Stop Your idling! Welcome to MonteGreen
The beautiful Montenegrin seaside border towns of Tivat and Herceg Novi have it all: sun, sand and a perfect Adriatic coastline. It is perhaps because of their natural beauty and serene vistas that they are now struggling with something new: traffic.
As the tourist season kicks off for the summer, town residents must also cope with the growing traffic that accompanies it. A combination of cars, tourist buses and foreign transport vehicles are creating major headaches.
At the Debeli Brijeg border crossing, for example, about 2.2 million people - and some 600,000 cars and trucks cross the border each year. This corresponds to huge carbon dioxide emissions and consequently puts a strain on the environment and infrastructure. Traffic fumes, along with the unnecessary idling of engines, become so acute at times that people can no longer smell the sea air.
‘Things can get pretty slow going for drivers in Tivat. The traffic jams are just too long. During the summer, the border crossings can get busy especially at weekends when tourists are either arriving or are leaving Montenegro. At the Debeli Brijeg border crossing, it is common for vehicles to queue for as long as two hours. The UNDP anti-idling campaign should help to ease the congestion and the long waiting times for ferries; it should also definitely bring a bit of fresh air to our neighbourhood’, says Marko Bikovic, from Tivat.
Last month, the Montenegrin Centre for Sustainable Development launched an anti-idling campaign. The goal? To get encourage drivers to turn off their engines.
With our anti idling campaign we are taking measures to address this issue and to reduce idling and gas emissions at border crossings.
The campaign – part of the GEF funded project ‘Towards Carbon Neutral Tourism’ - will start on the coast and, in cooperation with Herceg Novi and Tivat municipalities, the border crossing at Debeli Brijeg and ferry crossing at Kamenari-Lepetane will be proclaimed as ‘Clear Air Zones’.
Later on we will target other hotspots – border crossings, airports, petrol stations and sports fields - throughout Montenegro where engine idling is common.
Unnecessary engine idling affects our health, pollutes the air, wastes fuel and money, and causes wear and tear to engines. Our campaign is an important step towards healthier living as it will improve air quality and public health by reducing emissions from idling vehicles, buses and trucks. Montenegrin residents, drivers, tourists and especially schoolchildren will benefit immensely from this initiative.
“The Centre will help to educate drivers on how turning off their engines when they are not driving is one of the easiest things they can do to help us breathe cleaner air. It will also help them to lessen their own contribution to global warming,” says Dragana Cenic, an employee at the Centre for Sustainable Development, and who is originally from Herceg Novi.
Montenegro to remind drivers not to leave their engines running while parked Stakeholders will be invited to post ‘no idling’ signs and to take other preventative measures to reduce idling in their own locations. In addition to signage, we also plan regular public service announcements, flyers and mailings.
The Montenegrin Ministry of Interior will distribute anti-idling booklets to tourists entering the country. Montenegro is determined to reduce its carbon footprint and to make a positive impact on air quality; with our PR campaign, drivers and pedestrians alike will see how each of us can make a difference.
Welcome to MonteGreen!