Veles can and shall be a green and prosperous municipality
The Impact Net Foundation from Veles, on 25 January 2023, organized the Joint Commitments for Transformative Practices towards a green and prosperous municipality where, in addition to secondary school students, part of the municipal councilors, MPs in the Macedonian Assembly from Veles, representatives of the municipality and civil society organizations participated.
The high school students of Veles asked for more planted trees in the city, the establishment of a green cadastre that will take care of them, and restoring the burned forest around Lake “Mladost.” The speakers asked fellow citizens to use vehicles less often and more often bicycles and electric scooters and asked the local government to provide them with safe pedestrian paths. Petre Cilakov, the head of the department of urbanism, environmental protection, communal activities, European integration, and local economic development, informed about the activities of the municipality for the restoration of the existing and the creation of new green areas in the city for last year’s action for reforestation over Lake Mladost and for the cleaning of several wild landfills.
MP Igor Zdravkovski clarified that the authorities are making efforts to build a solid waste management landfill by 2025 and a wastewater treatment plant in the Vardar River by 2027. Councillor Dimitar Abrashev addressed the ambient air and the needs of several measuring stations in the city. He promised the attendees that he would pledge to hire an environmental inspector in the Council who would regularly monitor the situation and alert all violations promptly. “It was wrong for the Municipality of Veles to invest 10 million denars in the environment last year. In 2023, that amount was decreased to 8 million denars”, Abrashev emphasized.
Councilor Elizabeta Mitrevska Angjeleska asked the citizens to adapt their lifestyle and recalled the subsidies that the Municipality of Veles gives to the citizens for the purchase of bicycles and inverter conditioners that do not pollute the ambient air. Liliana Popovska from the Green Institute also spoke about the importance of green areas and added that the country shall be fully committed to implementing the European Green Agreement and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.
According to Stevce Dechev, project coordinator, such activities are an incentive for young people and their expectations from politicians, especially the promises made at the last elections. “We chose four focus points: waste processing, urban public transport, green areas, and their quantity and quality. We want to believe that these promises will be fulfilled.
Community mobilizers Stefan Atanasovski Trajkovic and Blagoj Gjorgjievski stressed that political parties, councilors, and parliamentarians are under the scrutiny of citizens and civil society in the implementation of the Environmental Program. At the event, Ivan Trifunov promoted the application concept: Green Map, which will be refined with the youth and announced in March as part of the project’s activities.
The implementation of this event is made possible by the project “Support to Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia” of the Government of Switzerland, implemented by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and the grants are administered by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC).