Montenegro and the climate change

Actual fires in the Amazon rainforest have globally re-opened the question of climate change and global warming problem, thanks to the several demonstrations around the world organized by nongovernment environmental organizations and civil groups.

It is important to underline that the Amazon represents a vital and the most significant climate stabiliser in the world (with the production of 20% of the world oxygen). That is the main reason why is this forest area so precious for our planet. Hence, we all need to be united with the aim to preserve and protect biodiversity and exotic species of the 'world lags' and all other similar spot areas.

Such fires represent a real example of human violation of international law on Environmental protection by different actors and big world economy polluters. The protection of the largest tropical forest in the world is a question of our survival and our future. It is time and real need that international institutions and every citizen in the world put an effort to raise awareness and take action to tackle the climate change crisis and accelerate the implementation process of the Paris Agreement. Individual action is essential for the future of our Planet Earth. The more people are informed about this crisis, the greater we can expect to be the ecological action and its impact on the biodiversity.

In my country, Montenegro, there are five areas that have a status of national parks: Biogradska gora, Durmitor, Lovćen, Prokletije and the Skadar Lake, which represent 8% of the country's territory. More precisely, Montenegro is the first ecological country in the world, defined by its Constitution. It signed the Declaration of ecological state in Žabljak, on 20 September 1991. According to this document: 'by establishing the state relation with the nature, the Montenegrin Assembly committed all generations to refer to nature as to the health source of inspiration for freedom, as well as to devote to its preservation in the name of their own survival and future descendants.'

 Montenegro is the European Union candidate country. In 2018, it has opened the Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change. It is, simply said, one of the most difficult and the most expensive chapters. Thus, Montenegrin politicians, lawyers and country institutions, as well as, Montenegrin citizens have enormous responsibility and have to work hard, in order to put in harmonization of the domestic legislation with the EU regulations and the EU Acquis.

Recently, Montenegro has established an ambitious plan for low-carbon (green) development. It will contribute the resource efficiency and sustainable nature conservation for future generations. In that way, low-carbon tourism seeks to take care of scarce resources, pollution reduction, reduction of plastics, etc. Also, it will foster connection between the north the south of the country. Therefore, the low-carbon tourism has become a new mode of travel, offering rich experiences for tourists through reducing CO2emissions (the carbon footprint) during tourism activities.

Just to mention that, in 2017, the initiative implemented by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro and the UNDP 'Reduce your carbon footprint'has greatly stimulated the development of awareness of the Montenegrin citizens, and in the same time, informed many tourists, country institutions, etc., about this crucial theme.

Additionally, in order to make this kind of tourism become real, an online carbon footprint calculator (you may find on: www.izračunajC02) was developed, which was established in many hotels along the Montenegrin coastline, as well as, at the local tourism organizations. In this way, country puts an effort in sustainable development and the eco-tourism. Also, it supports projects that reduce CO2emissions and provides an interesting vacation for tourists.

The fact is that the climate change is to our world, the greatest security treat. The ecosystem is very diligent and does not forgive the mistakes. Day by day, the world climate has been changing, while many endemic species are in danger of extinction. Because of that, in my opinion, every person on this Earth needs to act locally and think globally! With this approach we will improve our community and make real changes in our habitat.

 It is important for the future of all us to underline that individual action and joint contribution in resolving this issue is crucial and in the same time vital for natural environment and healthy life. Real and very inspirational story about climate change did a girl by name Greta Thunberg. She skipped school classes every Friday and protested for the climate change outside the Swedish Parliament building. By sharing this inspirational story and her concerns about climate change, Greta highlights the action of individuals, sending clear message about individual action and global climate crisis. Her global climate strike became one of the biggest environmental protests that world has ever seen. She inspired millions of people around the world to change its habits and routines, and has been encouraging individual action and choices to reduce the harmful impact on the biodiversity and our environment. That is the only way to confront the climate changes.

Also, it is evident that the increase of awareness about the importance of the clear air, water, soil and of the liveable climate which represent inalienable human rights. Hence, it is important that government initiatives create in that way good conditions for riding bicycles, reducing the use of paper and plastic bags, foster waste recycling, etc. Global action is necessary on climate.

The famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio stated:'Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who speak for all the humanity, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children's children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned by the politics of greed.'

Author: Mira Šorović

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Mira holds a Master degree in Political Science, International Relations department of University of Montenegro in Podgorica.

She has passionate and inspiring knowledge on international relations, world politics, the Balkans history and diplomacy. During her internship programme, she worked for the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, specifically, she worked on the project National revision and implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), in Montenegro.

Also, she was involved in a project Development of Environmental Infrastructure Audit and Affordability Study, which has a huge importance for the Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change.

Mira has participated in CEEPUS exchange programme at the Faculty of Applied Studies in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. She speaks five languages: Montengrin/Serbian, English, Italian, Spanish, French (the basic level). 

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