- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Environmental organizations are urging the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD, not to go ahead with a planned €123 million loan for a hydropower plant near Dubrovnik because of the consequences it might have on the environment.
In an open letter to the bank, the organizations point to ecological, economic, and procedural problems with the plans.
Jana Bedek from Croatian Biospeleogical Society said the construction of the power plant would be detrimental for a variety of species living in the nearby caves.
"The hydropower plant planned by the Croatian electricity company, HEP, would involve flooding a cave with high biodiversity value that is due to be protected as part of
the Natura 2000 biodiversity network when Croatia enters the European Union.
“Several important studies are still missing and the Environmental Impact Study is more than 10 years old. It's an obvious example of rushing to finish destructive projects quickly
before Croatia can be held accountable under EU environmental legislation," Bedek claimed.
Jagoda Munic from Friends of the Earth Croatia said: "Considering the high
environmental risks, we believe it is unjustified to cause significant disturbance to a
proposed Natura 2000 habitat for a project that may never go further than the first
stage, in which no electricity would be produced."
"We therefore ask the EBRD to withdraw from the project."
EBRD is expected approve the loan on 8 November.The Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Croatia, Paul Vandoren says EU is keeping a "close eye" on Croatia even before it joins to avoid such environmental tragedies.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.