The civic coalition O2, formed of several civic associations and initiatives, has been trying for more than two years to solve environmental problems through the institutions. CIVIL Media spoke with Nevena Georgievska, a citizen activist, and also member of the initiative “We are Karpos 4”.
“Before the elections we were able to sign a Memorandum with all candidates for mayors of the City of Skopje, with the hope to succeed in the fight for a cleaner city, cleaner air, cleaner country…However, we are not concentrated only on Skopje, but also on entire Macedonia in regards to all problems related to the pollution. The O2 Coalition was also active with the activists against the mines of death, and currently we are active with “I Love Vodno” as well, for stopping the gas pipeline route that is planned to pass through Vodno”, stated Georgievska in the context of the activities of the O2Coalition.
As to the reactions of the institutions and of the public to the messages and efforts of the O2 Coalition, Georgievska said that at the beginning they had quite enough attention, especially before the elections, but that obviously there has to be constant pressure on the competent authorities in order to keep their attention.
“We, or I as an activist, are familiar with the laws, procedures and opportunities, but when it comes to the public opinion, we try as much as possible to inform the citizens and to involve them in the processes. We need to be loud when the public needs to be heard…However, for instance, when it concerns the pollution, that problem is very complex and depends on many factors. Here we must start from ourselves, before we blame the neighbors or factories…we need to take a look at what we leave, starting from a clean environment, whether I care if there is humane development, greenery, how I get to work, do I pollute or not in the meanwhile”, stated Georgievska.
Georgievska stressed that the institutions and labyrinths through which one has to go through to get to them can be demotivating. Still, we must not give up, she says, there has to be a strong will and a wish for changes, in order to endure in that fight.
“You have to be persistent, to know that you are doing what the goal is and that if you do not succeed, that maybe after four/five years someone will be encouraged by your activities to continue further on”, said Georgievska. The conversation with Nevena Georgievska is part of the project “Action -Integration” that CIVIL is implementing in partnership with the Heinrich Bὅll Foundation from Germany.
Camera: Dehran Muratov
Editing: Аrian Mehmeti
Text editing: Biljana Jordanovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian