More than 100.000 signatures for the protection of Ulcinj Salina

In the South of Montenegro, right at the European Green Belt, lies a magnificent bird´s paradise: Ulcinj Salina. With about 15 km2, Ulcinj Salina is one of the biggest nesting and resting sites for more than 250 bird species on the Adriatic flyway. This unique habitat evolved during the almost 90 years of salt production. Unfortunately, the salt production stopped in 2013 leading to unemployment of 400 salt workers and the start of the ecosystem´s degradation. Only with a proper water management, and in the best case also salt production, this specific habitat will stay alive.

Ulcinj Salina is a bird´s paradise. © Janinka Lutze

Although the Montenegrin government has promised several times to put Ulcinj Salina under protection, solve the ownership question (there is discussion on whether the whole Salina or only the rights for salt production were privatized) and secure a proper management including its financial safety, very little has happened so far.

Therefore, in April 2019 an alliance of several NGOs (EuroNatur Foundation, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, CZIP and MSJA) handed more than 100.00 signatures they had collected from all around the world on a petition for the protection of Ulcinj Salina to the Montenegrin prime minister. On 18 April the alliance organized the 5th International Conference on the Protection of Ulcinj Salina in Podgorica with participants from the government, NGOs, ambassadors and former salt workers. Once again the Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism confirmed the will to designate the Salina as protected area soon.

The alliance will continue to convince the government to finally keep its promises as well as promote the Salina´s bird-friendly potentials. For example, a map for tourist and a brochure have been published this year. Another new hope for the Salina is brought in by the EU as the European Commission has put the protection and secured management of Ulcinj Salina as closing benchmark in the EU accession negotiations.

More information about Ulcinj Salina.

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