Change in government in Montenegro brings new hope for Ulcinj Salina

++ Montenegro’s new government is intending to afford effective protection to Salina Ulcinj ++ On 2nd February it is World Wetlands Day ++ Ramsar Convention celebrates its 50th anniversary ++

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                A Flamingo in Ulcinj Salina</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

The salina is an important breeding, resting and overwintering area for numerous wading and water birds. The most striking of these must be the flamingos.

© Adrian Perovic
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                rotten buildings in Ulcinj Salina</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

After salt production was halted in 2013, the infrastructure of the salina degraded and the dams collapsed. Together with our partners we are committed to a resumption of salt production.

© Zenepa Lika
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                minister's visit in Ulcinj</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Ksenija Medenica from our partner organisation CZIP in conversation with Montenegro’s finance minister during the visit of several government representatives on 17th December 2020.

© PR Centar

Radolfzell, Ulcinj, Gland. On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, EuroNatur is drawing attention to recent developments in the struggle to protect Ulcinj Salina. In a letter to the Executive director of EuroNatur, Gabriel Schwaderer, the Montenegrin government, newly elected two months ago under minister president Zdravko Krivokapić, emphasised that the restoration of Ulcinj Salina is a top priority. A visit by several ministers to the salt pans on 17th December 2020 signalled that the new government in Podgorica is seriously interested in the protection of the Salina. By appointing an independent expert, the authorities have injected new impetus into the issue of the still unresolved ownership status of Ulcinj Salina.

Ulcinj Salina, located in the far south of Montenegro, was given protected status in June 2019 by the previous government. EuroNatur and its international partner organisations had campaigned for this for 20 years. Shortly after the granting of protected status, Ulcinj Salina was also declared a Ramsar site, that is to say a wetland of international importance. “Even this designation had not led to the previous government taking serious steps towards the improvement of the salt pans. Ulcinj Salina was only protected on paper,” says Janinka Lutze, a campaigner with EuroNatur. “We are expecting that the new government will convert its promises into action and provide the financial means necessary to restore the salt pans to their former glory as a breeding area and stopover for thousands of birds,” continues Lutze.

Ulcinj Salina is one of more than 2,400 wetlands worldwide that have been declared as Ramsar sites for their special ecological importance. Tomorrow, 2nd February 2021, the Ramsar Convention will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since 1997 this World Wetlands Day has been celebrated annually on 2nd February, the date on which the Convention was signed.

Background information:

  • Ramsar Convention: A world-wide agreement struck in 1971 in the Iranian town of Ramsar for the protection of wetlands of international importance. The signatory countries committed themselves to preserving important wetlands as habitats and sources of water and to use them in a sustainable manner. Currently, 171 countries are members of the Convention and a total area of more than 250 million hectares has been declared. Germany has designated 34 Ramsar sites.
  • World Wetlands Day 2021: World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2nd February. It is celebrated this year under the slogan “wetlands and water”: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org
  • Ulcinj Salina: Ulcinj Salina is one of the most valuable wetlands in the Balkans and is of exceptional importance for birdlife. However, because of only sporadic maintenance work, the dams and dykes are collapsing and valuable salt areas are being flooded with fresh water, with the result that the ecological value of this paradise for birds is diminishing.

Further enquiries: Christian Stielow, Email: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 15

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