Hydropower plant and National park Djerdap, Serbia

Construction of HPP and establishment of National park in the 1970s had an important impact on the local way of life and ecosystem of the Djerdap gorge which led to only a silent conflict by the affected local communities


The construction of the Iron Gate Dam for Hydropower Plant (HPP) Djerdap 1 in 1972 in the Carpathian region of north-east Serbia interrupted the flow of the Danube River and resulted in the creation of Djerdap Lake. This caused flooding of 12 local settlements including the majority of agriculturally productive land, which had an important impact on the local way of life as villages were relocated to less fertile hilly land. In addition, displacements created property rights issues as existing settlements located on the land taken over by the HPP were not registered in the land cadastre, which complicated constructions or property selling by local people.

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Basic Data
NameHydropower plant and National park Djerdap, Serbia
SiteDonji Milanovac
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsDam is 1278 m long and 60 m high

Flooded settlements spread over an area of 14 500 ha

NP Djerdap wider protected area has 93 968 ha

HPP Djerdap 1 is the largest hydropower plant system on the Danube River with Total power - 1026 MW; The maximum flow – 4800 m³/s; Total volume of the accumulation - 2800 x 106 m3; and Average production per year - 5.65 billion kWh.

HPP Djerdap 2 is the second largest hydropower plant on the Danube River. Its construction lasted from 1978 - 2000, and it has a total accumulation volume of 716.5 x 106 m3 and total power of 270 MW.
Project Area (in hectares)63,608
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population10,000 to 13,000
Start Date1971
Company Names or State EnterprisesThe Djerdap National Park Public Enterprise (NPPE) from Serbia - Management of NP Djerdap
Relevant government actorsSocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (until 1991), Republic of Serbia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNGO Endemit, http://www.endemit.org.rs/en/index.php
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of Mobilizationcomplaints communicated silently, no organised actions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Development of AlternativesLocal communities view the HPP and the NP as the main source of the underdevelopment of the area. Continuing with “business as usual” will lead to continued depopulation, emigration, loss of jobs and poverty. Local communities see opportunities in ethno- and eco- tourism, animal husbandry, sustainable water transport on the Danube, and in co-management of the NP Djerdap (Macura et al., 2010). However they communicate these ideas silently and no organised actions have been reported.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The local communities have not been properly included in the national park management and therefore unable to articulate their problems and needs.
Sources and Materials

Local Communities and Management of Protected Areas in Serbia
[click to view]

Other Documents

NP Djerdap View of the Djerdap gorge
[click to view]

HPP Djerdap 1 View of hydropower plant Djerdap 1 on the Danube River between Serbia and Romania
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, vankajo(at)gmail.com, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Last update24/03/2017