The first Conference of the Platform for Green Macedonia established with the support of ENV.net project was held on 24th October in Veles.
Over 50 participants, representative from the NGO sector, national and local governments discussed the problems and progress of the situation related to 3 of the detected 10 hot spots. The key topics included: how to solve the historical contamination of Veles that comes as a result of 30 years of continuous pollution from the smelter plant “Topilnica”, problems related to industrial pollution in Kavadarci, Tetovo, Skopje, Bitola and Kichevo and protection of the National Park Mavrovo and the Radica River. In their discussions, participants also presented their recommendations how these issues should be dealt with.
About the problems in Veles:
- Dislocation of the dross (slag) located behind the smelter plant in Veles, which represents a source of constant pollution of the city.
About the air pollution in Skopje, Bitola, Kavadarci, Tetovo and Kicevo:
- To regularly control of emissions from industrial facilities around and in the city of Skopje. Competent authorities should ensure that all existing air quality monitoring stations are fully functional and for installation of new monitoring stations for real-time surveillance;
- To limit operation of all industrial facilities that do not meet the standards for integrated A – Integrate license.
About the protection of the National Park Mavrovo and the Radika River:
- To respect citizens’ and NGOs’ position, the decision of the Council of the Municipality of Debar and opinions of more than 100 experts sent in form of a petition to the Government of Macedonia;
- To stop any construction activities in the area of the National Park Mavrovo associated with construction of hydro power plants (dams), especially in Lukovo Pole and Bosko Bridge
- To adopt a new Law on the National Park Mavrovo, which will annul the illegal change for zoning, i.e., will return its status of a strictly protected zone
Participants also discussed the initiative, presented by the ENV.net partner in Macedonia (4x4x4 Balkan Bridges) to establish a formal green consortium, that will provide environmental CSOs from Macedonia a stronger position in dealing with the governments and other relevant stakeholders in the process of environmental reforms for closer EU integration.