The Brave Women of Kruščica have won the EuroNatur Award for 2019 for their 500-day action that prevented the construction of two small hydropower plants (HPPs) in the village in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For more than 500 days and nights, a group of women from the village of Kruščica blocked a bridge crossing the river of the same name, thereby preventing two hydropower plants from being built. For this brave and persevering protest, the women will accept this year’s EuroNatur Award on October 10, according to a press release from the EuroNatur Foundation.
Believing that women would not be attacked by the security forces, it was only the women from the village of Kruščica who blocked the bridge over their river from August 2017 to December 2018.
Neither police violence nor attempts at intimidation by the investor could make the courageous women give up defending their river. It was only shortly before Christmas 2018 that the women decided to leave the bridge. The relevant court had supported the objections against the planned hydropower plants, bringing the peaceful 18-month protest of the women of Kruščica to a happy end for the time being.
“The courage and perseverance of these brave women is impressive and a role model for the work of EuroNatur and its partner organisations in fighting the hydropower lobby in the Balkans,” EuroNatur president Christel Schroeder explains why they have been elected to receive this year’s award.
The “brave women of Kruščica” thus rank among personalities like the US best-selling author Jonathan Franzen or the Romanian forest conservationist Gabriel Paun. All of them received the EuroNatur Award for their exemplary commitment in protecting the European natural heritage.