An increasing number of distinguished individuals and well-known personalities are joining the initiative of Kurir and the request of citizens to prevent the destruction of the forest in Košutnjak. We are supported by: academician Matija Bećković, actor Petar Božović, musician Momčilo Bajagić Bajaga, Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan, former director of the Yugoslav Film Archive Radoslav Zelenović.
For the sake of reminder, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić also supported our initiative to prevent the destruction of around 30 hectares of forest and green spaces in Košutnjak for the sake of construction of around 600,000 square metres of a commercial-residential complex. The President said the ruling SPP has over the past eight years been fighting for forestation and not the destruction of forests.
As we have been writing, the Avala Film Park project, i.e. the main contractor and investor Avala Studios, was planning the construction of an enormous commercial-residential complex in Belgrade’s largest green oasis – Košutnjak. Kurir has for a long time been warning of this dangerous intention of the investor.
Actor Petar Božović says he is also one of the signatories to the petition against the cutting down of trees in Košutnjak.
– Those are the lungs of Belgrade. The importance of preserving greenery is this area is enormous. I simply can’t believe that someone dares to touch it when there are so many spaces outside Belgrade. A tree grows for a hundred of years. It is gold in large cities. What would New York look like today without Central Park?! We should get in the way of the deranged woodcutter. It shall not pass this time. No pasaran! – underscores Božović.
– Cutting down a tree is Switzerland is the same as killing a man, says Matija Bećković.
– Every three there has a plate with its name and birth date engraved. Why should trees in Switzerland be more valuable than those in Serbia?! – wonders Bećković.
Legendary Bajaga says he is absolutely against the cutting down of trees in Košutnjak
– No one normal could approve it. It is in the interest only of those who can make profit from it. We should do everything to prevent them. Košutnjak has existed since I was a small boy, and much before. Those are the lungs of Belgrade, and I hope there are normal people who can and will prevent it – says Bajagić.
Radoslav Zelenović states that as the director of the Film Archive he was against the sale of Avala Film.
– I was warning in time that this would happen. Since the start of the sale of Avala Film, it was clear that the investor’s intentions were not only to build and restore the film studio and invest in the film industry. We can now see what the new owner’s intentions are – he says.
Red Start goalkeeper Milan Borjan has no dilemma – he supports our effort to prevent the cutting down of trees.
– Sports and a healthy environment are closely related. For us, sportsmen, to be healthy and for our children to be healthy, we need to have as many forests around us as possible. I am therefore absolutely against the cutting down of trees. This is absolute absurdity and it is impermissible – says Borjan.
Caught in lies
They were hiding the destruction
Avala Studios initially claimed for Kurir that there would be no cutting down of trees, but only later explained that they are interested only in 40 hectares out of 86.8 hectares, as envisaged by the detailed site plan survey, and that within these 40 hectares, there are only seven hectares of quality forest. Kurir published the map, sent by the company, which clearly shows that enormous green spaces could disappear under concrete, which is something also confirmed by experts.
Avala Studios announced it was to refute everything, but then quickly gave up, realising all was true. The company practically admitted they were planning the destruction by, as they said, ‘reducing swamps, allergenic plants and valueless wild trees’.
AMG campaign ‘Plant a tree’
In a single day we planted more than 50,000 trees
During the four-month campaign of our AMG company ‘Plant a tree’, 51,256 new trees were planted in a single day, which is the largest project of tree planting in Serbia. Kurir and AMG will always fight for forestation, against the cutting down of trees.
Against the cutting down of trees
Of course I am against the cutting down of trees in Košutnjak. No one normal would strike at the Belgrade oasis! Over the past eight years of the rule of the SPP we have been fighting for forestation and not the destruction of forests. Košutnjak is the lungs of Belgrade and we should not let it be sacrificed for the sake of someone’s personal interests – said President Vučić a day earlier for Kurir.
Kurir / Photo: Kurir