Environmental Initiative: Protect Our Future19. October 2012 - 11:27 — Dejan Georgievski
The environmentalist associations “Eko-Stop” from Skopje, “Vila Zora” from Veles, “Grašnica“ from Ohrid and “Molika” from Bitola announced, on October 16, the start of implementation of “Protect Our Future” Project, with an initiative for legal definition of areas in which heavy industry will be allowed to be built and developed in Macedonia.
The initiative demands amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection that will restrict and define the minimum distance from human settlements for new industrial installations and facilities, depending on the type of industry, as well as listing of potential pollution that a given factory may cause.
“The initiative aims to prohibit development of heavy industry in vicinity of human settlements and protected natural areas, which will help prevent a repeat of the mistake made with the lead and zinc smelter in Veles. On the other hand, the negative experiences of Veles provoke the animosity of citizens towards any possibility to build industrial facilities near settlements, because of fear of potential pollution”, the initiative states.
The organizations say that spatial planning activities and regulated distances at which industrial installations may be built will increase the sense of security of the local population about the future facility. Also, investors will be safe from potential future problems with the local population.
“At the same time, such amendments will eliminate any possibility for restart of Veles Smelter at its current location. Therefore, the support for this initiative is also direct and open support for the struggle of the people of Veles”, the associations that implement the project say.
The “Protect Our Future” Project is supported financially by the USAID Civil Society Project, implemented by the Foundation Open Society Macedonia. (Source: NGO Infocentre)
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