Ulcinj Salina: One year of nature conservation - few things happened

One year ago, Ulcinj Salina was designated as a nature reserve – a great success for us and our partners. While it sounds good on paper, in practice nothing has materially changed since then. The Montenegrin government is dragging its feet over the introduction of concrete protection measures.

Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro is a bird

Many birds are still using the saltpans as areas for breeding, resting and wintering. However, the attractiveness of the saltpans is diminishing.

© Janinka Lutze

The remnants from human activity are also decaying. The resumption in the operation of the saltpans in Ulcinj would be of benefit to both nature and the local population.

© Janinka Lutze

Thanks to the years of efforts of EuroNatur and its many partner organisations, Ulcinj Salina was declared as a nature reserve on 24th June 2019. This was followed the following month by its designation as area which is internationally important for water and wading birds (Ramsar wetland). However, while the urgently needed formal protection has now come about, the actual implementation of the protective measures has fallen short of expectations.

In an open letter to Duško Marković, the prime minister of Montenegro, EuroNatur and its partners have asked to be included in the working group which is preparing and carrying out negotiations, and requested access to the action plan for the implementation of the final targets. The plan contains not only the projected measures for the preservation of the ecology of the saltpans, but also the potential financing methods.

EuroNatur and its partners have persisted in their efforts to ensure the protection of Ulcinj Salina despite the lack of activity on the part of the government in Podgorica. However, until the ownership of the site and the covering of the operating costs have been clarified, the implementation of the planned measures will be very difficult. We are jointly requesting the authorities to clarify the question of ownership and explain how the necessary finances will be raised. So far (24th June 2020), we have not received an answer from Podgorica.

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