Montenegro is situated in the southern region of the Dinardes and is geographically very diverse: from high mountains in the north, to lowlands in the central part, which at Lovćen and Orjen drop suddenly into the Bay of Kotor – a large open exit to the Adriatic Sea. Montenegro is abundant in amazing and rich nature, especially freshwater ecosystems. On the border with Albania lies Skadar Lake, the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, listed as an Important Bird Habitat and protected by the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance. Montenegro is also home to the second deepest canyon in the world, right after the Colorado River canyon – the Tara River canyon.
WWF has worked in Montenegro for many years, especially in the area of improving sustainable management of rivers, wetlands and protected areas. Most of the projects in Montenegro are implemented with our partner organisation Green Home.
To protect the long-term sustainability of freshwater ecosystems in the Dinaric Arc, WWF Mediterranean launched the Dinaric Arc Sustainable Hydropower Initiative (DASHI) in 2011.
The project works towards the long-term sustainability of key freshwater ecosystems in the region through change in the behaviour of key stakeholders in hydropower development (developers, financial institutions, legislators). It aims to improve the legal framework for strategic planning and declaration of exclusion zones for hydropower development, and mobilise civil society in preventing unsustainable hydropower projects, especially in sensitive areas with high biodiversity
In Montenegro WWF works on identification of rivers of exceptional biological value which should be identified as exclusion zones. Special focus is given to the Morača River and Skadar Lake, that highly dependant on Morača's waters. WWF also works on the implementation of ecological flow (e-flow) methodology concerning the construction of small hydropower plants.
You can find the map of the most important river reaches in BiH here.
Protected areas are WWF`s priority throughout the region and in Montenegro all five national parks have joined the association Parks Dinarides, network of protected areas of the Dinarides. The headquarters of the association are in Podgorica, in the Public institution for National Parks of Montenegro.
WWF is currently working on Protected Areas for Nature and People. towards the sustainable use of natural resources in the Dinaric Arc region as a foundation for socio-economic development. Montenegro is one of the countries where the project is implemented, with a field project of bear monitoring in Biogradska Gora National Park, a transboundary project with Tara National Park in Serbia.
With the Biogradska Gora National Park WWF is working on the implementation of the principles of sustainable tourism and nomination for the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas issued by the Europarc Federation.
Policy and Advocacy
WWF together with partners from 5 countries in 2016 initiated a project titled Civil society acts for environmentally sound socio-economic development (CO-SEED), in following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey, with WWF Adria from Croatia acting in an advisory role in the project. CO-SEED aims to contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources through improved regulatory frameworks and more participatory and transparent decision- making processes, which involve a vibrant group of civil society organizations and increased attention of the media on the topic, with benefits for society at large. Read more about CO-SEED at www.co-seed.eu/en.