Legislation


In Macedonia, there has been very little attention focused on the protection of nature and biodiversity, protection of human health from noise and air emissions, living conditions in urban areas, public awareness for environmental problems etc. In the last 15 years, solving environmental problems in Macedonia has been confused with the Government signing international conventions and adopting legislation, and by this it was considered that the Government has finished their obligations towards the environment.

Very often the institutions that have signed and adopted these laws and conventions were not aware of what was needed to be done in order to implement them. This situation led to minimal or, rather no adherence to the laws adopted. Many of the laws are still not completed with regulations that would enable the implementation, and the regulations that are in place, are simply not followed. The environmental problems are still in place, and everything is down to existence on paper, but no realisation in practice. Getting out of this situation and moving things forward will surely take more time. On the other hand, the poor economic situation makes the ordinary citizen reluctant to the environmental problems, considering it to be a luxury. Bad financial situation and poor economy are also the Government’s excuse, for not changing the situation with the environment in the country.

Eco-sense is active in legislation work, in terms of lobbying for adoption of laws and regulations and their proper implementation in practice. In the next three years Eco-sense will focus on the adoption of a law on genetically modified organisms, adoption of regulations for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the implementation of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and integrated prevention and pollution control (IPPC) procedures.

The involvement of Eco-sense in special bodies (institutional, with decision making power) will enable the creation of better legislation and more successful implementation of the existing regulations.

Involvement of citizens’ associations in such decision making groups related to development of new laws or regulations has been minimal, almost none. Therefore, there is a great need of promoting civil society’s role in decision making processes. Thier involvement will lead to making better decisions and improving the environment in the country as well as to democratisation of the issues related to environment.

During the local and parliamentarian elections, Eco-sense took active role in “greening the elections” and advocating for bringing environmental issues higher in the political agenda. In 2006, together with other environmental groups Eco-sense established the Macedonian green center (www.zeleni.org.mk) a center for lobbying, advocacy and environmental research.