Government Rejected E-petition of Citizens against Military Training Ground in Sinjajevina

By , 20 Sep 2019, 14:03 PM Lifestyle
Sinjajevina Sinjajevina Igor Stojovic

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The Defense Ministry's plan to form a military training ground in Sinjajevina received support from other government departments - ministries of agriculture, culture and sustainable development, and the government rejected citizens’ request who oppose the existence of a training ground for soldiers on that mountain.

The government today adopted information on the e-petition "Save the Sinjajevina - proclaim Sinjajevina a protected area and nature park", which received the support of at least 3,000 votes (3,324) through the portal "Citizens' Voice - e-petition", and then forward it to Predrag Boskovic ministry for consideration on 5th August.

The Civic Initiative "Save the Sinjajevina", in addition to declaring the mountain a protected area, called for the suspension of the plan for the formation of polygons, for the mountain to be left to the cattle-breeders, to establish it as a tourist destination, and to protect the cultural heritage, tradition and archeological sites already existing in Sinjajevina.

Ministry of Defense recently told “Vijesti” that they would forward the petition to the Government when they received the opinion of other institutions, which have jurisdiction over issues related to citizens' initiative.

According to today's information on the e-petition, from the department of Milutin Simovic, they submitted opinion of the Forest Administration, stating that the site where the formation of the military training ground in Sinjajevina is planned "is not covered by the Forest Management Program".

They also added that "it is a vacant area with no plants of any character and level and that there are no obstacles to the realization of the project in question."

The opinion of the Ministry of Culture states that there are "no cultural property protected by law or property with potential cultural values".

The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism (MORT) agrees with the plan for the formation of a military training ground in the part of the quotes from the Spatial Plan, which defines that "the selection and determination of complexes and locations necessary for the functioning of the defense system shall be made on the basis of legal and strategic documents regulating the area of the defense of Montenegro ".

The Government had earlier adopted the Strategic Defense Review and 2019-2028 Long-Term Defense Development Plan. It defines, among other things, that one of the Ministry of Defense's key priorities is to establish a military training ground at Sinjajevina "which must provide conditions for tactical exercises of units up to the rank of battalion and combat firing with infantry’s weapons and artillery of the Army."

At a session two weeks ago, the government adopted the information on establishing the training grounds for the Army in Sinjajevina.

The Ministry of Defense then gave its consent for the temporary use of about 7,500 hectares of land for the purpose of forming the shooting range, until the adoption of the relevant planning documents, with the obligation of the MoD and MORT to make a zero environmental assessment and define a methodology for regular annual environmental monitoring at that location.

The defense minister said at the time that the formation of the Sinajevina polygons did not contradict the concept of affirming the mountain as a regional nature park.

Boskovic cited Germany as an example, stating that there were 693 military training sites in the country and that they were all included in Natura 2000, which is a key EU document on biodiversity protection.

Text by Damira Kalac, on September 19th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

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