For centuries traditional pastoral communities have taken care of the highland pastures of Sinjajevina, conserving an ecosystem that is key in the fight against climate change. Today it is under threat from a military training ground.

The Sinjajevina-Durmitor mountain range in Montenegro is home to 22,000 people. It forms part of the Tara River Basin UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is bordered by not one but two World Heritage sites. Its pastures are used and managed communally by eight different Montenegrin tribes who for centuries have protected this ecosystem which is key in the fight against climate change.

But now the environment which those traditional communities helped to protect is in imminent danger: the Montenegrin government, supported by important NATO allies, set up a military training ground in the very heart of these inhabited pastures and halted a planned regional park for the protection of nature and culture.

The military training ground will have a tragic, collapsing effect on Montenegro’s ecosystem and the millenary cultures and traditions of its local and pastoral communities.

The people of Sinjajevina know there is no place for the pollution and toxic chemicals of military weapons in a biodiversity hotspot. They know there is no place for CO2 emitting fighter jets in a natural area that holds the key to the world’s climate security.

They have a mission: transform Sinjajevina into a protected area.

Montenegro wants to be part of the European Union. And to be part of the European Union the government must respect and protect European values including the EU’s biodiversity strategy adopted in mid-2020, a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature.

Stand with Montenegrin local communities, and join the call to EU leaders to play a key role in protecting the environment in Montenegro. Time to make peace with our Mother Earth.

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Saving Sinjajevina is a #MissionPossible.