Yes, none of the above. Vote for me! But what do I stand for? What do I want to deliver?

My agenda is to help to make the Ross Sea an international marine protected area. This is WHY. And I do need YOUR VOTE for that. But am I qualified for the job? What experience do I have to confirm my qualifications?

E.g., up to 10 percent of the European population of Pygmy Cormorants overwinters in Belgrade, Serbia. I studied them for 20 years, published one paper and half a dozen blogs about them, talked to the media more times than I can remember and helped the state Institute for Protection of Nature to draft a protection proposal, which went to the City Assembly.

Also, for quarter of a century I have been canoeing the Danube backwaters inside Belgrade and collecting data about birds (most of it I have entered into the eBird). As a former chairperson of the local bird protection NGO, League for Ornithological Action, I made a small team of dedicated activists and we wrote the project proposal, got a grant from the City Environmental Secretariat, did a bit of additional research and produced a base-line study of birds, butterflies and plant communities of the Danube backwaters and proposed these for protection. The proposal was accepted, and the Institute for Protection of Nature was charged to write a protection proposal (it is the legal requirement) which went to the City Assembly for voting.

So, I helped with the creation of two new nature reserves in my city? Yes and no. The procedure was followed and finished, it is now up to the officials to do their part… and they do not seem willing to do it, not wanting to have any obstacle in the way of prospective developers. I am not giving up, but the current Government is likely to stay in power for several more years and I can think of better ways to use the time…

Back to the Ross Sea international marine protected area, the Oceanwide Expeditions are giving away one cruise ticket for the month long expedition from New Zealand through the Ross Sea to Argentina. And I need you to vote for me and send me to Antarctica, so I could write a book about this “voyage of the Beagle”, about Antarctica and its wildlife in the light of climate changes, and us, the travellers on board the Ortelius and us, the mankind on board our only planet, hoping to influence the public to influence the decision makers regarding the protection of the Ross Sea. Working title: The Only Planet.

And in order to get there, I need your voice. Please vote for me HERE.

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

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Written by Dragan
Dragan Simic is obsessively passionate about two things – birding and travelling in search of birds, and that has taken him from his native Balkans to the far shores of Europe and the Mediterranean, southern Africa, India and Central America. His 10,000 Birds blog posts were Highly Commended in the International Category of the 2015 BBC Wildlife Blogger Awards. Birder by passion and environmental scientist by education, he is an ecotourism consultant, a field researcher and a bird blogger who always thinks that birding must be better behind that next bend in the road, and that the best bird ever is – the next lifer. He tweets as @albicilla66