Heated argument on Solana protection between Gvozdenovic and NGOs

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A heated argument marked the International Conference on Ulcinj Solana Protection, which has started today in Podgorica. Whereas the relevant ministry clearly says that we have to primarily think about sustainability and then about the salt pans protection, NGOs warn that this is a wrong approach.

Ambassadors of the most influential countries are not satisfied with the pace of resolving the Solana issue, Radio Antena M carried.

The minister of sustainable development and tourism Branimir Gvozdenovic has insisted that without salt production, there is no sustainability of an artificial ecosystem such as is Solana. The minister cannot understand why such an important thing is being neglected.

“The ministry is in the final stage of project design, which will define all the necessary elements needed for the completing a protection study. The project task will soon be submitted to the European Commission for consideration and I am sure that together with the Ministry of Economy we will define conditions for obtaining concessions for salt production”, Gvozdenovic said.

However, NGOs insist upon protecting Solana first and only then its sustainability should be discussed.

A representative of the Centre for Protection of Birds Aleksandar Perovic required an explanation from the minister Gvozdenovic.

“Why did not the Ministry provide consent for the necessary study in order for it to be decided upon in the Municipal Assembly? Why has not the ministry release any statements during public hearings, instead of making conclusions and comments with hindsight”, said Perovic.

Gvozdenovic said that nobody had the right to make any objections against the government related to the salt pans. He denied allegations of obstruction and delay, as well as those related to any kind of construction in this area.

The state secretary at the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Daliborka Pejovic, said that there was no issue they dealt with as intensively as they dealt with Solana.

It is in the common interest of all of us that the salt pans become a successful example of economic production and environmental protection, the head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Mitja Drobnic said. Therefore, it is important that the government is aware of its responsibilities.

“We have noticed significant delays, regarding the conclusions related to Solana that were adopted last year. Therefore, we call on all the parties to agree on deadlines for an efficient Solana protection”, said Drobnic.

The US Ambassador to Montenegro, Margaret Ann Uyehara, also warned that all entities were responsible for Solana issue.

German Ambassador to Montenegro Gudrun Steinacker admitted she had expected the authorities to do much more to protect Solana.

“We are not satisfied with the engagement. Last year, promises to MEPs were made, but they have not been fulfilled and there is no explanation for that”, said Steinacker.

The conference on Solana protection will be continued tomorrow.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro