Cross-Country Authority Letter

  What does it deal with?
  To who was it addressed?
  What was the impact?

 

1. What is it and why writing it?

2. The Cross-Country Authority Letter to Montenegro

3. The Impact

 

1. What is it and why writing it?

 

(Summary of the Workshop "Cross-Country Authority Letter", 24.09.17, Bohind, Slovenia) 

A Cross-Country Authority Letter is a letter whose purpose is to put pressure on the authority, expose other perspectives and solutions for improvements. It can be written by a single person and signed by others, or by a group of international people. 

The workshop aimed at introducing it to the participant as a tool for activism. The main outcome was a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro signed by all participants!

A.Why involving the authority ?

The idea of using this methods was born in 2015 while organising the first Big Jump Challenge camp in 2015. The year 2015 was in fact the goal year for the Water Framework Directive, according to which all rivers and all lakes in the European Union member states’ territories should be clean. Authorities in the country members of the European Union are responsible for implementing it.

Getting in contact with the authorities does not only help to learn more about the status of a specific river, but also shows public interest on water protection-related issues. Requesting an answer in the letter has, in any case, potential positive impacts: the most engaged authority will like the idea of cooperating with youths, while the less engaged authority will be reminded to do their tasks. 

B.Why getting involved ?

Getting involved enables to unleash our collective power. The “Cross-Country Authority Letter” method is borrowed from Amnesty International who uses it to put pressure on authorities for freeing political prisoners. It does not only show solidarity across countries, but also exhibits international awareness. 

For more information on the Cross-Country Authority Letter, have a look at our module on that subject in our Toolbox (here) !

2. The Cross-Country Authority Letter to Montenegro

Case Study: Letters to the Prime Minister of Montenegro concerning the Mini Hydro Power Plants 

The two participants from Montenegro firstly gave a short presentation on the situation in Montenegro regarding the increased construction of Mini Hydro Power Plants. Together with the other participants, they finalised a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Montenegro. See below the letter ...

 
3. THE impact

Quickly after sending the letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro, a local newspaper  published an article about our letter, spreading thereby the word on our initiative and our campaign.

The next day, the cabinet of the Prime Minister directly responded to our letter! This confirmed that our concerns have awakened their interest and that they pay attention to our demands. 

All the youths who have participated to the creation of this letter are very happy of this success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the translation of the response sent by the cabinet of the Prime Minister, published in the daily press “Vijesti”, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017:

Mini Hydro Plants will be put under the magnifying glass

"The government will not tolerate the devastation and endangerment of natural environment"

The Prime Minister's Cabinet has responded to the open letter: ''You are a fisherman, save our rivers form small hydro power plants'', published in the daily newspaper ''Vijesti'' Oct. 24, 2017).

The attendants of  the ''Wild Rivers Camp 2017'' addressed this letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Duško Marković, asking him ''to make a stand for protecting our rivers, and to stop further devastation of nature caused by building small HPPs''.


Cabinet's response ad verbum: ''The main goals regarding the policy for the encouragement of production of electric energy from renewable sources are precisely tied to ecology and sustainable growth. In this regard, the government shall not tolerate any potential devastation to the natural environment.

Because the Analysis of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), among others, is a prerequisite to planning and constructing small hydro power plants, the investors will be expected to work in accordance with the given conditions.

Activities of public interest, such as the production of electrical energy, require a high degree of social responsibility. We expect a certain sensibility regarding the social and ecological aspects of realization for each individual project. Relevant authorities will closely follow the realization of these programs, and respond according to their legal jurisdiction. We are counting on sincere and concrete contributions from the civil sector, when it comes to finding the optimal measure between ecological, developmental and energy needs of our society.

The Cabinet of the Prime Minister is open to direct suggestions. In particular the issue of building small hydro power projects on watercourses which form the river Zlorečica, will be looked into with proper consideration, in the shortest possible time-span, and will be followed by an adequate response from relevant authorities'', as stated in the response by the Public Relations office of the Government of Montenegro."

 

Read the translation of the article published in the daily press “Vijesti”, on Tuesday, October 24, 2017:

EUROPEAN ECOLOGISTS WRITE TO MARKOVIĆ

You are a fisherman, so save the rivers from small HPPs

Attendants of the Wild Rivers Camp 2017 in Bohinj and Ljubljana, under patronage of the European Commission addressed a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković, asking him to make a stand for protecting rivers, and to stop further devastation of nature caused by building small HPPs.

"Our letter was motivated by the public address and writing of the NGO "Perućica" regarding the state and intentions of building small HPPs on the basin of rivers Mojanska, Perućica and Kutska, which form the watercourse of river Zlorečica. Thirteen small HPPs were, or are planned to be built on this basin, and that presents a danger for these watercourses to be put in underground pipelines and disappear, which will lead to the destruction of native flora and fauna, and threaten the lives of locals who will be forced to move out of these, already partially deserted areas", stated in the letter by the camp attendants.

Construction of small HPPs on these mountain rivers, as further stated in the letter, "would endanger protected animal species such as Brown trout, Otter, Lynx lynx, Blind mole rat, Stoat, Bear. "

"Dear Mr. Prime Minister, we have information that, as a passionate fisherman, you have fished on many of the rivers in question, and that you are familiar with the nature surrounding these watercourses, so we are sending you a photo of one of them, river Bradavac. It is up to you to conclude whether it is possible to fish there." it was further stated in the letter addressed to Mr. Marković."