Citizens’ Initiative “Save Sinjajevina” Successfully Organizes Educational-Recreational Camp “Everyone to Sinjajevina”

By Milan Sekulovic, Save Sinjajevina, July 20, 2023

Defending Sinjajevina with Knowledge and Beauty

From July 12th to 16th, a successful educational-recreational camp under the slogan “Everyone to Sinjajevina” was held on the Sinjajevina mountain. This significant event was organized by the citizens’ initiative “Save Sinjajevina” and gathered numerous participants from different parts of Montenegro and the region at the locations of Savina Voda and Margita.

The camp commenced on July 12th with the traditional katun assembly at Savina Voda, during which representatives of the citizens’ initiative “Save Sinjajevina,” President Milan Sekulović, Vice President Mileva Gara Jovanović, and Vice President of the Parliament Stanija Cana Braunović, emphasized the importance of preserving the Sinjajevina mountain as a clean and undisturbed area without military activities. They stressed that Sinjajevina should remain a place where people can live freely and engage in agriculture, and that any form of military activity is not welcome and will never be allowed.

After the assembly, the participants set up a tent camp, providing conditions for staying in nature. During the camp, various educational workshops were organized. On Montenegro’s Statehood Day, workshops were held on the traditional cuisine of Sinjajevina and Montenegro, where homemade bread and kačamak were prepared. Rosa Đudović led these workshops, and Stanija Cana Braunović gave a lecture on the medicinal herbs of Sinjajevina. Following the lecture on teas, the participants took part in a practical workshop that included an excursion to the locations of Strnjaci and Savina Voda. During the outing, participants collected medicinal herbs with detailed explanations on safe tea gathering.

As part of the cultural program, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the film “The Last Nomad,” which showcased Sinjajevina with all its natural beauty and distinctive population. Petar Glomazić and Eva Kraljević presented the film, followed by a movie night held for the first time in the history of Margita, which, for two hours, transformed from pasture to a cinema hall.

The following day, the participants had an excursion to Jablanov Vrh in the early morning hours. In the afternoon, a panel on environmental issues in Montenegro and the region was organized. The panel discussed the issue of the military training ground on Sinjajevina, plans for a mine in Mojkovac, plans for a hydroelectric power plant on Komarnica, and plans for the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in the Dibra region in Albania, which would lead to the submergence of around 30 villages. Panelists included Milan Sekulović, who spoke about Sinjajevina, Miodrag Fuštić, who presented the issue of the mine in Mojkovac, Nina Pantović, who discussed the hydroelectric power plant on Komarnica, and guest from Albania, Majlinda Hodža, who presented the situation and plans regarding the hydroelectric power plant in the Dibra region.

On the fourth day of the “Everyone to Sinjajevina” camp, another interesting workshop delighted all participants. They had the opportunity to gather flowers and then, with the help of instructors, create beautiful wreaths. Afterward, they exchanged wreaths, symbolizing mutual respect and the sense of community they developed during the camp.

All camp participants became ambassadors of the Sinjajevina mountain. This initiative aims to spread awareness of its beauty and natural riches further so that more people and institutions understand the importance of preserving this magnificent area. By appointing ambassadors of Sinjajevina, we want to ensure that information about its significance and potential reaches as many people as possible.

Through this camp, Sinjajevina has confirmed its enormous potential not only for traditional livestock farming and agriculture but also for tourism and educational activities. We recognized the importance of preserving its untouched nature, biodiversity richness, and cultural heritage that this mountain offers.

The organization of this camp would not have been possible without the crucial financial support we received from the Municipality of Danilovgrad, the LUSH Foundation from the United Kingdom, The European Fund for the Balkans, and the Global Greengrants Fund. We thank these institutions for their trust and support in preserving nature and ecology.

This camp is just one step in our efforts to ensure that Sinjajevina remains an untouched oasis of nature and becomes a well-known tourist destination and a center for nature education. We continue to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that Sinjajevina shines in its full glory and remains protected for future generations. Once again, we thank all camp participants, lecturers, guests, and collaborators who contributed to the successful realization of this event.

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