Highway killed old oak tree in Savinac, Serbia

The 600 years old oak tree of religious importance to local people was cut down to give way to the highway Corridor XI.


In June 2013, construction of the highway Corridor XI, led by the company Koridori Srbije DOO under a public-private partnership, has reached a 600 year-old Oak tree close to the village Savinac, called "Zapis”

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Basic Data
NameHighway killed old oak tree in Savinac, Serbia
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesTransport infrastructure
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe motorway will connect the Serbian capital of Belgrade and Bar, Montenegro's main seaport. Italy, Montenegro and Serbia are lobbying to list the route with Pan-European corridors, and it is frequently referred to as part of proposed Corridor XI, or 4B - an envisioned ferry and motorway corridor linking Bari, Bar, Belgrade and Bucharest.

In Serbia Corridor 11 has three sections which are financed from various sources; Section Ljig - Preljina, total investment 308 million USD, finance by the credit of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the main contractor is a construction company Azvirt, Azerbaijan, domestic companies engage in work of at least 49% of total contract value; Section Ub – Lajkovac, total investment 100 million USD from the budget of Republic of Serbia, the main contractors ar two Serbian companies Uzice a.d. and GP Planum a.d.; Section Obrenovac - Ub and Lajkovca -Ljig, total investments of 333.7 million USD, including 301 million USD loan from Chinese Exim Bank and the main contractor "Shandong Hi-speed Group", and the 10 % percent of share to consortium of Serbian companies lead by Energoprojekt.
Project Area (in hectares)4 (total area occupied by the oak roots); 270 km (length of Serbian section of Corridor XI)
Level of Investment (in USD)3,6 billion USD (total investment in Serbian section of highway Corridor XI)
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2013
End Date23/07/2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesKoridori Srbije DOO from Serbia - Main investor and organizer of the constructions
Shandong Hi-speed Group - Chinese construction company, the main contractor
Azvirt - Construction company from Azerbaijan, the main contractor
Uzice a.d. - Serbian construction company, the main contractor
GP Planum a.d. - Serbian construction company, the main contractor
Energoprojekt from Poland - Leader of the consortium of Serbian construction companies
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Regional Development and Local Self-government; Ministry of Construction and Urbanism; Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia; Institute of Nature Conservation of Serbia; The Republic of Azerbaijan
International and Financial InstitutionsChina Export Import Bank from China - Supports construction of Corridor XI with 301 million USD loan
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersHrast gerila; GM Optimist http://gmoptimist.org/; Oplaneti se http://www.oplanetise.com/; Zelena lista Srbije http://www.oplanetise.com/zelena-lista-srbije-2.html; Evropski pokret http://www.evropskipokret.org/; Stop ekocid u Srbiji; Permakultura Srbije; Ekoloski medijski servis Srbije: http://www.ekomedija.tk/; Zelena patrola; Zeleni Srbije http://zelenisrbije.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Development of AlternativesThe opponents of the project demand rerouting of the highway, claiming that the tree would not survive the relocation (proposed by the company) and calling for compliance with European Union environment protection directives, as Serbia has a plan to became EU member in the future.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The old oak tree was cut down in July 2015.
Sources and Materials

Nadležni "našli" rešenje za problem na Koridoru 11: Mole boga da surova zima ubije stari hrast
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Seoba „zapisnog” hrasta iz sela Savinac
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Ko se boji kletve još
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I Evropa traži spas 600 godina starog hrasta
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Izmestiti prastari hrast isto što i ubiti ga
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"Vučić ponizio i nas i svetinju"
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Narod čuva sveti hrast!
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Sveti hrast od 600 leta menja trasu autoputa?
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Oak stops construction of Corridor 11
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Ilić: Bile su vam bitnije kafana i crkva, ali ne brinite, nećemo dirati ni hrast!
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Belgrade – South Adriatic
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Energoprojekt za Kineze gradi na Koridoru 11
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Ministar obećao da će viševekovni hrast biti spasen
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Zbog hrasta će i EU da reaguje?!
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Kinezi počeli Koridor 11 (FOTO)
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Chinese Company Offers to Build Corridor 11
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600 year old oak cut down
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Hrast na Koridoru 11 posečen tokom noći (VIDEO)
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Media Links

Oak tree album
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Video of protests 1
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Video of protests 2
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Old oak was cut down
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Other Documents

The old oak tree and his guards The old oak tree became a symbol of civil initiatives.
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The construction works and the oak tree The conflict started when the highway construction approached the oak
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Bikers guard the old oak too The oak tree is 40 m high and has volume of 7.5 m
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Cutting down of the old oak After three years of resistance, the old oak was cut down to give way to high road
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update07/04/2016