Representatives of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro attended a conference entitled “Renewing the idea: Montenegro – an ecological state” organized by the School of Political Studies, which operates within the Civic Alliance, held on November 19 at the Hotel Podgorica.
Speakers at the conference were: Dr. Ratko Mitrović, candidate for Minister of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, Miloš Konatar, Vice President of URA and MP, Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš and Boris Raonić, President of the Civic Alliance.
At the beginning of the conference, Boris Raonić addressed and briefed the attendees on the topic of the conference. The conference was organized within the World Forum of Democracy. “This year, it was planned for the Democracy Forum to be dedicated to environmental issues, more precisely whether ecology can save democracy and vice versa. Due to the current situation in the world, it was decided to postpone the Forum and to organize gatherings of this type in all countries and discuss current topics, “said Raonić. In Montenegro, it was decided that this would be the topic of the ecological state, which has been current in Montenegro for almost three decades. The conference was attended by the creators of this idea as well as environmental activists. Raonić then gave the floor to Dr. Ratko Mitrović.
Mitrović stated that the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism will primarily deal with the development of environmental responsibility and ethics. He also stated that the development of environmental awareness in Montenegro is very important.
“If we analyze the media image, we can get the impression that environmental awareness in Montenegro is at a high level. However, it is obvious to the naked eye that this is not the case, that further engagement in its development is needed”, Mitrović said.
Speaking about the goals and plans of the future government regarding the protection of the environment, he stated that it is necessary to prevent further loss of forest ecosystems caused by unsustainable deforestation and fires.
Mitrović said that the goal of the future government is to rehabilitate environmental black spots.
Miloš Konatar then addressed the audience, expressing concern that after 30 years since Montenegro declaratively decided to be an ecological state, not much has been done.
He stated that he was proud of the fact that URA became a member of the European Greens.
He stated that one of the acts of the URA during the election campaign was a declaration banning the construction of small hydropower plants in Montenegro.
“Our first talks with the prime minister-designate went in the direction that the government is absolutely ready to meet the goals of the declaration by amending the energy law, which is to permanently ban the construction of small hydropower plants in Montenegro as a type of large devastation of nature in Montenegro “, said Konatar.
He said that the citizens of Montenegro are forced to be actively involved in the defense of nature.
“If it were not for the activities of the non-governmental sector and civic activists, we would not have protected some important natural sites in Montenegro,” Konatar said.
He also said that citizens have shown high awareness when it comes to environmental protection.
“I think that Montenegro has a great chance and that it must be branded in the world as an ecological state, and that is something by which we can be recognizable,” Konatar concluded.
Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš said that he was aware of the difficulties and drama that a large number of our fellow citizens are going through because of the pandemic that struck us on the one hand, and on the other hand because of the economic crisis and worries about the days ahead. “That is a priority at the moment, but we also have an obligation to look to the future and try to build a more practical and sustainable society that would be more resistant to a similar crisis,” said Petrović Njegoš. Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš said that Montenegro, in accordance with the Constitution, is officially the first ecological state and that the project of an ecological state could not be imposed due to various private interests.
He also said that it is easier for Montenegro, which has 630 thousand inhabitants, to realize the project of an ecological state than for countries with tens of millions of inhabitants. “Montenegro could thus become a small laboratory of ecological transition and use international support and patronage,” said Petrović Njegoš.
He said that after the elections and immediately before the formation of the new government, the best time is to talk and raise the issue of the ecological state, which remains the only desirable future for Montenegro.
Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš concluded that the project of the ecological state has his full support and that the Petrović Njegoš Foundation is ready to mobilize for this great project.