“What is environmental justice?”, was the question that CIVIL Media asked citizens in Skopje with the purpose not only to get fairly acquainted with their knowledge, but also with their awareness on environmental protection.

Hence, the conclusion is that citizens are not familiar with the term, but did try to give an answer by linking ecology and justice as separate terms.

“Environmental justice means for people and plants to have equal treatment. In Macedonia there is no environmental justice. It is necessary to change people’s awareness”, stated one of the interlocutors.

That the problem of protecting and preserving nature in conflict with economic and social interests is not talked about among citizens can also be seen by an explanation given by a citizen who does not know what environmental justice is, but gives his view on social priorities.

“I don’t know. I’m interested in eating, drinking and love. What’s the use of politics? They want to ruin this beauty here in Macedonia. they need to think about these people here. You saw what happened several years ago in Croatia…they will eat and drink, while we hate each other…We need to go to Europe. Why should we have Bulgarian passports, we are Macedonians…I was born a Macedonian and will die as a Macedonia”, stated one citizen.

Environmental justice in Macedonia mostly comes down to legal regulations, but without the possibility for citizens to benefit from them. This is mainly due to insufficient knowledge and education for raising public awareness.

Environmental justice in the wider sense is justice for the environment, but also means rightness in the relations between people and the other part of the natural world.

The concept of environmental justice is based on the ecocentric approach that implies taking action in providing benefits for the environment itself, that is, the final instances are the interests of the environment.

Biljana Jordanovska

Camera: Dehran Muratov

This post is also available in: Macedonian