October 4, 2020 - The World Wild Fund (WWF) has launched a campaign against the construction of small hydropower plants - SHPPs - in the Balkans "because it is a game in which we all lose." Part of that campaign is the petition to ban all Balkan governments' plans regarding putting rivers into pipes. Such a petition was launched in Montenegro today.
The WWF said that SHPPs are harmful to the environment because they pollute and drain rivers, even though they draw energy from renewable sources.
"Our region is home to the last free-flowing rivers in Europe, but they are under a lot of pressure today. State incentives are the main reason why around 2,700 SHPPs are planned across the Balkans. If this is not stopped, hundreds of rivers will be destroyed. With this type of construction, we could lose 5,000 km of untouched rivers," reads a statement from WWF and Bankwatch, announced on the occasion of the World's River Day, September 27.
WWF points out that the primary motive for constructing more than 50 small hydropower projects on 33 Montenegrin rivers is the established socially - economically unacceptable and financially harmful system of incentives for electricity production from renewable sources (RES).
WWF has launched a campaign in Montenegro and the region to stop state incentives for small hydropower plants. Without them, most of the 2,700 small hydropower projects in the Balkans would be unprofitable then stopped.
"Don't be a loser either, sign the petition at losingrivers.com/cg and join the fight to save rivers in Montenegro and the region," the WWF said.
People in the north of Montenegro have been protecting the endangered rivers with their bodies for months. Despite the intense storm, the residents of Bare Kraljske gathered today to say once again: "Not a drop".
Info table about SHPPs construction on rivers Crnja, Ljubaštica, Crni Potok, Source: Vijesti
Milovan Labović said that no storm would shake them. Only one outcome was possible, the rehabilitation of the area and a ban on the construction of small hydropower plants on all watercourses.
The rivers visibly swelled from heavy rainfall, and soil erosion occurred at the water intake site. The storm didn't prevent Plav activists from attending today's protest and giving support, PCNEN reports.
The civic movement URA has previously launched a petition to stop all projects for constructing the SHHPs in Montenegro. And that was not the first initiative.
"STOP construction of SHPPs on the rivers Crnja, Cestogaz and Ljubastica," is the title of the petition to suspend all further works on the construction of SHPPs on the rivers Crnja, Čestogaz, and Ljubaštica in the area of the Regional Park "Komovi," and return the watercourse of the river Čestogaz to its previous state.
Works on SHHP construction on the River Čestogaz, Source: Vijesti
The extent to which the former Montenegrin majority did not care about environmental protection is also shown by the fact that the Parliament of Montenegro never reacted to the petition NGO Green Home sent in May 2019, signed by over 6,300 people, requesting a permanent suspension of all SHPP construction projects in Montenegro.
"Not a Drop" campaign, Source: Facebook
It is to be noted that among the owners of companies that build SHPPs on Montenegrin rivers are the son of the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, and the husband of Dr. Vesna Miranović, a member of the Crisis Medical Staff of the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases.
October 3, 2020 - Although kitesurfing primarily conjures up images of long, sandy beaches, with more lovers of adrenaline gathering every year to enjoy the sport, the idea of exploring the winds of Boka is gaining traction with an increasing number of kite surfers from Montenegro. And waiting for them is an informal club of lovers of adrenaline sports at sea - Boka Surfing.
Autumn with its changeable weather, rain, and squalls of winds, isn't generally cause for happiness, especially in Boka. However, there are those among us who can hardly wait for the playful winds to show what they're made of.
When we talk about sailing, alongside the Sailing Club Delfin, Tivat has another serious, although primarily family setup - Sailing Club TriBelan, which was started and equipped by a Tivat sailor who chased the wind across the Mediterranean - Miho Belan. In addition to catamarans, sailors from this family are passionate about extreme sailing. Ilija was the standout figure until recently, out in almost every south weather storm along the Tivat shores, and the sometimes unforgiving strait of Verige. However, in recent years he has been joined at sea by the next generation - Toni, who has gone a step further searching for adrenaline, by discovering kitesurfing.
Boka Surfing Team at Belani Beach, Tivat, Source: Facebook
"I have been sailing since childhood. First through the Sailing Club Delfin and sailing in the Optimist and Laser classes. Then came the catamarans, then windsurfing. And, of course, cruising. But when I discovered kite surfing, I found a sport that combines sailing and a few more skills, and offers a lot of excitement and enjoyment," explains Toni.
With his uncle Ilija and friends - brothers Frano and Miloš Tripović, they started an informal club of surfing fans - Boka Surfing. Trying to reconcile two sports that are traditional rivals - windsurfing and kitesurfing - and physically and technically even more demanding.
"Both sports are adrenaline-filled and require physical fitness and skill. Kite implies different elements - you have to know how to board, know how to sail, and be ready for sudden wind changes. It is exciting, especially here in Boka, where the winds often change, and the coast is much more interesting than in our popular kite destination - Ulcinj beach, where the winds are much more predictable. That is why our friends from Ulcinj like to come to us."
Tony explains that destinations like Boka are interesting primarily for experienced kiters because the changes in wind conditions are very dynamic and require great skill. Also, in comparison with destinations such as Velika plaža in Ulcinj, inexperience here can be costly due to the coast's configuration. In that sense, Ponta Seljanova beach in Tivat is the only suitable spot for takeoff in the whole of Boka, so the conditions are not right for training future kiters. However, there is a solution for that as well, Tony explains. It is not a new practice to use ships to lift kites, thus avoiding the dangers of the coast.
Boka Surfing Team at Sveta Nedjela Cape, Source: Facebook
Boka Surfing is an association of enthusiasts for now, but in the future, it could become another popular niche tourist attraction. When it comes to kite surfing, we are talking about a sport whose popularity is growing from year to year. Maybe our bay will not be a destination like Ulcinj. Yet its specific aerodynamics and thermals can attract lovers of adrenaline sports like Toni, who used to travel to neighboring Croatia to experience new fields until discovering Boka's potential.
October 2, 2020 - In these dark days of the COVID-19 epidemic, everyone needs to take off a little above the clouds and socialize. It is even nicer to learn together, proposes an invitation to a seminar offering continuous psychosocial support for parents of children and young people with special needs. The seminar was held in Herceg Novi as a part of a broader project to support those children and their families.
About twenty experts from Kotor, Tivat, and Herceg Novi joined the coordinator, Dr. Sonja Vasić, for a two-day gathering organized by the NGO Meritum, held last weekend in the Blue Salon of the "Dr. Simo Milošević" Institute in Igalo.
The session leader was Dr. Nenad Rudic, a psychiatrist at the Institute for Mental Health in Belgrade and a consultant to UNICEF Serbia, whospoke to Radio Tivat at the end of the workshop:
"We had the opportunity to exchange our professional experiences and to provide our thoughts on the topic that brought us together: what is the best way to help this group, and what is possible, not forgetting that from the practice of helping children with special needs, parents are not just on the sidelines, but are actors in both child development and in our work with them. The reality is that both in our country and elsewhere in the world, a major issue is how to find the right models and ways of sustainable support to parenthood. Especially in the most challenging situations, we certainly do not have all the answers. It is in those challenging situations where we are wondering whether the profession can, within its competencies, develop support meetings, sometimes within its daily practice, but also as a special activity. These sessions can take place both with groups of parents and through individual counseling. Within these sessions, the parents need to be able to ask questions, feel good while asking them, get clear answers to personal questions, and feel that the child development services are working with the child. We are on the same side as the parents and we are trying to understand each other."
In particular, there were discussions on child development and disorders, mental health problems in children and young people with special needs, quality of life, and parental stress and their own mental health problems.
Emphasis was placed on the partnership model of counseling support to parents, to which attention will be paid in the next three similar sessions provided by the organization. The idea is for participants from three Boka municipalities to organize continuous work with parents in their communities after the training.
The organizers read a letter of support from Mary Borojevich, president and founder of the NGO Meritum, who came to Montenegro after many years dedicated to caring for children with special needs in Serbia.
"For the last four years, I have turned my attention to Montenegro, continuing the work with special needs children. We supported the daily care center in Herceg Novi for two years by paying the rent and funded in-home schooling for those kids who could not attend school. Our latest effort is to provide for the needs we learned of from professionals and family members when we held a needs assessment seminar last November at Cattaro Hotel," explains Mary Borojevich for TMN.
"This is planned to be a four-phase training program; the first phase was held 26-27 September. Our goal is to answer the call of the area's population with one sole goal in mind. That is to improve the special needs reality so that everyone may reach their full potential. Of course, the very wonderful side effect will be a more capable and compassionate society in this beautiful Boka that I have come to love and call my second home," says this humanitarian worker interviewed by TMN two years ago.
Among the workshop's participants last weekend in Igalo, was Marijana Škanata, the President of the NGO European House Tivat, which gathers parents of children with special needs from the town. The NGO has been supporting children with special needs and their families since 2007. As a parent of a child with special needs herself, advocating for better policies and practices through the years, Marijana was invited to join the gathering both as a journalist and experienced worker on the topic:
"The first thing that struck me was the great enthusiasm I felt among all the participants. They came with many ideas, cooperation suggestions, and proposals of how continuous psychological support should be provided within the social care system. In today's world, psychological support is needed more than ever. As a parent, I took the opportunity to emphasize some good and some bad examples of how participants in health and social care systems could be helpful or psychologically unsupportive with parents in very delicate moments. In doing this, we discussed real problems and found solutions together, acting as a team."
Daily Care Center for Children with Special Needs in Tivat, Photo by Sinisa Lukovic
NGO European House Tivat was founded in 2000. Their mission to help special needs children began in 2007 when Marijana took part in a working group to create the Local Action Plan for Children, introducing the need to organize a daycare center for children with special needs in Tivat into the local plans. After years and years of EDT efforts, those plans are finally coming to fruition - the daycenter will host its first guests on Monday, October 5.
The Montenegrin "Monte Carlo," as some like to call Tivat when making a development-level comparison, has succeeded in opening the Daycare Center after dozens of projects, educational, and funding events organized by EDT Tivat.
"We started collecting funds and advocating for the daycenter in December 2008, with our first project dedicated to children with special needs - I want to go to the EU, me too! It took a lot of time, but some of our children will finally have this vital service. It is important not only for them but also for their families. Of course, we are happy and look forward to future cooperation and joint projects with this important local institution," said Marijana Mišić Škanata for TMN.
The institution "Daycenter for Children and Youth with Disabilities" Tivat was officially opened on August 12, and its doors open to guests on Monday, October 5. According to the coordinator, Vedrana Petković, the Center in Seljanovo can accommodate 20 guests.
"The center's working hours are from 7am to 3pm; every aspect will be designed with the needs of the children in mind," Vedrana points out, noting that the center is counting on close cooperation with the NGO European Home Tivat.
Guests will have at their disposal a living room, a room for individual work, rehabilitation room, and sensory room, and the center is open to children and young people up to 27 years of age.
October 1, 2020 - A new government is being formed in Montenegro. The prime ministerial candidate of the three winning coalitions with the majority in the parliament, Zdravko Krivokapić, believes that politicians should not burden citizens with the distribution of roles until the parties reach an agreement.
"It is primarily a matter for the political entities to reach agreement on all important details. Something like that is not played out in the media. The government's composition proposal, the plan, and the program are presented only when an agreement is reached, and the goals and priorities are articulated. Everything else is rather inappropriate and an unnecessary burden for all of us," stated Krivokapic in a guest editorial for Podgorica's Vijesti.
According to Krivokapic, the most crucial challenge at the moment is the economy, and "partisans and Chetniks, whites and greens" should be left to "drive through the forests of history."
"Let's return them to the literature from whence they were dragged by the politicians of the failed economy. This was only done to cover their economic incompetence and bad intentions in the legal sphere, using issues that are not the concern of the majority of the Montenegrin population," Krivokapic said.
The current economic situation in Montenegro far from positive. Krivokapic says that it reminds him of "a large, safe ship that the previous rulers broke up so that everyone could float on their own, on as large a piece of wood as possible."
However, Montenegro has so many opportunities for economic recovery that, as he points out, it seems to him that the change of government came at the final, but the still the right moment.
Montenegro is an ideal place for digital nomads, writes Krivokapic. "Work and travel opportunities need to be understood and methodically accepted. Agriculture is simply crying out for real support, and a serious plan must be made and implemented as soon as possible," he said, adding that he can promise that he will monitor the work of each ministry on a daily basis.
"I will follow the flow of money to the last cent. That is why I have already started with the IT sector, "wrote Krivokapic, pointing out that all political parties must recognize this new moment.
"It is time for those who want power or who think they are incapable of doing anything else to not enter politics," Krivokapic wrote, adding that "in the government, we need people who perceive this task as a great sacrifice, ready to spend a significant amount of time, being aware of how much, to every detail, they will be controlled by both domestic and international factors," he said.
Krivokapic points out that vanity, love of power, and love of glory will prove to be the wrong motives for this kind of work, and the future minister, instead of fame and money, could easily end up with a prison sentence if he acts illegally.
"No one in Montenegro, nor in the international community, of which we are a real part, will tolerate corruption, crime or incompetence any more. After all the conversations we have had, I am sure of one thing: there is no going back! Those who hope for a different outcome will be very disappointed," said Krivokapic.
September 30, 2020 - The pozornica.me portal is now up and running. It is an ambitious project through which theaters, festivals, cultural centers, associations, and NGOs can inform the public about their work and their projects quickly and easily.
Ten electronic services have been made available to theater lovers in Montenegro since the beginning of September on the portal www.pozornica.me
The portal is an information hub for current and upcoming theater events and content in Montenegro, and is in important source from an informative, educational and entertainment perspective.
In the informative segment, pozornica.me will continuously publish all upcoming theater events to further develop and support theater art in Montenegro. In addition to its primary function of informing the public about theater events, the portal aims to present and promote professional literature.
"Portal pozornica.me will aim to follow all current theater events and happenings and to provide all related information. The theater audience will be able to read exciting and inspiring texts on theatrical art to find what interests them. But the portal will also be a platform where theater lovers will be able to review plays and express their opinions, said the editor of the portal Dubravka Matičić.
Also, there is a further service that is still under construction, which consists of a calendar of events, a repertoire divided by production, reviews from the audience, a wish list (with which portal users will be able to see when and where a favorite show will be performed), and a ticket reservation section.
The portal is open for cooperation with all institutions, festivals, associations, schools that deal with theater in any way, and individuals, whether they are actors, directors, producers, or just theater lovers, the portal editor added.
The portal designer is Kristijan Vujović.
The project pozornica.me is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, through a competition to help independent artists affected by the pandemic's impact on the cultural sector, in partnership with the Royal Theater Zetski Dom.
September 27, 2020 - The Institute of Public Health (IPH) has appealed to the public in general and "influential individuals" to call for strict adherence to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Institute called on the public to stay in their houses as much as possible, to wear masks, and maintain physical distance.
"Given the rampant local transmission, the large number of cases in hospitals and the enormous pressure on the health system, the IPH has proposed to the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases the introduction of additional measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. "Aware of the difficult situation caused by non-compliance with the measures, we appeal to all people, and specifically to all influential individuals to call for strict adherence to the measures adopted," the Institute said in a statement.
These measures, the implementation of which will start tomorrow, will ensure that we suppress the intensive spread of the epidemic in the first half of October and preserve the population's health and lives, added the IPH.
"We are aware of the economic situation and the problems that will arise due to the proposal of such measures, but this is the only way to try to control the challenging epidemiological situation and help the healthcare system stay on its feet. We do everything our colleagues do everywhere. We call on you to be united, disciplined, and responsible for yourself and your loved ones. "
Only in this way, as they point out, can we help both ourselves and the medical workers who "are fighting for every human life with superhuman efforts."
"Dear citizens, please stay in your homes as much as possible, wear masks, and maintain physical distance. This appeal refers to all citizens of Montenegro, regardless of whether there is a higher or lower level of transmission in their local communities," concludes the IPH, asking for assistance to cope with this challenging period.