Public debate in Prijepolje against hydro power plants projects, reversing the process for investors?

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In organization of Prijepolje NGO Argument the public debate was organized by end of may. The debate gathered large number of wide stakeholders and interested parties, from environmental and local associations and communities to representatives of local municipality. Reversed process of public hearing raised the known concerns on environmental issues and behavior of the investors which lack the strategy of communication in the city of Prijepolje. Community associations and their voice against the wrong doings of investor and local municipality are increasing and support for the complaints is getting wide support in local areas.

One of the main conclusions is that the state and municipality, together with investors, did not made efforts in communicating the benefits of the hydro projects to the best possible levels. Considering the interest of the local and national medias, including the outreach within regional media network, strong message was transmitted both to the state decision makers and investors.

Biggest responsibility lies with state of Serbia which did not calculated all its renewable potentials, lack of sustainable strategy shows that the state does not guards it potentials as most of countries do.

Local municipality and its representatives have the biggest responsibility as did not started the open communication with citizens and did not accepted the responsibility for the actions for which the citizens elected it.

The participants at the round table also concluded that there is an urgent need for solution model which could bring all interested parties on one table, in order to solve the open issue of construction of hydro power plants on Lim river. Basically there are two opposite sides with clear hostilities, one side which is the investor and another side which are consisted of civil movements and community associations. Representatives of the municipality are holding back of this process and this is quite worrying.

Debate participants also concluded that the process could be reversed with clear sign from investor and municipality to start talking  with community associations which are getting more and more support against the hydro power plants construction.