A PLEA FOR THE ECOLOGICAL STATE**
Montenegro was always considered to be one of the poorest countries in the Balkans. Poor due to its size, due to its geography and turbulent history.
Still, it possesses extraordinary nature that was protected for generations exactly by its poverty, and today this nature represents the main potential for future development of Montenegro. This is what gives credibility to the first article of the Constitution of Montenegro that confirms its ecological character. In the 1991 Constitution, the concept of the ecological state, fortunately, replaced the unsuccessful socialist self-management. Although the war that took place in the territory of former Yugoslavia made such a project look unreal at the time, it was well received in Montenegro and it is still dreamed of in Montenegro, as well as in other parts of the world.
Montenegrin history and culture were deeply marked by the nature of the wild beauty that protected its inhabitants, who defended it over the centuries. This symbiosis of nature and a man is enshrined in the soul and myths of the Montenegrin people. (all men and women whose roots are in this country and who feel tied to its heroic past).
Until recently, those values seemed outdated to some, and utopic to others. Today, they gain their full meaning again, in the announcement of what Jeremy Rifkin calls the Third Industrial Revolution.
However, there is a gap between words and actions, which needs to be overcome, and Montenegro remained blocked by the consequences of the conflicts and transition that it had no impact on. It did not dare or it had no will to promote itself through this ecological project, thus, it gave in to private interests and a development model that is increasingly questioned and represents a threat to the environment. Such a model risks primarily to waste its chances for sustainable development, as the only way to ensure autonomous operations, without which there is no true independence.
With the population of 650,000, total surface area of 13,500 km2 out of which most remained intact, a long and beautiful history enrooted in the European history, this small country may become the “European laboratory of sustainable development”. The Foundation wishes to give its contribution to this beautiful and ambitious ecological project, with all those who have been promoting, defending, proposing and supporting it for years. Namely, it is not utopic to think that ecological transition, which will take several decades in the big post-industrial countries, could be achieved in a small country such as Montenegro already by the year 2020.
For that reason, we selected our motto to be “Small is beautiful”, based on the title of a book by a British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, which represented the first manifest of ecology in the early 70’s of the previous century.
In order to promote this project and participate in its implementation, the Foundation puts ecology in the very heart of its diverse activities. It is open for cooperation will all, in Montenegro and abroad, who wish to create a greener Europe for a safer planet.
DECLARATION OF ECOLOGICAL STATE OF MONTENEGRO
We, deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, see that, due to destruction of nature, the protection of identity of the space we live and work in has become our opportune and the most important job. Aware of our debt to the nature, as a source of our strength of health and inspiration for our freedom and culture, we commit ourselves to the protection thereof, for the sake of our own survival and for our future generations. We accept that no difference between us is so strong as the changes that our natural environment is exposed to. Irrespective of our national, religious, political and other feelings and convictions, we know and accept that dignity and the sacred character of a human being are organically connected with the sacred character and purity of nature. Man and nature in and around him represent unity in its depths and its meaning. For that reason abuse of man was followed by the abuse of nature. That is why, opting and struggling for the dignity of man, we are also called to fight for the dignity of nature. With the adoption of this Declaration, Montenegro takes an official stand towards the nature and calls all people to wisdom in preventing ecological disaster that threatens us.
Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro ( Žabljak, 20 September 1991)
* Ernst Friedrich Schumacher was a British economist of German origin, one of the prominent figures of the environmental flows in the 1970s. His best known book is “Small is Beautifull” published in 1973 and reissued in Serbian language in 2014. by a publishing house “Kisa”.
The Foundation uses the title of his book as a slogan and is considering a collaboration with the Schumacher College, University of Plymouth.
** Jeremy Rifkin: The Third Industrial Revolution, http://www.thethirdindustrialrevolution.com