Water abstraction is the main threat to freshwater ecosystems in the Mediterranean.

Despite serious ecological impact, significant development of hydropower infrastructure continues in the Balkans, Turkey and the Iberian Peninsula.

We aim to minimise the impacts of water abstraction, dams and other infrastructure on river basins and protect, and restore freshwater ecosystems by:

  • understanding river basin ecology and environmental flows
  • mobilising public pressure and influencing policies and the legal frameworks
  • promoting engagement with integrated river basin management
  • demonstrating benefits of restoration and protection of river basins
Douro River (c) Esporao


Our three pilot basins experience unsustainable water abstraction for agriculture purposes and development of unsustainable water infrastructure, and include:

  • a transboundary basin with major dam development projects on one side of the border and dam decommissioning on the other that could benefit from a basin-wide approach (Douro/Duero, Portugal/Spain)
  • one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe threatened by dam construction where we are promoting alternative green development (Vjosa/Aoös, Albania/Greece)
  • a basin where agriculture is the main water user where we are promoting integrated water management through the establishment of a water fund with local authorities and stakeholders (Sebou, Morocco)


  • Eco Albania
  • Euronatur
  • GWP Mediterranean
  • IUCN
  • MedINA
  • MedWet
  • RiverWatch
  • Society for the Protection of Prespa
  • TNC
  • Tour du Valat
  • Wetlands International
  • WWF

Focus on one of our partners

At the heart of all our work are passionate people dedicated to delivering effective and lasting conservation. With the conservation community, these inspirational partners are our greatest asset.

Yousra Madani
Yousra Madani

Yousra Madani

WWF North Africa

Annual Budget

MAVA has allocated €2,443,000 annually

The Action Plan annual budget is estimated at €2,433,000


Luis Costa

Manager, Mediterranean Basin

More details

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