An initiative by Colliers International sparked off a meeting in Nov 2008 of individuals and representatives of organisations concerned about the situation of property development in Montenegro. In the Spring of 2009, James and Anke were approached during a conference about property development and agreed to participate. James was later nominated to chair this group, which we called an Initiating Group. The World GBC is very specific about its requirements for membership, and the main task of the IG was to identify, approach and persuade key influential individuals who can help to form the Core Founding Group, the first stage in the path in the formation of a fully-fledged GBC.
Board members were a mix of internationals and locals. We received strong support from the Government’s Office for Sustainable Development, as well as Colliers International. One of the most prestigious developments in the country, arguably the region, Porto Montenegro, wais also very supportive and became our first Platinum Member.
James’ aim was to involve as many Montenegrins as possible – after all this is their country – and a GBC is not sustainable without strong support from within the country.
We became a legal entity on 20 December 2010 as a Non-Governmental Organisation (the only format available for a not-for-profit organisation) thanks to the lawyer on our team, Slobodan Perovic. So the Initiating Group became the Members who in turn elected a Board, consisting of most of us. James became the President of the Board, and as we could not afford any paid staff, found himself doing all the work.
On 01 March 2011, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office for Sustainable Development, and on 20 April did the same with the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism – the successor to the Ministry for Spatial Planning and Environment following the changes in the Government consequent to Milo Djukanovic’s resignation as Prime Minister in mid December 2010.
In June 2011, we submitted our Expression of Interest to the World Green Building Council. This is the first step to become a formal member of the world association. Our application was approved by the World GBC Board, and we became a Prospective Member at the end of August. The next step in about 2 years’ time will be an Emerging Member, and again about 2 years later all being well full membership.