 155 planned projects, 4 fall
under category 1 (National Parks) and 20 under category 2 (Biosphere

With at least 8,991 rkm, the Natura 2000 network comprises the largest
amount of river stretches of all categories. This is not only due to
the high density of the network, but also due to the high priority on
riparian habitats across all countries. Considering the fact that many
narrow protection corridors (often only some 100 m in width) do not
exactly overlap with the overall river network geometry (which is
based on European GIS CCM2 database), this analysis would include
nearly another 1,000 river kilometres within Natura 2000 areas.

An important example is the Sava River: a chain of dams was planned
along its course in SI and HR before – or even while – the Natura 2000
network was being established. In SI this led to the construction of
several huge dams and the planning for many more.

Other significant examples are projects along the Neretva near Opuzen
(HR) or on Kupa/Kolpa (HR and SI).

The construction of two more Danube dams along the BG-RO border is
relatively improbable, since almost the entire valley is a designated
Natura 2000 area.

In Bulgaria, the entire Maritza valley is subject to hydropower
development plans.

Source: Euronatur & RiverWatch