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Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment Social inclusion

This post was originally published on UNDP’s web site in Montenegro.

Montenegro, Durmitor Mountain

Durmitor Mountain, photo by: Peter Fenďa

The crowd has spoken:  The process of selecting the most exciting untold stories in Montenegro has come to an end and there are several messages we’d like to share with everyone.

First, we would like to send out a big thank you to over 500 nature and technology enthusiasts who got in touch with us directly by voting, suggesting new ideas or improving existing ones, and volunteering to be a part of our team.  We heard from a number of experts and NGOs in various fields – history, architecture, geography, biology – but we also heard from tourists who either visited, or plan to visit, Montenegro.

Second, there were many people that reached out to us directly from the communities in and around the northern protected areas. This is the most valuable aspect of the voting process – having the community directly involved in the story-telling process.

Third, a number of you suggested that we combine two or more of the voting topics into a single, larger story (putting forest fruits and medicinal herbs together into a story).  We heard you loud and clear, and these are the winning stories we will set out to map jointly:

  1. Mountain Lakes
  2. Medieval Century – which will consist of medieval cities, churches and monasteries, as well as medieval tombstones, Stećci.
  3. Eco-villages
  4. National Park “Biogradska gora”
  5. Forest Fruit and Medicinal Herbs

Since “Photo Tracking” received quite a few votes, we decided to treat this topic as a general theme for all five stories – that is, teams will map locations and sites that provide the nicest scenery and the best photo shoots.

So in terms of the next steps, our plan is to start building five teams that will engage with the communities on the ground and start developing these stories. The emphasis will be on engagement with the community – teams will focus putting the community in the  driver’s seat in the story-telling process. Foursquare is our preferred method for telling the stories at the moment, however, once these narratives are developed with the communities, they can be recounted using many different methods, all enriching the tourism options in the northern region.

If you would still like to get involved in the project, please let us know. Tell us where you live, the topic you’d like to get involved in, and whether or not you have access to a smart phone (important for ‘Check-Ins’ on FourSquare). Thank you, once again, for your involvement in this project. Together we can make it a success.

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