Croatia and Montenegro join to prevent sea pollution


The undertaking will improve the sea's water quality.

By Katica Djurovic for Southeast European times in Podgorica -- 28/02/13


The Montenegro-Croatia project will seek to reduce pollution in the Adriatic Sea. [AFP]

Croatia and Montenegro signed an agreement to eliminate pollution and protect the Adriatic Sea, a move experts claim is a big step forward in environmental protection.

The European Commission approved 616,000 euros for the project, and the amount will be split roughly in half between the two countries.

Project implementation will begin next week and will last two years.

"We will control the sewage levels going in the sea and the overall water quality. We will obtain all necessary equipment for research and intend to include the local communities and authorities," Pavle Djuraskovic of Montenegro's Hydro-meteorological and Seismological Service told SETimes.

Djuraskovic said the main goal of the project is to develop a quality model of trans-boundary water movements and pollution from Montenegro to Croatia.

According to Djuraskovic, sea pollution is a serious problem and must be tackled through joint efforts.

"Sea pollution rarely stays in the territory of one country. Depending on currents, wind and other parameters, it moves from one country to another," Djuraskovic said.

In Montenegro, the areas that are the most affected by pollution are the confluence of the Bojana River and the Adriatic Sea, Bar Port, Port of Montenegro in Tivat and Kotor Bay.

In Croatia, the area of special concern is the Dubrovnik-Neretva municipality, close to the Montenegrin border.

The project will bring together experts from both countries, integrate their resources and modernise their methods to assess and monitor the quality of sea water.

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According to the plans, local authorities in both countries will be included in the project's implementation.

"Local municipalities will be the direct beneficiaries. That is why those municipalities bordering cities and towns will take part in writing the implementation plan, in organising workshops and training in protection from sea pollution, marine biodiversity policy and on maintaining the water's good environmental status," Djuraskovic said.

Kotor-based NGO Ecological Centre Delfin said the agreement is important in terms of technological development to protect the sea.

"We also will need to work more on the causes rather than the consequences, raise awareness among those who throw garbage and produce pollution," Ljilja Radunovic, head of the Ecological Centre Delfin, told SETimes.

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