20 years of Ecological State of Montenegro: Main challenges and living up to set goals
• Montenegro marks 20 years since proclamation of ecological state
• Government acknowledges more needs to be done in this area and invites all stakeholders to join forces and help live up to the proclaimed standards
• Reform is underway in various areas and main challenges are identified along with the strategy how to address them, having in mind Rio+20 key themes
Podgorica, Montenegro (20 September 2011) – As Montenegro marks the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on the Ecological State of Montenegro, the National Council for Sustainable Development argues that, although intense efforts have been made to revamp the environmental protection policy in the past decade, more needs to be done to live up to the country’s constitutional title of ecological state.
The National Council for Sustainable development has called upon all relevant stakeholders to undertake the challenge of turning the vision of ecological state, enshrined in the Constitution two decades ago and reiterated in the new Constitution in 2007, into reality for all Montenegrin citizens. The Council believes that strong support must be given to the development of green economy and sustainable production and consumption, in line with the key themes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 4-6 2012).
According to the Council, partnership and joint effort of all social stakeholders are needed to bring about tangible change in the society’s commitment, education and sensitivity towards the environment and natural heritage of Montenegro and towards securing a sustainable future for Montenegro. To this end, Montenegro’s core national body for sustainable development has drafted the analysis on the ecological achievements over the past 20 years since the adoption of the Declaration on the Ecological State. This Analysis lays out the main achievements and challenges and offers recommendations and guidelines for the revival and strengthening of the idea of ecological state on the ground.
The Montenegrin Parliament adopted the Declaration on the Ecological State in the northern town of Žabljak on 20 September 1991, amidst turbulent times for the whole region, which marked the beginning of the increased public awareness of the need to preserve the environment. The following year, the commitment expressed in this declaration became part of the Montenegrin Constitution. Due to the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, the situation on the ground did not correspond with the bold and advanced proclamations of the Declaration and the Constitution. However, in the past decade and particularly since the restoration of Montenegro’s independence in 2006, the revival of these ideas comes about and Montenegro joins main international fora on environmental protection, introduces environmental protection institutions, adopts contemporary legal norms in this area and proclaims fifth national park (Prokletije).