EIA/SEA of hydropower projects in Southeast Europe – Meeting the EU standards

ReportFor a number of years the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has had serious concerns about the adverse impacts which poorly designed hydropower schemes can have on the natural environment and quality of river catchments in the Western Balkans, and also the shortcomings in the way in which existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processes are carried out. In 2014, a decision was taken to commission a series of individual studies in order to establish why performance standards are generally poor and what can be done to achieve higher standards in developing sustainable hydropower energy in the region. The work has been undertaken in cooperation with the South East Europe Sustainable Energy Policy Partnership (SEE SEP) who provided matching funding for completion of the national reports and design of the final product.

Independent experts were commissioned to assess the situation in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania and their findings have been reviewed in this report in order to draw the threads and conclusions together in a concise summary. Every effort has been made in the main body of the report (Chapters 1–7) to present the evidence base and provide an accurate reflection of the individual study findings without making any additional comments except by way of clarification. However, in chapter 8 some additional observations are added, based on the Editor’s personal experience and knowledge of the region.

The full report is available for download below.