Green Week Continues in Novi Sad with Screenings from the “Look Around You” Series (VIDEO)

The Delegation of the European Union in Serbia is marking Green Week under the slogan “Experience Water Differently” to raise public awareness about the preservation of water and water sources.

On this occasion, in collaboration with the Association “Za Drinking Fountains” from Zaječar, a series of panel discussions and screenings of documentary episodes from the “Look Around You” series have been organized. The first was held on June 6 at the Late Antique site of Felix Romuliana near Zaječar, and the second on June 10 in Novi Sad.

The documentary environmental series “Look Around You” was produced by the “Za Drinking Fountains” Association and realized through the project “Environmental Response to Mining Expansion in Timočka Krajina,” funded by the European Union.

The episode shown in Novi Sad consists of two stories. The first focuses on the impact of mining on the pollution of the Timok River, which carries toxins from the Bor mine into the Danube, one of Europe’s largest rivers. The second story is dedicated to the citizens of Zaječar and their efforts to preserve the city’s invaluable natural resource – artesian fountains.

Antoine Avignon, the project manager for ecology at the EU Delegation to Serbia, praised the documentary filmmakers and stated that stories like these are evidence that the European Union rightly chose the theme of water conservation for this year’s Green Week.

In the European Union, there are systemic solutions for preserving natural resources such as water, while in Serbia, the approach still tends to be haphazard. A positive example is the Association “ZA Drinking Fountains” in Zaječar, which, over a decade-long struggle, managed to halt the process of artesian water devastation and redirect it towards protection, reconstruction, and restoration of the fountains.

When it comes to water resources, Serbia ranks 47th out of 180 ranked countries. Official data shows that the capacity of groundwater sources in our country ranges from 678 to 750 million cubic meters, but the problem lies in the fact that these are slowly renewable resources susceptible to pollution.

However, due to unclearly defined responsibilities of state authorities, many obvious ecological water problems remain unresolved, according to Petar Dokmanović, a professor at the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade.

A significant issue in preserving water resources is also the penal policy. While there is legal regulation in place, the fines are small and do not deter polluters who degrade natural resources. This is also the opinion of journalist Ruža Helač, who documented numerous such examples through the series “Green Patrol in Action.”

Raising environmental awareness relies heavily on citizen education, while social responsibility is crucial for environmental conservation.

Green Week concludes in Niš on June 13 with another screening of short films from the “Look Around You” series and a panel discussion on water preservation in Serbia.

Sources: Zamedia; EU u Srbiji