How we lose our last wild rivers

Really wild rivers in central Europe are extremely rare. Wild rivers according the European Wilderness Society Quality Standard are rivers without any extractive use, such as gravel extraction or fishing. They are categorised as WILDRivers in the European Wilderness Network. Furthermore, wild rivers do not have dams and electrical water stations, nor modified riverbeds and banks.

Please also read: Current and future threats to alpine rivers 

Losing the last

Most of the European rivers already lost all these attributes and the handful of still existing wild rivers are quickly disappearing. The reasons are often  inadequate or complete lack of protection, traditional use or need to produce green energy.

Belá WILDRiver, Slovakia is one of the last wild rivers. It is already more and more frequently communicated that the Belá River is losing its wild standard and uniqueness. Recently the private TV Markiza, Slovakia addressed the developments and modifications by excavators in the Belá riverbed, also holding an interview with Vlado Vancura of the European Wilderness Society. 

Future for Belá WILDRiver

Cleaning a river after heavy storms and floods in such a way is not acceptable. A natural meandering river is the best long term flood prevention anyone can hope for. We are now in the process to re-evaluate the situation of Belá river and their membership in the European Wilderness Network. 

Max A.E. Rossberg, European Wilderness Society

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