June 5 2017.
Balkan Mountaineering Union – BMU
Balkan Mountaineering Union – BMU at the18th meeting held in Kolašin on June 3, 2017 wishes to officially congratulate June the 5th – the international Environment Day, to mountaineers, nature lovers and all citizens.
The mountains are the most beautiful and the most impressive landscapes of our planet and have invaluable anthropological, economic and environmental importance for the sustainable development of our civilization. They present popular tourist destinations, places for spiritual solace, inspiration, recreation and relaxation. Mountain areas are rich in forests, mineral resources and sources of clean water, diverse flora and fauna. The largest areas of protected territory are located in the mountains around the world and they contain more than half of all world centers of biodiversity. One-tenth of the world population lives in the mountains – more than half of the world population is directly or indirectly dependent on them. The mountains are reservoirs of drinking water and they are sources of all the major and biggest rivers.
Although the mountains are symbols of size and strength, they are actually very fragile ecosystems, very sensitive to the negative effects of irresponsible and excessive exploitation. World Environment Day is an opportunity to raise the public awareness of mountain areas and various environmental problems we all encounter.
Mountains are the largest fresh water reservoirs, from their deepness rivers rise up. Unfortunately, these rivers have been threatened lately, by the bad actions of people to the environment. Of course the biggest treat is the construction of small hydro power plants, which will destroy the river flows and force the river to flow through underground pipes. Consequences are local or micro climate changes, endangered and devastated natural environment and interruption of natural water cycle.
Renewable small hydro power plant projects are converting our wild rivers into underground rivers, putting their beautiful natural water course into underground pipes. Such renewability creates this reality: the surrounding landscape is devastated as a result of cheapest investors` technical solution; complete deforestation is in the riverside; watercourse is backfilled and relocated even for several hundred meters; very rich wild river life is endangered or in some places terminated – and before generating projects, it was untouched.
We, Balkan mountaineers hereby appeal to all visitors of the mountains, to institutions, companies, local communities, that during the execution of activities in the mountains – they must comply with ecological principles and behave with care. Also, we invite decision-makers at all levels, that when deciding about the fate of our rivers and mountains they must be exclusively led by long-term public interest, including all aspects of sustainable development.
To all citizens institutions and companies in Montenegro and the Balkans region to join us in our conservation and environmental protection efforts dedicated to alpine nature, biodiversity and humane living conditions for local communities.
To you all who oppose the construction of small hydro power plants in order to solve environmental impacts or to protect and preserve little mountain rivers, to save Otters and other rare plant and animal species.
Save the mountains and rivers – one cannot exist without the other!