Eco-village Podgora is located 7km from Zabljak, halfway between Durmitor and Tara.
300 years ago, that location was known as Tepaca. Most of the farmers had summer pastures in that area, and would move to different places during winter. With time, Zabljak was developing as a main city in that region, and people were starting to make their permanent homes in the village.
Podgora became one of the first cultural centers in Durmitor region. The first school, the library, and the folk dance group “Sloga” were established in the village at the end of the last century. Over the time, Podgora inhabitants were able to preserve their tradition, a simple way of life, and love for nature.
The proof of their uniqueness is the fact that this is the first and only Eco-village of this kind in Montenegro.
In this time and age, when sustainable living is the only way of renewing rather than depleting the planet’s resources, the one has to be ready to meet all the local and global challenges, and help promote and sustain eco-friendly way of living. All Podgora inhabitants are ready to do that, so they can pave the way to sustainable living in all the places in Eco-state of Montenegro.
Photo gallery- Tara River Canyon scenery points
Eco-village Podgora is surrounded by Tara River canyon- biosphere resource, which is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is part of Durmitor National Park.
It is a 10 to 60 min walk from Eco-village that leads to several points from which you can see the deepest canyon in Europe and the second deepest in the world. You will witness the spectacular mountain scenery and series of breathtaking waterfalls.
All of the village nature walks take you through a beautiful forest landscape and uplands.
Vilino guvno, Ravni, Brojila, Tmorska glavica, Soa, Ćurevac are just a few of many attractive scenery points and some of them have been just recently open to the public.
Nothing that is man made, not even a 3D Cinema with all the fancy high tech sound effects can quite compare with such an incredible depth that Tara brings with her colors, sounds, and mysterious pathways trough the canyon. To be immersed in such a beauty is the unique experience that will stay with you forever.
It will affect your whole being, and it is a retreat to your body and your soul.
Warning: Since this area is part of Durmitor National park, and is protected by UNESCO, all site visitors have to comply with NP Durmitor rules.
“A river sings a holy song conveying the mysterious truth that we are a river, and if we are ignorant of this natural law, we are lost”. -Thomas Moore
What is ecovillage
Global Eco Villages Network ( gen.ecovillage.org )
Represents an international confederation of people and communties.
An ecovillage can be seen as a modern settlement, urban or rural, where humans live in harmony and cooperation with nature, testing new experiments, new technologies and new skills designed to create a more endurable, peaceful and diverse way of life.
Within the network, eco villages meet and share their ideas, exchange technologies, develop cultural and educational exchanges.
Eco villages are dedicated to restoring the land and living “sustainable plus” lives by putting more back into the environment than we take out.
Ecovillages typically build on various combinations of three dimensions:Social, Ecological and Cultural/Spiritual.
Some factors of ecological sustainability of an eco village
1. Biodiversity – Is the diversity of appropriate plant and animal species increasing or decreasing? Do people know their native plant and animal species?
2. Environment – Is the quality of soil, air and water increasing or decreasing? Are people protecting the natural resources?
3. Food Availability, Production & Distribution – What percentage of food is organically grown, is there any use of greenhouses, pesticides, herbicides and/or chemical fertilizers?
4. Infrastructure, Buildings & Transportation – ecological materials, methods & designs
Is there sufficient housing, are building materials used, natural / recyclable from own bioregion? Are buildings designed to minimize energy needs & orientation to provide optimum light and temperature control?
5.Consumption Patterns & Solid Waste Management – Are methods to reduce consumption of natural resources and generation of wastes applied? (Recycling, reuse, repair or making things). Is garbage removal organized and used by all the people?
6. Water – sources, quality & use patterns – Are there local sources of drinking water? Are there methods for water saving?
7. Waste Water & Water Pollution Management – Is there a sewage management system in the community? Is there water pollution?
8. Energy Sources & Uses – Whatis theamount of energy that generated from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro, biomass or geothermal) located at the community or elsewhere? Are the energy efficiency methods applied in construction & other activities?
Some factors of social sustainability of an eco village
Mutual cooperation and help, b a sic safety and trust, sharing of resources, communication, diversity & tolerance, conflict resolution, decision making, sufficient employment & healthy local economy, educational opportunities, health care & life standard.
Cultural and spiritual sustainability
C omm on ethnic & cultural heritage and the history of the community is preserved and celebrated; cultural manifestation; opportunities to develop artistic talents; leisure time and space available for recreation and cultural activities; design and aesthetic appearance of the community (traditional architecture); freedom of religion; tolerance; respect of elders; common goals and moral principles, sense of belonging, personal relations and help to members in crisis.
See also – the Community Sustainability Assessment tool, (http://gen.ecovillage.org/activities/csa/pdf/CSA-English.pdf) created by GEN.
It serves both as a method for measuring various aspects of sustainability for your community, and as a learning guide to the many approaches that can be taken to make your community more sustainable.
Some of the activities of Global Eco Villages Network
– Education through seminars, courses, living and working in eco villages and semestral programmes open to all interested people, and also through Gaia University which provides teaching in all languages and a worldwide network of lecturers and menthors – http://www.gaiauniversity.org
– Tourism in eco villages. Tourists can stay as guests, volunteer in eco villages or participate in events in eco villages.
– Maintaining a web site, Resource library and releasing newsletters
– Consulting on new sustainable technologies
– Meetings, congresses and assemblies
– Apprentice/internship programmes
– Fairs and festivals