Inspired by the recent post on Bored Panda that went viral, I decided to write a post highlighting all the good things in 2019 that make me feel proud to be a Montenegrin.
Protected Wetland Established in Montenegro
In September 2019, Montenegro declared Ulcinj Salina a RAMSAR protected wetland. This was possibly one of the most important events in the whole decade where nature triumphed over corporate interests.
Ulcinj Salina is the flyway and migratory point for millions of birds. Due to its goegraphical positioning, it is crucially important to many bird species migrating from Siberia and Europe to Africa.
The RAMSAR convention is an international intergovernmental treaty that aims to conserve and promote the wise use of all wetlands.
Being designated as a RAMSAR protected wetland site signifies the international importance of Ulcinj Salina.
This would not have been possible without the heroic efforts and persistence of our partner and friend, Darko Saveljic, the Montenegrin NGO Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP), and many other local and international NGOs that petitioned and fought for Salina.
The Zeta River Valley was Recognized as a Nature Park
The Zeta region is one of the most biodiverse in the country and has cultural and historical significance for the whole of Montenegro.
Zeta is home to many bird and fish species, and its valley contains some of the most fertile ground in the country.
Being officially recognized as a nature park, this area can now attract tourists in often-overlooked Central Montenegro.
Further development and recognition of agrotourism
This year has been great for agrotourism – while there is no concrete public data available, more and more travelers are searching for accommodation and adventures in villages of Northern Montenegro.
The phenomenon is also recognized by the National Tourism Organization with the special annual Wild Beauty Awards recognition for contribution to agrotourism.
This is the second time this particular award has been given after Kljajic Household won it last year. I applaud the NTO for recognizing the potentials of agrotourism with such a prestigious award.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism made the registration process for rural households much more efficient and handed out grants for rural households for further developments.
This certainly helps tackle the economic challenges of the northern region and opens up Montenegro’s touristic potential in this area.
In addition, another rural tourism partner won the Wild Beauty Award for a unique touristic product with his Donkey Farm.
Record Number of Pelicans Hatched in Montenegro
The Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP) noted 78 baby pelicans in Montenegro. This is the highest number so far and is encouraging as the CZIP and locals continue to advance better conditions.
Pelicans are an endangered species in Europe so this news is very encouraging!
Record-Breaking Video Game Project Launched
Bleak Faith: Forsaken is an RPG video game that is being developed by two Montenegrins–Miso Vukcevic and Mirko Stanic.
They posted their project on Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, asking for 30.000 dollars in pledges. They managed to achieve it in August and now the first Montenegrin RPG is on the way!
Judging by the first published material and a YouTube video that went viral, Bleak Faith looks highly complex, from its story-telling elements and encapturing music to its impressive graphics that many have already compared to the highest-grossing video games of the same genre.
Although the project is still in progress, I know that the world will be talking about Bleak Faith in 2020!
International Cancer Research Center Announced
The Montenegrin Minister of Science, Sanja Damjanovic, announced earlier this year that the Southeast European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST) will be built in Montenegro.
The Institute will be using hadron therapy for biomedical and tumor research. Hadron therapy works by aiming ionizing particles at the target tumor.
The project received support from six prime ministers in the region, which has accelerated the work on SEEIIST which is in its design phase as of now.
There is a lot of work ahead but things look promising for the Montenegrin science and research community.
Rozaje Students Launched an Experiment into Space
Under the mentorship of their professor, Mirsada Bibic Sabotic, five students from “30. Septembar” high school in Rozaje made a hypothesis that UV light causes serious damage to dyed hair.
The students, Zahir Sabotic, Almira Ljajic, Aisa Kalac, Almin Nurkovic, and Idria Adrovic decided to conduct the experiment on natural and dyed hair, and later compare the outcome.
Their experiment got a green light from NASA, which decided to send it into space. When they got the results in December, it turned out their hypothesis was proven. Under the influence of UV lights, dyed hair was severely damaged whereas natural hair did not suffer any serious damage.
When I contacted the professor regarding the successful results, her words were, “We wanted to prove that the rest of the world is not better than us, we just have to be progressive.”
European Fly Fishing Championship Held in Northern Montenegro
The 25th Global FIPS-Mouche European Fly Fishing Championship was organized in Northern Montenegro. The first time for a European fly fishing championship to be held in Montenegro indicates the tremendous potential this region has in fly fishing.
Nature, fish species, and developing conditions make Montenegro a rising international destination for both fly fishing professionals and enthusiasts.
The Meanderbug team was there and captured some moments in this video we made.
The First Eco Run Cleaned the Tara River
Every year, a kayak fest on the Tara river is organized. However, the 2019 kayak fest was special because it also featured an eco run for the greater good.
The eco run was not of a competitive nature, but rather a 60km cleanup of the Tara river and its riverbanks. Local participants along with international kayak fest attendees were able to clear some 500 kg of debris from the river.
Superheroes Campaign Took Place
The foundation “Budi Human” launched a fundraising campaign for children that require expensive medical treatments.
Billboards were placed all around the country, featuring kids dressed up as superheroes and princesses.
I decided to put the Budi Human foundation on the list because of this campaign, but also because of their continuous efforts to make the lives of children with serious medical conditions easier through transparent fundraising events and campaigns.
Games of the Small States of Europe were Hosted
For the first time ever, Montenegro hosted 835 athletes competing in the Games of the Small States of Europe. This sports event is organized by and is featuring the National Olympic Committees of nine members of GSSE.
More than 500 volunteers and 250 sports association members participated in the organization. These events were also declared as Green Games as they followed high ecological standards.
Montenegrin SFX & Bodypainting Artist Recognized Internationally
Ana a.k.a Cedoviste has gained a massive Instagram following over a short period of time thanks to her weirdly unique and impressive transformations.
This year Ana had her first live exhibit where she painted models’ faces and bodies and showcased her art in person. Right after that, she announced another exhibit that took place in Berlin.
Being unapologetically different and pursuing her passion, Ana is paving the way for other Montenegrin artists and their artistic expressions as well!
A Good Year for Dogs in Montenegro!
For the first time ever, Montenegro started the identification and registration process for dogs which will contribute to the protection of these pets. Now, the owners can get passports for their dogs.
In addition to that, the municipality of Herceg Novi built 20 more doghouses in the dog asylum there.
Do you have anything you would add? Let us know!
Meanderbug team wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful 2020!