Athens, February 5, 2024 – Following its successful premiere in Greece on Friday, February 2, the film DAMBUSTERS – The start of the riverlution inspired and motivated the audience for further environmental action related to the restoration of Greece’s rivers!
The event was organized by MedINA, in the framework of the celebration of World Wetlands Day and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, environmental organizations, journalists, scientists, as well as concerned citizens. The Greek Film Archive hosted the screening, providing an exceptional cinematic experience.
DAMBUSTERS won the audience and impressed, and the dynamic discussion that followed underlined and reinforced the documentary’s message: the “heroes” of Europe’s rivers are many and ready to give back to the rivers their natural space in order to recover.
Speakers, Dr. Foivos Mouchlianitis, Biologist at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and collaborator of the World Fish Migration Foundation, Katerina Koryzi, Director of the Private Office of the General Secretary for Natural Environment and Water Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and Irini Lyratzaki, Project Manager of MedINA’s project “Scaling up dam removal: implementation plan for Southeastern Europe”, shared valuable information on the status of European rivers, the freshwater ecosystems of Greece, and the three-year project of removing artificial barriers from rivers, officially introduced by MedINA for the first time in Greece, aiming to engage citizens and stakeholders to work together in this direction.
More specifically, Dr. Foivos Mouchlianitis stated, among other things: “Rivers are like veins in our body; they must flow unobstructed. Now is officially the time to restore ecological flow and benefit, once again, from the numerous and vital ecosystem services of the rivers”.
Katerina Koryzi addressed the situation of rivers in Greece and the significant ongoing River Basin Management Plans, emphasizing that the removal of artificial barriers concerns obsolete and abandoned dams that no longer serve any purpose.
Irini Lyratzaki informed about MedINA’s new project and added: “Blocking the free flow of rivers we deprive our planet of all the nutrients that keep it alive. This is the right time for Greece to start the journey of restoring river flow”.
Alexis Katsaros, MedINA’s Executive Director, delivered a greeting and conveyed the welcome of Herman Wanningen, Director of the World Fish Migration Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Alexandra Pappa, MedINA’s Freshwater Programme Manager.
The enthusiasm created by the DAMBUSTERS’ premiere reinforces the importance of MedINA’s collective actions for the restoration of river ecosystems, hoping that the impact of the film will inspire more people to actively participate in this effort.
DAMBUSTERS and MedINA will continue to pave the way towards rivers’ “liberation”, by highlighting the crucial role of free-flowing rivers in mitigating the impacts of climate change.