Село Бозовце, Шар планина | Фото: Мета.мк

The capture of small rivers and sentencing to death the whole biodiversity in the surrounding area is a consequence of the enormous number of concessions for micro hydropower plants that have no serious contribution to the country’s energy resources. The civil society organizations appeal to the Government of North Macedonia, even to its own detriment, to terminate the concessions for micro hydropower plants that were issued, but the capacities haven’t been built yet, and to save tens of rivers and the nature around them.

Those appeals are especially strong for Shar Mountain, where 11 such facilities were built and 15 more are yet to be built, even though the procedure for declaring Shar Mountain a national park is ongoing. The environmentalists consider that the damage caused by the building of these energy facilities in a protected area, where there is a large number of endemic or endangered species, is immeasurably greater and more frightening.

The civic organization “Eko Svest” considers that as an area with extraordinary values, rare and endemic species, and unique ecosystems, Shar Mountain was supposed to be declared as a protected area i.e. a national park long time ago. The problem lies with the concessions for micro hydropower plants that were already issued, despite the procedure for declaring it a protected area. Therefore, in a way, they hold the whole process for declaring in hostage since they are in opposition to the protected areas’ primary function.

The Ministry of Environment has recently published the draft text of the Law for declaring Shar Mountain a national park and soon public debates will be organized for it before finalizing the process.

The civic initiative “The Green Front against the building of micro hydropower plants” has began supporting the initiative for safe-guarding Shar Mountain. During the last weekend they joined the activity at the mountain club “Jelak” in Tetovo to clean one of the most beautiful areas of Shar Mountain, Leshnica which is also under a threat by the building of another energy facility.

They collected a large quantities of waste, but they also symbolically stated that there should be a micro hydropower plant.