The protection of the Ulcinj Salina is a precondition of Montenegro’s membership of the EU

++ The EU demands that Montenegro protect Ulcinj Salina ++ February 2nd is World Wetlands Day ++

Salt production had a long tradition in the Ulcinj Salina (picture from 2005). For many years it was the most important employer in the region. © Martin Schneider-Jacoby / EuroNatur
Breeding flamingos in the Ulcinj Salina, 2013 © Mihailo Jovicević / CZIP
After heavy rain fall, large parts of the saltpans are covered with fresh water; the attractiveness of the area rapidly decreases for species such as the flamingo which depend on salt water. © CZIP

Radolfzell. On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, the internationally active conservation charity, EuroNatur, is highlighting the latest news in the story of the Ulcinj Salina. Recent developments could finally ensure the protection of the saltpans which EuroNatur and its partners in Montenegro have fought so hard to achieve.  The saltpans at Ulcinj are one of the most important wetland areas in the eastern Adriatic.

On December 10th 2018, Chapter 27, the Environmental Chapter of the EU accession negotiations between Montenegro and the European Commission, was opened. Included in it  is a clear demand: the Ulcinj Saltpans must be declared a protected area, and Montenegro must implement effective measures to improve the conservation status of the saltpans. Otherwise Montenegro will be denied EU-membership. “We welcome this precondition of Montenegro’s EU membership, and hope that it will finally move those responsible to follow up their words with deeds. We will continue to monitor this process very carefully, and will remain in close contact with the decision-takers in Brussels,” said Janinka Lutze, a campaigner with EuroNatur.

In order to increase the pressure on Pavle Radulović, Montenegro’s environment minister, EuroNatur has launched an international petition in conjunction with its partner organisations, which demands the immediate protection of the saltpans and the resumption of salt production. The signed petition will be presented at the 5th conference for the Protection of the Saltpans on April 17th 2019.

 

Background information:

  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2nd. This year the theme will be ‘Wetlands areas and climate change’: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org
  • Ulcinj Salina: the Ulcinj Salina is one of the most valuable wetlands in the Balkans and is of outstanding importance for their birdlife. Because maintenance work has only been carried out sporadically, however, dams and dikes in the area are collapsing, and valuable areas of saltwater are being diluted with fresh water, thus reducing the ecological value of this paradise for birds.
  • The petition: in June 2018, EuroNatur and its partners launched the international petition for the protection of the Ulcinj Salina. Included in it is the demand for the resumption of salt production. This is not only necessary for the conservation of the typical character of the habitat, but it also offers economic opportunities for the people of the region. kurzlink.de/Petition_Saline

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

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