As we bid farewell to 2023, the Open Rivers Programme is thrilled to announce its support for eight additional projects, which marked an exhilarating year-end. Among these, two dam removal (demolition) projects focus on removing 11 dams, one on pre-demolition works, and five on barrier identification and prioritisation efforts.
Notably, our support of a dam removal project in Türkiye marks a historic step, as few barriers have been removed to date in Türkiye. The project team, KuzeyDoğa Derneği, is set to remove two dams in 2024, laying the foundation for transformative changes in the Lake Kuyucuk Ramsar site in the north east of the country. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, another demolition project will see the removal of nine barriers, unlocking 33 km of river and providing a lifeline for vulnerable and endemic species, including the Neretvan nase.
Expanding our reach, the programme extends support to projects in Bulgaria and Serbia for the first time. These initiatives will focus on identifying, selecting, and prioritising barriers for removal, contributing to the broader mission of restoring rivers across Europe.