Sunday, 20 August 2017

Earth Day Celebrated in Bulgaria, Montenegro and Croatia

Balkan Travellers   
22 April 2008 | Many of the Balkan states are joining in the world-wide celebrations of Earth Day today with a series of events.

Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, will be filled with exhibitions, walking and bicycle parades, theatre plays and musical performances, organized by 30 civil and non-governmental organisations.

From 2pm to 8 pm, at various points throughout the city, information on a number of ecological issues, including the construction of bike lanes, the overdevelopment at the Black Sea coast and the development of ski resorts and alternative tourism, will be provided. In the evening, a concert of prominent Bulgarian musicians will take place at the Borisova Gradina.

Information events and commemorations are also planned in several other Bulgarian cities, including Pleven, Veliko Turnovo, Varna and Plovdiv.

In Montenegro, national media reported, a series of events and campaigns are also planned to commemorate Earth Day. The campaign to substitute plastic with paper bags in order to protect the environment was launched today, national newspaper Viesti noted.

Other organisations are running tree-planting and garbage pick-up activities, in cooperation with schools and young people.

In Croatia, protests and ecological campaigns will mark Earth Day, according to the One World Southeast Europe portal. The Friends of Animals organisation will protest the slaughtering of farmed animals and the effects it has on climate changes.

Other events, including lectures, roundtable discussions and documentary film screenings, will focus on the problem of waste disposal and recycling. The Sunce Association from Split will distribute textile shopping bags on several locations in the city.

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, as a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment in the US. In subsequent years, many other countries have joined in the commemoration, but the Balkan states only began observing it in the last decade or so, just as environmentalist groups have become active and organised.

Though the region has made some progress on environmental issues in recent years, including some moves towards recycling and a growth of environmental awareness, much is still desired. In Bulgaria, for example, regular protests highlight the continuous overdevelopment of the country’s Black Sea Coast and illegal construction in environmentally protected areas.

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