We are currently working with a number of NGOs, including the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) to protect the lake from the Porto Skadar Development, a poorly planned and managed project that threatens the Lake and its community. Read our letter inviting environmental NGOs to take part, and to get a background on the latest project and its focus. There is a version in English, and in Montenegrin.

 

Excerpts and Background

We would like to draw your attention to events that immediately threaten to undermine the future of the National Park "Skadar Lake", a key biodiversity area in Europe, and globally. We request your support in preventing environmental destruction.

We are writing on behalf of an informal group of citizens from Virpazar, Montenegro (population 17,000).  Our members include representatives of civil society, associations of fishermen, and small business entrepreneurs who are against illegal, environmentally damaging development on Skadar Lake National Park (SLNP). We request the support of your organisation to address our chief concerns, which include:

  • The prevention of the development of a commercial project known as “Porto Skadar Lake” (currently underway), and the damaging precedent this will set

  • Prevention of the Spatial Plan incorporating further tourist developments in Skadar Lake National Park

Actions We Request of IUCN

As the value of Skadar National Park is transnational, we believe that the expertise of international communities and institutions involved in the protection of the environment and of nature is of crucial importance. We would like to invite you to add your contribution, and join us in the process in which the future of the park is decided.

Specifically, actions that could support this cause include:

  • That the IUCN regional office in Belgrade becomes actively involved in the process of creating a new Spatial Development plan 2025 (PPPNSJ) primarily through professional expertise on appropriate solutions for the protection zones. The IUCN regional office does seem to have started some activity to improve the management of Skadar Lake, but it seems far short of what they committed to when they were awarded a grant to do so in 2013. We refer here to the project Support long-term sustainable management of Lake Skadar, 2013-2016, funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.

  • That IUCN raise these concerns directly with the Government of Montenegro, and in particular the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, to get more information about the process of developing sustainability plan for the Skadar Lake National Park, and surrounding area

  • Your participation in the monitoring process, expert consultation, and decision-making in the development of such a plan

  • Any other support you can provide within your institutional remit that would help plan the straightforward and effective sustainable development of the protected area