(Фото: meta.mk)

The Macedonian forests are at constant risk not from the forest fires and illegal logging and misuse of the wood as firewood, but also from the insufficient number of forest rangers, inspectors and forest police that are supposed to take care of their safety. According to the data provided by the public enterprise “Makedonski shumi” (Macedonian Forests) revealed  in the panel discussion “How to Achieve Better Control over the Management of the Forests?” organized by the Institute for Communication Studies and the Association for Democratic Initiatives, last year around 26 000 cubic meters of forest were illegaly logged, but only the culprits behind the illegal logging of around 2 000 cubic meters of wood were discovered and had their spoils confiscated.

According to the data provided by the State Statistic Office of North Macedonia, the illegal logging in the forests had a drastic rise that started in 2011, but reached its peak in 2019, when 45 .795 m3 of wood was cut – seven times more than 10 years ago and twice more than the previous year – 2018.

Different institutions provide different information regarding the surface covered with wood, that according to “Macedonian Forests” range from 983 000 to 1.2 million hectares. The problem is that no survey of the forests has been conducted and relevant data lacks.