Land Rights Now has supported the pastoral community in Sinjajevina in their quest for #landrights since 2020. In July of last year, we delivered a petition to the Government of Montenegro. Over 20,000 people from all over the world signed the petition calling for the removal of a military training ground and the creation of a protected area co-governed by local communities.
Now, the mountain is facing the renewed threat of military action, in direct opposition to environmental recommendations and the wishes of local people. The Immediate Response Military Exercise (IR23) has convened more than 500 troops from the Army of Montenegro, the US Armed Forces, and the Croatian Armed Forces in Pljevlje, Montenegro. Among their key objectives is to practice combat in mountain warfare. The highlands of Montenegro, including Sinjajevina, have previously been used for this purpose despite repeated assurances by the government to demilitarize the area.
If military personnel continue to use Sinjajevina for this purpose, the social and environmental consequences would be devastating for the territory. The spring is a critical time for shepherds: military interference with early-season herding and lambing would wreck havoc on local livelihoods. Further, weapons testing and combat exercises present threaten to pollute key watersheds and trample pasturelands.
As supporters of the Save Sinjajevina collective, we urge the Government of Montenegro to stop military actions in Sinjajevina, and protect the land rights and grasslands of the pastoralist communities.
You can join and support their fight and take action today. #SaveSinjajevina.