Green future for Montenegro


Energy efficiency based national formalization programme - UNDP would like to encourage the citizens of Montenegro to legalize their houses along with improving their energy efficiency at no additional cost

In Montenegro, more than 60 percent of people living in poverty reside in the north of the country, where unemployment is double that of central and southern regions.

This despite the fact that the north is home to 100 percent of the country’s hydroelectric potential, 67 percent of cultivable land, 71 percent of forests, 70 percent of cattle, all of the country’s known lead, zinc and coal reserves, and significant potential for year-around sustainable tourism (already accounting for some 17 percent of the region’s GDP).

The global economic crisis resulted in a six percent economic downturn in 2009. Despite a gradual recovery, poverty rose by 40 percent during 2009 and 2010 (relative to 2008), and a 20 percent increase in unemployment. Montenegro is also among the countries with the largest gap between the rich and the poor in the region.

Montenegro’s small and open economy - reliant on energy intensive industries - is vulnerable to rising resource prices. Montenegro is among the most inefficient consumers of energy and water in Europe.

Urban sprawl (estimates of illegal construction range from 30,000 to 100,000) and illegal deforestation additionally strain the quality of infrastructure and service provision at the local level, increase exposure to various hazards, and erode one of the key potentials for the country’s competitiveness - natural resources.

Montenegro’s economic development is fully reliant on a dynamic and healthy environment with economic growth depending on natural resources.

What we do

Kayaking on the Tara River
Adventure race at the Tara River, co-organized by UNDP as part of our support to sustainable tourism. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro

Advancing market transformation toward low emissions, a resource efficient economy, resilient ecosystems and communities.

UNDP provides assistance to Montenegro for a swifter market transformation toward low emissions, a resource efficient economy, and resilient ecosystems, economies and communities. The intention is to create green jobs, generate and conserve income, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and dependence on energy imports. This includes:

  • Developing and monitoring policies, informed by geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial representation of data and analysis - with specific emphasis on renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency, protected areas and urban planning;
  • Promoting investment in renewable sources of energy and efficient consumption;
  • Designing policies and sustainable funding mechanisms for low carbon tourism development;
  • Creating green jobs (sustainable tourism, food production, payment for ecosystem services) with a focus on national and regional nature parks, including cross border cooperation;
  • Developing preparedness plans to reduce the risk of natural disasters at the local level.
  • Remediating environmental hot spots (mining legacies), thus removing barriers to local economic development.

Key results

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Adventure race at Sinjajevina mountain, co-organized by UNDP as part of our support to sustainable tourism in protected areas. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro


With UNDP’s support, Montenegro achieved the following:

The Government is offering incentives to legalize informal buildings and make them energy efficient at the same time. An action plan is in place, and a law to support legalizing buildings is under development.

The municipalities of Bijelo Polje, Bar and Žabljak collected and analyzed data on average energy consumption, potential savings, and possible GHG reduction for 25 informal households.

The Government developed policies and laws to promote the use of renewable sources of energy, including (i) Law on Concessions, (ii) Energy Law; (iii) Bylaws on privileged power producer, feed-in-tariffs, (iv) tender procedure simplified by reducing the necessary steps by half; (v) technical study on necessary requirements for connecting distributed energy sources to electrical power system grid.

Together with citizens, the Government developed its platform for the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, based on an analysis of the country’s potential for greening the economy.

Local authorities assessed the risk of floods in 12 municipalities - for the first time in the country’s history.

The Government adopted a national strategy for introduction of business clusters by 2016.

The Government analyzed the economic contribution of protected areas to Montenegro’s GDP, as part of developing a National Financial Plan. Economic benefits of nature protected and protected area system to Montenegrin economy assessed, serving as the basis for financial and management planning.  

The Centre for Vocational Education designed and adopted two new professions for nature-based tourism (cave tour guides, and sea-kayak and canoe guides).

Montenegrin universities established educational programmes in protected area management and rural development.

Together with Mojkovac municipality, a tailing mine impoundment was remediated, green technology water treatment system was built to treat acid mine waters in Žuta Prla, and the Remedial Action Plan for former processing plant was developed.