CITIZEN ACTIVISTS REMAIN FIRM IN THEIR POSITION AGAINST THE DESTRUCTION OF VODNO

Citizen initiatives and associations against the destruction of Vodno will meet today with Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev in the government, where they will elaborate their position in regards to the construction of the pipeline that is to pass through the Vodno forest park.

“After jointly reviewing the pipeline to pass through the Vodno mountain, the claims of the citizen activists on its length and impact have been justified, as opposed to the opinion based on information that was presented to Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev and representatives of MER…

We welcome the attempt for mitigating the impact created by the firstly projected pipeline route to pass through Vodno, and the attempts for changing it, but that does not change the essence that the anticipated pipeline will still pass through the protected area of Vodno park forest, and will not only destroy a 2km stretch (in the best case scenario, if possible) of dense, decades-old forest, but also the habitats of many species, some of which endemic and endangered.

We are glad that all of us together could assure ourselves, but also convince Mr. Angjusev about the harm that this part of the gas pipeline would cause to Vodno. However, at the same time, we are deeply disappointed that despite having determined the actual situation on the ground, and knowing the significance and values of Vodno, the Government still remains in its position that Vodno should be collateral damage for the implementation of the gas pipeline that will run from Skopje towards Tetovo, Gostivar, Kicevo and Kosovo”, is said in their explanation.

Furthermore, citizen initiatives and associations consider that all economic consequences arising from a decade-long mistake and of non-transparent working should be adequately examined by appropriate state bodies, and with all legal resources to find the perpetrators who have sacrificed the environment and the health of the citizens in the name of profit.

“We urge the Government and its competent institutions to activate all of their mechanism to protect Vodno, and to find an appropriate solution for the gas pipeline outside of Vodno’s boundaries. If one truly wants to find the best option, then it will most certainly be done. The dislocation of the Clinical Center is a recent and doubtless example of changing a finished project and its construction. We are demanding an appropriate solution for the gas pipeline route, according to this example”, is said in the explanation.

Citizen initiatives and associations signatories are I Love Vodno, O2 Coalition, Stop the Pollution, Save Vodno, Green Taftalidze, Ecokarpos, 3,2,1, We are Karpos 4, FRONT 21/42, MTB Oxygen, I love hiking, Go Green, Green Power, Skopje Smog Alarm, Plant, Freedom Square, Eco Awareness, We want Aerodrom to breathe.

B.J.

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