CZIP left advisory body established for the protection of Ulcinj salt pans



Centre for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro (CZIP) will no longer participate in the work of the Advisory Committee for the Protection of Ulcinj Salt Pans because of the “lack of minimum expected results in the field of protection of the area”. Therefore the effect of the work of this body in the field of revitalisation of the aforementioned habitat is negligible, CZIP said.

“If the birds are the best indicator of the state of the environment (and according to the EU directives, they are), the second unsuccessful nesting season is not an argument in favour of (for the time being, only declarative) commitment of relevant state entities to protect the salt pans and to manage it conscientiously. The last year’s nesting failure due to delay in repairing pumping stations has been repeated this spring, when nests of most valuable European species of birds were flooded due to insufficient water pumping. We are recording he consequences of that through field research. The catastrophic situation on the ground, the lack of understanding for the needs of the salt pans and mismanagement of water regime gives us the right to withdraw from the council the effect and the purpose of which were absent”, CZIP stated.

In addition, the state of rapid decline in the number of water birds due to intensive poaching in the area of the salt pans and its immediate vicinity is worrying. It is an issue absolutely no attention was paid to.

“Additionally, the Ramsar form for declaring Solana wetland habitat of international importance, which is confirmed as completed by the Ramsar Secretariat, has still been kept in the ministry’s drawers for no apparent reason and without any hope to be officially submitted. The non-participation of the institution in the public hearings on the Study of the Salt Pans Protection last year and not issuing approvals to protect the salt pans against all legally prescribed deadlines clearly indicates the lack of political will to protect this area”, CZIP added.

The NGO said it would participate in the council only after achieving concrete results on the ground, ie when both water pumps are activated in a way required by the current conditions and the state of the salt pans. It added that during heavy rainfall this spring the salt pans area was flooded with atmospheric water.

“We do not believe occasional operations of one, rarely two pumps, is insufficient to manage the hydrological regime of the area adequately”, the NGO stated.

It requires activating the pump in Djerane, which should have start pumping in salt water (along with food for birds) at the beginning of April, submitting application for Ramsar protection and making agreement among the Municipality of Ulcinj, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Environmental Protection Agency on the content of the protection study”, CZIP pointed out.

Until then, the NGO added, it will not provide legitimacy to the advisory body, thus allowing officials to repeat platitudes on the active participation of civil society in the protection of Ulcinj salt pans.

“In this case, such participation creates the illusion of an established dialogue, which is extremely non-transparent in practice”, CZIP concluded.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro