Barrier removal, Cijevna River, Montenegro

Removing a barrier from Montenegro's Cijevna River to restore natural flow, enhance biodiversity, and boost ecotourism by improving conditions for fish species.


The Cijevna River basin in Montenegro covers a surface of app 380 km2. This area is characterized by high biodiversity, including endemic and threatened species, and holds cultural and historical significance. The Cijevna River, in its upper course, is recognised as a potential IPA and IBA, potentially an Emerald area, which is protected by the Bern Convention. Also, the Cijevna River and its canyon were formally protected in 2017 as a natural monument (IUCN category V of protected natural assets). 

At a glance

Project typeDam removal: demolition
Project statusLive
Km to be opened15
Focal speciesTrout, European eel, barbel and Telestes montenegrinus
Removal dateSept./Oct. 2024

Project context and opportunity

In summary, removing the barrier in the Cijevna River, within its status as a protected area, offers a unique opportunity to enhance the area’s ecological health and attractiveness as an ecotourism destination. This project addresses critical ecological restoration needs and promotes sustainable development, showcasing how environmental conservation can go hand in hand with economic and social benefits through ecotourism. 

Project aims

The main project outcomes are: 

  • More than 15 km of the Cijevna River will be opened. 
  • Hydro morphological status of the Cijevna River will be improved; 
  • Better ecological conditions for salmonid fish species and other important fish species like Barbel and European eel will be created. 
  • Better conditions for developing sport fishing in the natural monument “Cijevna River Canyon” will be improved.