A Romanian river will not be destroyed after a WWF campaign
Plans to build a hydropower station on the Topolog River, which features as an image of the WWF campaign, were rejected by the local environmental authorities.
Up to now 15,000 people signed the WWF petition and these signatures really made a difference.
The campaign aims to put the most valuable mountain rivers in Romania under legal protection. They are threatened by different interventions including over 500 small hydropower plants in various stages of approval, construction or operation.
The WWF campaign seeks to focus attention on threats from small hydropower plants to biodiversity. Many of the planned installations have limited value in terms of producing clean energy and lack proper planning, ignoring risks and cumulative impacts.
The petition is addressed to the Minister of Forests, Water and Fisheries Lucia Varga, who has already stated that the WWF campaign is justified. The minister plans to launch a public debate and prepare a new legislation on the issue.
Over a quarter of the 500 planned or already working small hydropower plants are in or next to protected areas. Construction of some 300 of them has been approved without any strategic planning at river basin level and at national level.
WWF has been working on a similar river campaign in Ukraine and will start another one in Bulgaria next year. It is also currently trying to stop the destruction by hydropower of one of the last undeveloped valleys in Austria – Kaunertal.