August 6, 2020 - The education system is being prepared for the regular beginning of the school year, which should be acceptable to both parents and students, the Ministry of Education announced, and the portal www.parents.me reports.
They will communicate with the Institute of Public Health in the coming days to receive confirmation.
The Ministry says that, given the public's expected interest, they must announce their position at the beginning of the school year. They point out that the appearance of coronavirus has clearly shown that it is not acceptable to make long-term plans and promises, which can be changed in a few days, due to objective circumstances.
"At the same time, the epidemiological situation changes day by day, and a serious education system must have a support scenario for such unforeseen situations, which are possible in the coming weeks and months," the Ministry of Education claims.
That is why they will record classes for the first quarter, "exclusively as" Plan B ", and not as an already established substitute for regular classes during August."
"Re-recording video lessons will serve as a temporary basis for the education system, so that a possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation would not find us unprepared. However, as we have already said, this basis will most likely serve only as a support to the education system and will be a useful resource for students and teachers in regular classes," the Ministry explains.
They hope that the prescribed measures will assure the improvement of the epidemiological situation and that they will receive confirmation from the competent health institutions that children, to everyone's satisfaction, can be in school in September.
August 6, 2020 - The Secretariat for Tourism and Entrepreneurship of the Municipality of Tivat is continuing to innovate with their list of local agricultural producers who are ready to sell their products in the community, with the option of direct delivery to the consumer.
We are continuing the successful practice of promoting local domestic produce, while at the same time providing support to local agricultural producers. They have the opportunity to promote and market their products, or indeed their catch, while the public has all the necessary information in one place, making it easier to access quality home-made products.
"Let me take this opportunity to invite all other interested registered agricultural producers from across the municipality of Tivat to join us, so that our fellow citizens can access healthy and quality produce in a way that is both relatively simple, and safer, from a health perspective, than going to a store," said Petar Vujović, of the Secretariat for Tourism and Entrepreneurship.
The Municipality of Tivat will continue with this and similar types of support to small-scale agricultural producers, so that local farms can weather the current situation as best they can, and with as few negative consequences as possible.
Let's support our local agricultural producers, let's buy local!
6 August, 2020 - The project "Restoration of the Fortification Heritage of Montenegro - Kotor City Ramparts" has been included in the Consolidated List of Priority Infrastructure Projects of Montenegro, the Municipality of Kotor has announced.
The Western Balkans Investment Framework has announced its twenty-fourth call for proposals, with funding from the instrument being distributed based on the submission of project proposals. Within the application preparation and the proposal itself, the project’s proponent is required to actively cooperate with the relevant ministry for their particular area, and the proposed project must be on the Consolidated List of Priority Infrastructure Projects. The Municipality of Kotor has made a key step towards obtaining funds to the tune of 3,000,000 euros, by way of preparation of project-technical documentation, but it has also conducted a series of intensive negotiations with the Ministry of Culture. The National Investment Commission at its session of 29th July 2020, chaired by the Prime Minister Duško Marković, considered and adopted an updated Consolidated List of Priority Infrastructure Projects, which now includes the project 'Restoration of the Fortification Heritage of Montenegro - Kotor City Ramparts'.
Projects financed by this instrument are based on a division of funding provided on the one hand by a grant for the development of project documentation, which is awarded by the European Commission through WBIF, and on the other, for the implementation of the infrastructure project itself, by a combination of a loan from one of the international financial institutions and grants from EU instruments.
The Municipality of Kotor has also initiated the process of obtaining a letter of intent from one of the international financial institutions for financing infrastructure works on the project "Restoration of the Fortification Heritage of Montenegro - Kotor City Ramparts". This letter and consultations with the Ministry of Finance on budget planning are a prerequisite for submitting project proposals under the Western Balkans Investment Framework call for proposals.
Alongside fulfilling the preconditions for the use of funds from the WBIF instrument, the Municipality of Kotor is already actively working on their application for a grant to finance the preparation of project documentation for the entire 4.6 km long Kotor ramparts worth 3 million euros. “The public will be kept informed about the progress made on this important project"- the Municipality of Kotor has announced.
August 3, 2020 - 287 bins for electronic waste and 7 rubbish containers are to be delivered and installed in specific locations as part of the cross-border project "YOUth drive - Program for raising awareness on proper waste management and empowering legislators for taking action". The program is implemented under the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Program BiH - Montenegro, and funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, West Herzegovina County, and Boka Kotorska.
A total of 192 schools are involved through the educational project, aimed at students from sixth to ninth grade, and high school students. Waste collection activities will be organized on identified illegal landfills in agreement with cities and municipalities, and research will also be carried out on the situation on the ground, which will serve as a guideline for future activities within cities and municipalities. A web platform will also be launched. The goal of the project is to actively contribute to the proper management of waste; work will also be implemented on the protection of waterways in the areas involved in the project activities. In cooperation with schools, the project will primarily aim to raise awareness among young people, who through their knowledge and action in the future, will be prominent actors and influencers in the area of environmental protection. The project will also create a basis for improvement and refinement of existing legislation in this area.
The project is implemented within the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, funded by the European Union, and with a joint partnership agreement signed between project partners. The signing of the agreement on the partnership and the delivery of project activities took place on November 15, 2019. The timeframe for project delivery is 15th November, 2019 to 15th May, 2021, while the total value of the project is 279,200.00 euros, of which the European Union is financing 232,530.00 euros.
The project partners are non-governmental organizations The Association for Development, Environment and Culture EKO ZH from Široki Brijeg as the project leader, and Naša Akcija, a non-governmental organization from Boka Kotorska, based in Kotor.
The European Union is funding this project with the aim of strengthening and raising awareness among young people and the entire community of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the proper disposal of waste, and on environmental protection.
The "YOUth Drive" project will be presented in Kotor on Wednesday, 5th August, starting at 10 am at the Cattaro Hotel in the Old Town, as announced by NGO Naša Akcija.
July 31, 2020 - Producers of various local products will have the opportunity to present their produce at Luštica Bay twice a week, on Saturdays and Wednesdays, as part of the project "Luštica Bay Farm Fresh".
Every Wednesday and Saturday there will be a collection of selected products such as cheese, olive oil, soaps, juices, liqueurs, wine, souvenirs and similar products on show in business space B2-3 on the Promenade in Marina Luštica Bay, from 10am to 9pm. The farm-style initiative, showcasing fresh domestic produce, is taking place in cooperation with the Association of Rural Households of Montenegro, as announced by the developers of the tourist complex in Krtoli, Luštica Development.
"Already on Saturday, 1st August, wine, olive oil and hand-made olive products will be available from Garnet Winery and the Čelanovic Family Mill. On Wednesday, 5th August, products made by the Pony Art Garden household will be on show. These include homemade luštic cheeses, olives and olive oil, homemade luštic wine, liqueurs, souvenirs made of olive wood, shells and stones. On the same day, there will be a display of honey products made by the Radman household,” states Luštica Development.
Luštica Bay Marina
"Luštica Bay Farm Fresh" is a specially designed platform created with the intention of providing a constant overview of local products and a space to connect producers with a new market. Luštica Development is a strong promoter of continued cooperation with local producers and suppliers, and with this in mind, Marina Village, in partnership with local suppliers, has this year continued to open new facilities, including restaurants, service facilities and beach clubs.
July 30, 2020 - Although this year's edition of the Purgatorije Festival in Tivat will start on August 1 as announced, the current epidemiological situation means that the premiere of a new play produced by the Tivat Center for Culture and the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje, is postponed. "The Other Side of the Wind" is ready, and the ensemble is eager to present it to the audience.
The starting point for the creation of the play was the poems "The Incredible Sea Song" and "The Other Side of the Wind" by Miroslav Mika Antić, a Serbian poet, director, set designer, journalist, and painter.
"We will tell the story of some of our sailors, not exactly Mika's, but ours. "The Other Side of the Wind" is a poem with excellent dramatic potential that we used as a template, and then, again, with his poetry, we put the story together so that the character is a segment of each story. By fitting the characters together in this way, we tried to talk about love, about growing up, about life, about the sea - which is a symbol of a beautiful, but turbulent life that must still be lived. And for us, art and acting are life," Branko Ilić, dramatic artist, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje, and director of the student play that was to premiere in Tivat, told Radio Tivat.
"This is an exam in the subject of acting, which, we hope, will look a lot like a good play if it is acted well. There was no classical directing here, but learning the art fof acting. When the acting is well arranged and the performance is good, and when we have a good story to work with, then we have everything we need, direction concept-wise, so I hope that it will be accepted by the audience," Branko Ilić points out.
"One must live, one must work, so creating in the time of an epidemic is not a precedent. The situation with the virus and protection measures is indeed awkward. Still, we fully complied with them when creating this show," Ilić explains the working conditions during the past month in Tivat.
"Of course, we were able to carry on thanks to the management of the Tivat Cultural Center, which recognized the importance of the fact that art must not stop and that culture is not "the last hole in the pipe," as it is in our country and the region.
Thanks to the excellent management of the Center, Neven Staničić, and Vojislav Kaludjerović, everything went as it should because they enabled the students to be in isolation and to have practically no contact with the outside world. The students entered this project healthy, no one was ill, nor is anyone now, we did not infect anyone, and we managed to reconcile the corona situation and acting."
It is undoubtedly a difficult time for everyone, even for a culture that is our essential need, and its absence in our lives can have consequences for our spiritual growth.
"Culture has always been spared because it is often perceived as less important than other things. We are trying to make this different. We were also able to come to terms with our destiny, finish the exam online, hold a couple of seminar papers, finish, and give grades. We will all be satisfied and go swimming. But I am lucky to have excellent students for whom it is more important to cope and, despite the adversities, finish their work when they might need to rest.
If you can sit in a cafe, be on a plane or in the street with a mask, why can't you go to the theater and why can't you sit in a hall with 100 seats, according to the number prescribed? And the cultural envoys themselves are discouraged and not up to date. They should insist on and demand that their programs are shown. I am not in favor of not respecting the measures, but you have to live and work. And acting is our job. Very quickly we will have to face the economic problems caused by this situation. "
The situation in the world is complicated and complex. But historically, there have been more complicated situations in which culture existed, in times of war, economic crises, and even epidemics. And it always managed to survive.
"It can do it even now if we take care of young people if we make them theatre-lovers who will continue to insist on the survival of culture." The Tivat Cultural Center knows, feels, invests in, and cultivates young talents, and is the right place for a regional theater, "says Ilić.
The premiere of the play "The Other Side of the Wind" was initially planned on a small stage in the Buća-Luković mansion. Due to epidemiological conditions, it will be performed on the Summer Stage, where is much more space, both on stage and in the auditorium.
"Physical distance in theater acting is absurd. It's just the kind of art that needs direct contact between its performers. That's why we had to be responsible for ourselves and others, be healthy at the start and maintain our health. The eight of us worked in the large, well-ventilated hall of the Center, and everything went well. "
The premiere was postponed because the epidemiological situation has worsened, and the NKT measures have been tightened, proscribing that over 40 people are not allowed to gather outdoors.
"There are already eight of us, plus wardrobe, a make-up artist and a technician, which is 15-20 people in the team, so there is no sense in running a big stage for just 20 more people in the audience. We hope that the number of infected people declines and that the measures will be mitigated very soon to allow 200 people to gather outdoors again. Of course, we will harmonize with all the National Coordination Body measures, and we hope that the Prime Minister will be there in the middle of August. It is essential that we are ready, "Ilic concluded.
The Director of the Cultural Center Tivat, Neven Staničić, pointed out earlier that the program of this year's Purgatorije will undoubtedly be reduced and rely mainly on local productions. The plan includes plays "Filomena Marturano", "Bokelian D-mol", "Little Pirate", "Tre Sorelle", "Jami District" with the celebration of its 100th performance, but also a couple of guests - "Don Quixote" by the City Theater from Podgorica and the Bar Chronicle, then "Twilight of the Gods" by the Belgrade Drama Theater and "Colonel of Birds" of the City Theater of Podgorica.
This year's Pugratorije will have its own literary and musical segment, but the dynamics of the program will depend on the epidemiological situation.
Source: Radio Tivat
August 1, 2020 - The second Wild Beauty Art Festival is planned to take place from 31st July to 22nd August at several locations across Montenegro. Nine music programmes are planned for Black Lake on Durmitor - the already well-known site of the festival - as well as the UNESCO site Stećci, and for the new coastal home of the festival, the unique ambience of Luštica Bay.
The Wild Beauty Art platform was created on the initiative of the KotorArt team, after almost two decades of the latter festival’s existence. KotorArt is now a festival of national and international importance and provides an active contribution to branding Montenegro as a tourist destination with high quality and unique artistic and cultural content. Last summer, the first edition of Wild Beauty Art was held successfully, the idea being to present the natural beauties of Montenegro not “only” purely as unique natural places in themselves, but also as spaces for top artistic creations.
The programmes planned for this summer have been carefully designed as a blend of artistic quality and musical works receptive to a wider audience, and will showcase a wide range of musical genres. In the next four weeks of summer, programmes with jazz, world music, popular melodies, but also art music are planned every weekend. The main events are scheduled for Friday at 6 pm on the Black Lake and Saturday at 9 pm in Luštica Bay. The festival starts on Friday, 31st July, next to the Black Lake, with a performance by the band Ars Longa, consisting of violinist Nenad Jovanović, flutist Tamara Knezević and double bassist Vasilija Gagović.
All Wild Beauty Art programmes are planned in the open, with maximum respect for the measures of the National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases, in order to ensure the safety of the audience, musicians and the festival team. Admission to all events within the Wild Beauty Art Festival is free, and the organizing team, sponsors and partners of the festival ask the audience to adhere to the NKT measures, especially in terms of wearing protective masks and maintaining physical distance.
The second Wild Beauty Art Festival is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and the Tourist Organization of Zabljak, in cooperation with the National Restaurant Black Lake, Durmitor National Park, Lustica Bay and the International Festival KotorArt. The organizer reserves the right to change the programme in line with the epidemiological situation. The latest information on the Wild Beauty Art programme can be found on the Facebook and Instagram profiles of the Festival, as well as on the website www.wildbeautyart.me
July 27, 2020 - Sometimes a single word can say so much. One such word is "Monticola".
Monticola is a genus of birds, of which there are two species in Montenegro. Monticola is also a Latin word for mountaineer, a man of hills and mountains.
The word "monticola", chosen by the well-established Centre for the Protection and Study of Birds (CZIP), was therefore the obvious choice for the name of the agency to promote Montenegro as a future bird-watching destination.
The Monticola Agency was recently registered with its own website (monticola.me), offers and packages made available, and future guides passed all the necessary training and received licenses. Yet, the coronavirus epidemic put a stop to plans.
Or rather, hit the pause button.
Black-Winged Stilt Photo: Marija Šoškić
“From the outset we wanted to use a bird species in the name. Monticola is a genus of birds of which there are two species - Monticola saxatilis, common rock thrush, and Monticola solitarius - blue rock thrush. One complements the other and together they cover most of Montenegro, and yet they are not so common and easy to see. Their secrecy best describes Montenegro, a country with hidden corners waiting to be discovered. "Monticola" is a Latin word meaning mountaineer, a man of hills and mountains, an epithet that best describes the inhabitants of our country," say Ivan Bakić and Bojan Zeković.
One of the fastest-growing branches of tourism
Bakić is also the Executive Director of the Monticola Agency, and Zeković, who is a long-standing ornithologist with the CZIP, and a licenced a tourist guide, will in future be taking enthusiasts on tours and bird-watching outings.
Dwarf Owl Photo: Marija Šoškić
Bird watching is one of the fastest growing branches of tourism, at least it was until the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic.
In Montenegro, according to the CZIP and the Monticola Agency, this activity has only just gained momentum.
"One possible concern for us is that we started all our preparations just before the epidemiological crisis, so it may be that we will not be particularly successful. It is difficult to say what eco-tourism, of which our activity is part, will look like after the end of the pandemic. But so far it has been the fastest growing branch of tourism. Our activity is something that complements the classic very time-limited summer season, because its focus is on the period before and after the season - spring and autumn," says Bakić.
Yellow Wagtail Photo: Zoran Popović
So what can Montenegro offer birders? A lot, says Bakić, speaking to Vijesti.
"The advantage of Montenegro in the foreign market is our biological diversity. In a very small area we have exceptional dynamics of landscape, and thus habitats, and following on from that, species. In addition to this we should not forget the people, especially the villages, and the cultural and traditional heritage aspects of life here, being different and well-preserved in relation to the rest of Europe. Something that seems neglected to an ordinary person, is essentially untouched nature, as it should look in the whole of Europe, but unfortunately is not the case," says Bakić.
Montenegro following Slovenia?
In Montenegro, several areas of international importance for birds (IBA) have been singled out. Among them are Šasko Lake, Ulcinjska Solana, Skadar Lake, Biogradska Gora and Durmitor.
Hoopoe Photo: Marija Šoškić
Those areas were added to the IBA list before 2000, thanks at that time to ornithologists from Serbia. The CZIP, meanwhile, has identified at least 13 more potential IBA areas in the country, but these have not yet received official status.
"For the time being, we remain with the same number of official IBA areas. Birdlife International will be carrying out an audit soon and we will be contributing to this based on the knowledge we have gained through our research over the years. A lot of work has also been done through research for potential Natura 2000 sites, where areas of special protection have been recorded and proposed, and where 55 percent of the territory meets the criteria for protection. For now, only one other European country has such a high percentage of its area protected - Slovenia, which is considered the green capital of Europe," CZIP states.
According to the latest census, 349 bird species have been registered in Montenegro so far. Zeković says that four new species have been recorded, and that it is natural for numbers to increase, because ornithologists are increasingly present in the field.
And here, he adds, in addition to research, bird watchers also play a big role.
"They record and enter data and confirm that more 'eyes on the ground' means more opportunities to find something new and interesting," says Zeković. He also explains that the richness of the bird fauna of a country is observed and confirmed through the total number of registered species or, more often, the number of nesting species. As many as 213 species of birds nest in Montenegro.
Yellowhammer Photo: Marija Šoškić
Zeković explains that this nest density index in Montenegro is significantly above the Balkan average; the Balkan average is 0.435, while the nest density index in Montenegro is 0.562.
"This is due to the diversity of habitats - from the coast, through salt pans, freshwater lakes, semi-steppes, canyons, dense forests, mountain plateaus and high mountain peaks. On the other hand, it is also due to the fact that Montenegro is located on one of the four most important bird corridors in Europe - the Adriatic Migration Corridor (Adriatic Flyway), through which millions of birds migrate to and from Africa every year," he said.
The State not recognizing potential
He adds that, compared to other European countries, 213 species nesting in Montenegro is a relatively high number, if we take into account that Montenegro is one of the smallest European countries.
"For example, Montenegro is 39th in terms of area, while in terms of the number of nesting birds it is in 23rd place, just below Hungary, which is almost seven times bigger than Montenegro. Also, there are more nesting birds in Montenegro than there are Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Slovenia or Switzerland," says Zeković.
When it comes to birds, the statistics look good for Montenegro. However, the state has not yet tapped the potential of bird watching as a branch of eco-tourism.
"This type of tourism has been totally neglected, especially bearing in mind the potential it has. In previous years, tours were led by foreign guides who, by coincidence, or borne simply out of desire and love, knew our country very well. The first bird watchers therefore came with foreign agencies, and foreign guides. CZIP has previously held workshops for guides and locals on this topic, either working with other organizations or independently, under its own auspices," says Bakić.
Little Egret Photo: Marija Šoškić
Monticola organizes bird watching on Lake Skadar, on the territory of the Prokletije National Park and Ulcinj Saltworks.
The original tour prices have now been adjusted, but are still high, given domestic circumstances.
A visit to Lake Skadar costs 1,100 euros, or 900 euros with the reduction. Bird watching in the north - on Durmitor, Biogradska Gora and Prokletije, cost 1,500 or now 1,200 euros, with the discount. "In the beginning, our focus was entirely on the foreign market, with two thematic tours that cover the north and the south.
This is especially due to the fact that these two tours cover different species, habitat types and climatic conditions.
Someone who comes from Finland will not want to spend a vacation in the forest and mountains, but on the coast, observing species that they cannot see in their own country.
The same goes for visitors from Mediterranean countries who will appreciate the three-toed woodpecker more than the flamingos from the Ulcinj saltworks.
This means that each in addition, each package must be adapted not only to the country from which the visitor comes, but also to his or her interests - being simply a nature lover or a so-called “twitcher”, a person who has a list of species he wants to see during his stay, which is not so easy with birds, because they are unpredictable, explains Bakić.
For CZIP and the Monticola Agency, the Western European market is crucial.
"Western Europe is the key inbound market for us; these are countries that have a highly-developed culture of bird watching, for example in Great Britain and the Netherlands. The situation with the current pandemic has, of course, had a very negative effect on our business, as is the case all over the world, but we are adapting, monitoring the situation and hoping that there is a future for our business. In the coming period, trips of smaller groups in search of a vacation surrounded by nature will become more and more popular, and that is exactly what we offer," says Bakić.
They say that they are certainly considering bird watching options for the local population and add that the goal is to continue with activities in what is the primary job of CZIP - nature protection based on research.
Speaking to Vijesti, they explain that while they are observing birds with the visitors, they are not limited to just that during the tour.
"A successful and experienced guide will introduce you to all the important plants and butterflies you see, mammals whose tracks you come across, they will provide information about conservation of the habitat, its function, threats and its beauty. In addition, bird watching is not a luxury form of tourism, which means that it brings together nature lovers who want to support the local population through traditional accommodation, local cuisine, local products and contact with people living in areas that are important for the survival of certain species," say Bakić and Zeković.
A vital connection
Bird watching in Montenegro has so far only been organized by Lake Skadar National Park. Now CZIP is also offering packages, and bird watching on Ćemovsko Polje has also been announced.
CZIP says that it is vital for everyone who offers similar services to connect. "Bird watching is a relatively new tourist activity in Montenegro, and we must connect all stakeholders - national and local tourism organizations, national parks, those who offer accommodation, guides, all this in order to promote Montenegro as an interesting new market for this type of tourism. We have already taken some steps in that direction towards connecting, and we are especially glad that there are some similar initiatives with tourism organizations recognizing that bird watching can significantly enrich what their municipalities can offer tourists," stated CZIP.
A few years ago, CZIP trained several guides in bird watching at Ulcinj Saltworks.
“The intention was to involve the local population and provide a source of income for young people from Ulcinj. Despite the good will, the project did not come to fruition at that time because there were problems accessing Solana. Those obstacles have now been removed, so we hope that after the end of the epidemic we will still be able to build on the capacities we discovered within the young talented people in Ulcinj, who would certainly do the job with love and pride," the NGO states.
All proceeds to go towards nature protection
CZIP points out that all revenue generated by providing services through a travel agency will be reinvested in the work of NGOs.
"More precisely, the income goes directly into nature protection. CZIP has been organizing volunteer tours for years, so we wanted to use this experience to respond to the requests of those who wanted to hire us and thus support our work and mission, but could not do so due to legal restrictions. Providing tourist services doesn’t just mean managing tours, but also implies responsibility for clients, primarily their safety and well-being, and then also the provision of quality, which is ensured by legal provisions. In that sense, we aim to respond to the requirements of the state, so that our tours, unlike many in the region, are led by ornithologists who additionally and importantly have a tourist guide's license," said Bakić.
An online store is also available on the Monticola website. On monticola.me, those interested can find souvenirs, bags, t-shirts, posters and many other items with bird motifs.
"All the products can be bought directly from the agency's website in order to be able to pay the necessary taxes, but all the revenue that Monticola makes through its business - organizing tours or through web shops - goes to nature protection programmes implemented by CZIP," the organization states.