Europe and Central Asia

Commercial development threatens Ulcinj Salinas in Montenegro

By Communication Europe, 10 Mar 2014

For the past two years CZIP (Birdlife in Montenegro) has been fighting a battle against the conversion of Ulcinj Salinas into a tourist-development complex. The Ulcinj Salinas are an irreplaceable habitat for birds on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, and one of the most important habitats on the Adriatic flyway. They are home to over 250 species of birds and recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and as an Emerald Site of the Bern Convention.

The Montenegrin Government plans to drain the Ulcinj Salinas and destroy one of the largest Salinas in the Mediterranean (15 km2) by converting it into a complex of hotels and golf courses. CZIP, along with financial support from CEPF, is working to advert this ecological disaster by starting the project ‘’Ulcinj Salinas as an eco-touristic destination.”

The aim of the project is to attract birdwatchers to the Ulcinj Salina through the creation of tourist infrastructure in order to prove to the Management of Salina that the biodiversity rich Salina can be profitable in more sustainable way through the production and sale of salt and an emerging market of eco-tourism. 

The entrance fee to Solana is 3 EUR, half of which goes to Ulcinj salina and the other half is spent on the maintenance of the ecological infrastructure (museums, trails and lookouts).