More than two hundred citizens from Budva have responded to the invitation of the NGO "Porat Budva - Pizana" organizing a protest on the occasion of a new plan document, whereby the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has given the green light to build a hotel with 500 units and a marina with 50 berths. President of the NGO Jero Dragićević said that Budva and Školj are inextricably tied. He said that he cannot allow the destruction of Skolj, which is a natural reserve. Tiho Fabris, an NGO representative, said that Budva without Skolj is a dead town and that Skolj is a sacred place for Budva. "They will devastate the island so that the hotel could work two, three months. For us citizens they will destroy the nature, seabed, the bird's twitter, a historic cultural site," said Fabris. He said that the Municipality must buy the island.
Protest Budva – photo V.Lajović
"We are asking the Government and the Assembly not to allow the construction of the hotel, but the park and forest to remain as such," Fabris added. He told Shinawatra to let go of the sanctuary and to return to where he came from, "and we will defend ourselves with all means," Fabris said. The locals sailed by boats and symbolically in a convoy linked the island with the Old Town. Approximately 30 boats sailed. The number would be bigger, but the organizers, due to the strong bura, called only big boats to get to the sea. "The protest is organized so the boats sail in front of the marina’s gate, then from the top of the lantern to the island the boats connect in a row, symbolizing the unbreakable connection of the town with the island. St. Nikola is the largest Montenegrin island and represents a natural pearl not only for the town of Budva, but also for the whole country. As such, it is of invaluable value and it is important to preserve it from the construction of hotels and yachts berths," they said earlier in the invite to the citizens.
Protest Budva – photo V.Lajović
They estimated that the valorization of the island should go in the direction of the development of the forest park concept and of a modern excursion site, with all the amenities for recreation and a stay in nature, which is missing from Budva's tourist offer.
"Urbanization of the island is in contradiction with all the international conventions, as well as with the standards of the countries of the region in which the preservation of natural resources and coastal areas is raised to the highest civilization level. The island is the only remaining untouched authentic natural entity to be preserved for the benefit of all of us, as well as the generations to come. It does not belong to us alone, the island is a botanical world and habitat of birds, animals and fish. For centuries, the island has been an inseparable part of the town and an integral part of the tradition of living in this area. Generations are conveyed to the spirit of authentic values of the Mediterranean life, which has largely taken place on our island of St. Nikola, where there is a church of the same name, whose existence dates from the end of the 11th century, an invaluable cultural-historical monument," said the NGO.
Text by V.L., on September 26th 2018, read more at Boka news