World Environment Day marked

June 5, 2021

Podgorica, June 5, 2021 – More than 70 people participated in cleaning waste on the beaches, in the sea, and coast in the Bay of Kotor today. The action was organized by the Ministry of Ecology on the occasion of marking World Environment Day.

The action gathered volunteers and was undertaken in partnership with the United Nations Development Program Office in Montenegro. Today's clean-up operation was supported by the Institute of Marine Biology, the Administration for Maritime Safety and Port Management of Montenegro and the Regional Diving Center. The action was also supported by the private sector, specifically the companies YU Briv, Bella Boka, and Valgo, as well as representatives of the NGO sector and numerous volunteers.

Today's action resulted in cleaning the area from Kostanjica to Turski Rt and from Strp to Lipci, which is known for a large amount of solid waste on the seabed that has a negative impact on the marine ecosystem and causes damage to seabed organisms. In addition to the marine area, the beaches in Risan Bay have also been cleaned.

Danilo Mrdak, State Secretary at the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, said that this was just one in a series of activities organized within the Program of marking the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Ecological State of Montenegro.

"The goal of this action is to bring together all international and national institutions, as well as the ones at the local level, as well as nature lovers from the NGO sector, to point out the problem we all have, and that is the huge amount of waste in our sea. Just yesterday's meeting that we had as part of the GEF Adriatic project, pointed out that one of the major problems in terms of preserving the marine environment, is a large amount of solid waste, "said Mrdak.

Daniela Gašparikova, UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro, pointed out that the waste collected today is a reminder that people have not done enough for the planet and that their behavior, such as poor waste management, contributes to the climate crisis.

"With the hope that we are not too late, it is the final chance for seriousness, determination and urgent action, which will be confirmed by almost 200 countries from all over the world at the UN summit on climate change in November." Montenegro boasts ambitious plans to set a new goal – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by the year 2030. "Together, we must do more and prevent unwanted human behavior through more efficient application of the law and the creation of a system that will encourage people to properly manage waste," said Gašparikova.

A logo to accompany this year's campaign "each LEAF each DROP" which marks mark 30 years of the ecological state was presented at today's action. The author of the logo is Milena Živković.

"My intention was to convey the message of how important we all are and how important every gesture and action of an individual are. That is why I came up with the idea for the slogan to be "Every leaf, every drop," which means that we are all equally important, and that doing things with love yields results," said Živković.

Milan Gazdić, director of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that this year's World Environment Day theme was "Ecosystem Restoration."

"Today's action is dedicated to a particular type of ecosystem restoration, given that waste on beaches and in the sea is one of the biggest threats to the ecosystem and biodiversity," Gazdić said.

The director of the Eco Fund, Draško Boljević, also highlighted the importance of today.

"The goal is to draw the public's attention to numerous environmental problems and the need to preserve and improve the quality of the environment," Boljević said.

Mladen Mikijelj, director of the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro, expressed his satisfaction that he was part of today's action, emphasizing that this enterprise will continue to be a part of all actions that can contribute to raising awareness, such as environmental protection and coastal quality.

"It is my great pleasure that we gave our contribution to the celebration of one of the most important days in the Montenegrin calendar," Mikijelj said.

*Press release was originally published by the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism