SOS for the Adriatic –  a fight against oil drilling in the Adriatic Sea

It has been 10 months since the beginning of campaign against harmful project of oil and gas exploitation in the Adriatic Sea. Croatian Government had given permission to 5 companies to do tests on 10 locations in the Adriatic, so environment protection organisations started the SOS actions in  order to try to save our beautiful sea.

Why are we against it? Oil exploitation carries a huge risk in furthsosJadranSamueler development of tourist industry, the key Croatian industry that regular presents more than 15%  of its annual gross income. In case of any accident, the oil exploitation would endanger biodiversity of the Adriatic and as a result all the people who depend on tourism and fishing. Further, Croatian government wants to invest in projects based on old and outdated technologies, in the era when there exist very clear alternatives to fossil fuel. The citizens have no guaranty what so ever that oil exploitation of the Adriatic would contribute to their higher standard of living nor provide employment for them. The great majority of profit would go to the oil companies.

Several actions against drilling took place during the first months of 2015. The campaign was supported by people from all walks of life, from famous artist, athletes and musicians to numerous ordinary people. The citizens expressed their support against drilling in the form of photographs, paintings and videos, as well as all over social networks. The poll implemented by Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, showed that less than one third of citizens support the oil exploitation of the Adriatic and the majority is against it. This campaign was also supported by the two big international organisations for the protection of environment – Greenpeace International and Friends of the Earth International.

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After all this months, on September 29th, the Croatian government decided to indefinitly postpone signing the contract with oil companies. The concession for seven blocks awarded to the Austrian OMV and American Marathon Oil was abolished. That comes after those two companies withdrew from the project in July 2015. Supposingly, the contract with the remaining three companies – INA, ENI i Medoilgas – will not be signed either. We hope that it is the beginning of the end for the harmful project of exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Adriatic Sea.

#SOSzaJadran

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