Environmental campaign “Be a Champion!”

The EU Delegation to Montenegro, in cooperation with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the National Parks of Montenegro, is organising from 1 September a two-month environmental campaign called “Be a Champion!” The aim of the campaign, which is being supported by the EU Delegation with funding of €130,000, is to raise public awareness about responsible waste disposal and the need to reduce the use of plastic bags.

EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav opened the promotional press conference on 12 September. He stressed in front of the media “Montenegro is a country of exceptional beauty. This is your country, and this country is in Europe! This is our Europe and our planet! We need to nurture this beauty and care for the generations to come. This is not just the job of the government, it is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, I will once again repeat the slogan: ‘Throw trash in the right place! Be a champion!’”

Within the campaign, billboards have been placed at 80 locations in the central and northern parts of Montenegro. The campaign messages “Throw trash in the right place!” and “Be a champion!” are being promoted by members of the national basketball and handball teams: Petar Kusovac, Nemanja Djurisic, Mihailo Radunovic, Milena Raicevic, Suzana Lazovic, Djurdjina Jaukovic and Dragan Adzic. In addition to the billboards, 20 permanent boards located around Lake Skadar National Park will remind citizens to throw away their waste in the right place. The campaign will be accompanied with various activities on social networks and portals.

“We are blessed that we are not industrially polluted, but we should be responsible as individuals and make Montenegro clean and acceptable for all of us. Our ancestors left us a clean planet, we have caused a certain amount of damage, but it is not too late for us to undo the damage, it is enough to be semi-champions, so that things can look a lot better,” said Pavle Radulovic, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism.

In order to raise awareness about reducing the use of plastic bags, promoters of the campaign, in collaboration with local supermarket chains, will hand out canvas shopping bags with the slogan “I don’t want a plastic bag! I have a canvas shopping bag!

“The disturbing amount of waste and number of illegal dumping sites that we have identified in Lake Skadar National Park necessitate an analysis of the future challenges, notably the need for education about the consequences that may arise from groundwater pollution from such landfills and the importance of awareness about responsible disposal,” said Elvir Pilica, the director of the National Parks of Montenegro.

One of the campaigners, the coach of the national women’s handball team, Dragan Adzic, is clear about why he is part of this project:

“On behalf of us athletes, I appeal to all young people to pay attention to whether we throw litter out of the car window or whether we keep it until later and dispose of it where it belongs. In this way we will do something for our children. Let’s leave Montenegro cleaner for our descendants and in this way it will certainly be more valuable and more precious,” said Adzic.

More information about the campaign can be found on the Facebook page of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro and at the EU Info Centre. You can view one of the videos of the “Be a Champion!” campaign at the link: https://youtu.be/CZYMPskWXaM.