March 2009

Our main work on the plot in March is weed control – doing as much damage to plantlife in the wrong places – ie where we are growing avocados, flowers etc. The embedded root systems have clearly been decades in establishing themselves, and all one can do is to dig out about 80% at any time.
We meet Prof Stasa Puskaric in Dubrovnik, who lectures in environmental science at the American College of Management (moderated by Rochester Institute of Technology). A fascinating explanation of the Swedish dry loo system made by
Clivus Multrum, which he has installed in his own house, and the end-products of which produce magnificient vegetables! As water conservation and recycling is very much part of our project, this is a system we need to examine more closely.
In the middle of the month we attend a most interesting
conference organised by the German Development Agency, GTZ, and the Montenegrin Government on Energy Efficiency. It is a regional conference with speakers and participants from across the Balkans. We make some very useful contacts.
During March, James is asked to chair a group aiming to form the
Green Building Council for Montenegro. This Initiating Group builds on a meeting last November of internationals and locals, and is an extremely exciting project. Anke is of course also a member – her input is essential!
We wrap up March by helping to observe the Parliamentary Elections in Montenegro, as the British Embassy team with the OSCE/ ODIHR Election Observation Mission. We are assigned to Herceg Novi, a stronghold of the main opposition party. All well organised and calm; overall result is that incumbent Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic increases his majority. This type of work was a part of James’ job in the EU MIssion, where he organised teams for election observation as well as being an observer himself. Anke joined in as part of the teams from the British Embassy in Macedonia while we were there.