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The State of the Environment

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veles.gif (33381 bytes)The Republic of Macedonia has a population of about 2 million, 58% of which live in towns, while 42% in rural areas. The density of the population is 80 inhabitants per square metre. There are 29 towns in the Republic of Macedonia. Towns with over 50,000 inhabitants are: Skopje, Bitola, Prilep, Kumanovo etc. The total number of rural settlements is 1637.

The share of the industry in the Gross Domestic Product is 35% and 39,9% in number of employees for 1995. Waste water treatment systems from facilities have been built near the three biggest lakes in the country. Most of the urban area has safe drinking water. Protected areas have been designated, and the Republic of Macedonia has adopted a physical plan. In addition, a separate department for environmental protection has been established within the Ministry for Urban Planning and Construction. Although the overall industrial output in the country has significantly decreased, industry remains to be the biggest pollutant due to the out-dated and non-efficient production technologies, the inappropriate monitoring equipment as well as the problems with enforcement of regulations for environmental protection. The biggest environmental problems today are the air pollution in Veles and Skopje, the polluted ground waters due to various chemical discharges and other hazardous liquids as well as the environmentally unfriendly treatment of solid waste management.

wpe141.jpg (92934 bytes)Gross Domestic Product for 1994:

  • Industry and mining 35.0%
  • Agriculture, fishery, forestry and water management 21.9%
  • Trade 20.3%
  • Tourism 3.0%
  • Construction 6.4%
  • Transport and Communication 5.0%
  • Guilds 2.5%
  • Other 5.9%

The numerous examples illustrated in NEAP testify for our irresponsible attitude towards nature and the environment and our problems with enforcing the existing legal regulations. The facts, for example: 70 million tons of barren dross in the mines of Zletovo, Toranica and Radovis, the unsolved issues of dumping 4 million solid waste throughout the whole year, the 420 million m3 of waste water of which only 6% is treated, the 1.2 million tons of ashes and debris from burning coal, the 430.000 tons of dross from "Fenimak" etc. are quite alarming.

Apart from the soil and waters the polluation of the air is enormous. The air is polluted from the industrial capacities and the transportation vehicles that emit 25,000 tons of carbon monoxide, 10,000 tons of sulphur dioxide, 6,500 tons of hydrocarbons, 23 tons of nitric oxides, 12 tons of lead etc.

contejneri.gif (26748 bytes)The tremendous use of mineral fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, the upward tendency of the erosion processes, the fires in the woods, the drying of the forests, and the drying of the natural water ecco-systems, cannot but have repurcussions over the biodiversity.

The extinction of 109 kinds of algae in the diminishing Dojran Lake, the migration of most of the birds due to the drying of the mud in Katlanovo, the uncontrolled hunting of wild life in the forests are indications of the ecco disaster threatening our country.

More than a third of forest land is barren (degraded forests with bushes and shrubs).

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