The economy of Montenegro largely depends on tourism. The direct GDP share from the tourism sector was estimated to be 11% in 2016, while its indirect share was estimated to be 22.15%.
Has the business sector been adequately involved in protected area management? Business forums should be established to better analyse possibilities and initiate activities that would turn identified values into profits.
The direct share of tourism in protected areas in terms of gross domestic product of Montenegro is EUR 172 million.
The total number of tourist visits in 2016 was 1.713.109, and over 400.000 people visited protected areas in Montenegro. Currently, protected areas cover 9.05% (about 125.000 ha) of Montenegrin territory.
Income for the management of Montenegrin national parks has increased by EUR 500.000 from 2009 to 2013 due to ticket sales and the increased number of tourists.
About 160 people are directly employed in five national parks, and over 200 economic entities offer tourism services and employ local community members. These jobs are crucial because they strengthen the economy within remote and rural areas that otherwise have limited possibilities for business development.
Estimations showed that tourism in protected areas contributed a total of EUR 172 million to gross domestic product and created the equivalent of 7700 full-time jobs.
Analysis of rivers threatened by unsustainable hydropower development has shown that Montenegro has up to 76% (899 km) of untouched river flows rich with biological diversity. At the same time, there is an increasing demand to use these rivers to generate electricity. Hydropower however often has extremely negative consequences for natural values of rivers.
How to ensure that investors will build and manage hydropower plants in line with globally recognized guidelines for sustainable development of hydropower? How to ensure that the government will declare certain areas to be off limits to hydropower development?
The Tara River Canyon, part of Durmitor National Park, is the longest canyon in Europe and second longest in the world after Grand Canyon.
Montenegro belongs to the group of water rich countries, and water resources are one of the main development drivers in the country. About 59.7% of electric power in 2016 was produced by hydropower plants. However, the benefits of hydropower plant production for local communities are few, especially if considered over the long-term.
Are local communities aware of the benefits of ecosystem services provided by water and wetlands, as well as with the potential for their sustainable use? How is money to mitigate negative impacts of hydropower being provided to protected areas and local communities?
In 2011 the forestry sector realized a profit of USD 17.9 million, or 0.5% of the GDP. The local population in Prokletije National Park depends on forests, particularly firewood, for their livelihoods. In 2014, 4.757 m3 of forests were illegally logged.
Have local communities and protected area managers been informed about ways to use forest resources without relying on logging? Can forest certification (FSC) be the solution for illegal logging and result in responsible forest management in Montenegro?
The total area of certified forests in Montenegro is 0 ha.
There is a long fishing tradition on Skadar Lake that annually contributes EUR 1.8 million to the local economy and is the primary occupation of about 400 fishermen on the lake. The annual catch is about 1000 t.
About 95% of Montenegro’s freshwater fish stock comes from Skadar Lake.
The total number of beehives is estimated at 50000. Three national parks (Biogradska gora, Prokletije and Skadar Lake) together have more than 10000 beehives that produce 134 tons of honey. It is believed that the preserved ecosystems in protected areas are crucial areas for beekeeping in Montenegro.
Do protected area managers cooperate with entrepreneurs in protected areas whose businesses support the preservation of protected areas? Do protected area planning documents consider green businesses, and do the entrepreneurs support protected area initiatives?
Beekeeping is very developed in the Skadar Lake area where it is estimated that there are about 7500 beehives with an annual production of almost 80 tons of honey.
It is estimated that 170 tons of berries, 30 tons of medical herbs and 70 tons of mushrooms are picked in Biogradska Gora National Park every year. This generates about EUR 1 million annually, with the nationwide total reaching 5 million.
The protected area has a significant role to play in the protection of ecosystems that enable the production of honey and collection of wild edible plants, as well as in the control of the sustainable use of natural resources.
It is estimated that 970 tons of berries are picked in Prokletije and Biogradska Gora National Parks.