The town of Mojkovac, Montenegro is dead set on changing its legacy for the better. What was once the most polluted and abused city in Serbia or Montenegro, is now engaged in becoming not just a normal town, but a model for eco-friendly development. What was the toxic waste dump from a nearby zinc mine, could become one of Montenegro’s shining jewels of tourism.
Situated on the West bank of the Tara River, between Bjelasica and Sinjajevina mountains, Mojkovac is not only an historic town, but one of incalculable natural beauty. This beauty did not of course factor in when the nearby Brskovo mine needed a place to dumb waste, but for bikers and hikers the town makes for an ideal expedition hub. But for the citizens of this picturesque town, swallowing toxic dust from the mine has taken its toll over the decades. But that is about to change.
Under a UN Development Programme (UNDP), local authorities have finally cleared the way for a €1.5 million cleanup operation to prevent waste dust from leeching into the river there. The ultimate goal of the cleanup and eco-initiative is to transform Mojkovac into a trendy Ecology-adventure setting for tourists and outdoors types.
Converting the old mine into a museum, building a sports center, and growing organic crops are just a few of the planned “lane changes” set to alter the former stigma over the little town. The Tara River canyon (image below) is one of the wildest and most beautiful wilderness areas in the region.
By way of background on this initiative, back in 1991, Montenegro was the first country to call itself an “ecological state.” And this year the government there forked over €22 million to the environmental ministry to initiate their “green goals” achievements for the coming year.
For those unfamiliar with this area of the Balkans, the untouched splendor of Biogradska Gora National Park pretty much demands everything be done to transform this and other communities. We leave you with the dreamlike state of Biogradsko Lake there via the extraordinary talent of Alexander Shchukin.