The decision comes after months of demonstrations calling for the protection of the Tara river canyon, the deepest and longest canyon in Europe. The 80km canyon, part of Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park, is a tourist attraction in the impoverished former Yugoslav republic. Montenegro has decided to halt the preparation for and the building of the dam, which it had planned to build the dam on Bosnia’s river Drina, which would flood 12km of the Tara river canyon.

It would have provided enough power to cut the coastal republic’s energy deficit by one-third, saving some US$22M a year. UNESCO experts who visited Montenegro in January urged Montenegro not to build the dam, saying it was a potential threat to the national park.