Member of European Parliament Thomas Waitz sharply criticized the authorities' intentions to put the river Bukovica drinking water in the pipes, but also announced that the party to which he belongs - the European Greens - would ask the European Commission to explain why Sinjajevina was not formally protected.
He said this on the slopes of that mountain, on katun Mramorje, while visiting areas threatened with permanent devastation.
The Greens of Europe also visited the guards of Bukovica yesterday.
Waitz and three of his party colleagues have been on Durmitor for two days and are guests of the Coalition for Sustainable Development.
KOR activists pointed out environmental issues to them and allowed them to speak to locals who oppose turning Sinajevina into a military training ground.
"Sinjajevina has an incredible landscape and is Europe's second-largest pasture where hundreds of thousands of sheep and cows can graze and farmers can produce high-quality cheese, cream and meat. There is a request and a petition asking for this space to be left for use by farmers, but also the intention of the Ministry of Defense of Montenegro to occupy a quarter of the territory of this beautiful mountain for their military games and weapons testing. The locals think that this should not be a military playground, and we agree with them and believe that this place should be a tourist destination and a place for agricultural development, which will help the development of the Montenegrin economy," Waitz said.
Gojko Cirovic hosted the delegation of the European Greens and KOR on Mramorje.
At his home, Waitz and KOR activists talked with locals about the problems they face as the river and the mountain are a source of life because they allow them to feed their families.
Representatives of the Civic Initiative “Save Sinjajevina” and experts from the field of nature, briefed Waitz on relevant studies for the protection of Sinjajevina and Bukovica.
He said he would seek explanations, because the money from EU taxpayers was spent in the project of proclaiming Sinjajevina as a nature park.
Aleksandar Perovic from KOR explained to Waitz that the coalition's goal is the sustainable development and future of Montenegro, which implies the proper use of the most valuable natural resources.
“We pointed to the current alarming situation - the occupation of rivers by small hydro projects, the intention of the Ministry of Defense to devastate the potential Nature Park Sinjajevina and with permanent destruction of the River Tara, one of the most valuable natural symbols of the ecological state. KOR is aware that environmental and economic damage goes hand in hand, so it was important for the Greens to see with their own eyes the situation on the field. It is obvious that the impressions of both European Greens and environmental activists from Montenegro are identical, which should be an alarm for decision-makers to finally put the public interest and the interest of the local population first,” Perovic said.
The night before the visit to Bukovica and Sinjajevina, the Greens delegation discussed with the KOR activists in Nadgora all current environmental issues, Chapter 27 and possible solutions to existing problems.
KOR representatives exchanged views with them on current trends in the European Union and received information on current environmental standards in that international community.
After the visit to Bukovica and Sinjajevina, they continued the conversation.
Waitz: I support the protest in Bukovica
The beauty of Bukovica delighted Thomas Waitz, which he did not hide while talking to the defenders of that river, from which he drank water.
From the beech of that river, he said that the potentials of Bukovica should not be for the profit of the few privileged, but only in the public interest of the locals.
After walking along the river bed, he said that Bukovica, but also all similar rivers, should be preserved from destruction.
“The water of this river is drinkable throughout its whole course, and it is one wealth that must not be destroyed by the gain of a small amount of energy. Also, the destruction of this river would mean the economic downfall of the area, which is why the locals are protesting because they need this water for agriculture, drinking and developing sustainable tourism. That is why this region should be used to the maximum for the development of agriculture and sustainable tourism and stop building mini hydro power plants and stop destroying your country with such projects that will benefit only one company, but think of the entire community,” he said.
He added that he supported the rebellion of citizens against the construction of small hydropower plants.
One of Bukovica's defenders, Miljan Bulatovic, told Waitz and his colleagues about the ongoing battle to preserve the river and informed him of the problems they had when their private property was devastated.
He also told him that the people from Bukovica are determined not to let this gem to be put in the pipes.
Text by Jelena Jovanovic, on August 30th, 2019, read more at Vijesti