The present and the future belong to renewable sources of energy. Which is why from an economic and environmental perspective, there have been many investments worldwide since then and I believe that Macedonia has to do the same. Although I am young, I have always enjoyed nature and its beauty. My activism in the civil society sector has had as a focus environmental issues, both as a co-founder of an environmental NGO, Bezgrubrija, and participant in different events that had as focus the environment.The issue of environmental protection, for me and my generation, is very important.
I was very happy to hear that my old elementary school is one great small example of using renewable energy. I recently read that the mayor of the municipality Karpos has decided to use solar power as a way to produce energy and lower costs for one of the elementary schools in town. This was achieved by installing solar panels on the roof. Moreover, while the students are out of school for the summer, the school intensively collects solar energy and can not only sustain itself but additionally, it can provide its surplus to businesses for extra money in the schools! I'm proud that I get to see my old elementary school be efficient and care for the environment. I say that if one small building in a small municipality can achieve this, then can you imagine what kind of profit Macedonia could make if it decides to follow the example of the elementary school?
It makes perfect sense for a country like Macedonia, which has a large number of sunny days, to benefit from solar panel systems. Additionally, Macedonia has over fifty-three artificial lakes, which only proves the high potential that the country has on the hydropower. Sure, there is a cost for building many solar panels and hydropower plants, but in the long run it will be beneficial for all. I've heard in the news the other day that Skopje is in the top five most polluted cities in the world and even number one in Europe and to be honest, it made me feel bad. I do not want to hear this news again. Luckily, the citizens of Macedonia have become aware and as an informed generation we need to take action.
I believe that by starting small, we as citizens can start to take action in this regard and the country can learn from good examples in the region and the world. For example, I have recently read on social media that China has declared "war" on air pollution and is using a good portion of their army to engage in activities like planting trees. As such, I believe that Macedonia could start to take initiatives of such format on its own.
I am happy to see that there are young activists and small initiatives being undertaken on this matter. I believe that soon Macedonia will learn from the small changes and lead by example in the area of energy efficiency, too, as it has all the necessary means. A healthy environment in Macedonia will result in a healthy society and development.
Author: Jovica Jankovikj (Јовица Јанковиќ)
Jovica is a young activist from Macedonia, who is passionate about youth policy, and environmental protection. Jovica, is the co-founder of the NGO Bezgrubrija, and is a member and activist for two NGOs, Youth Educational Forum(YEF) and YouthCan.
His passion about being involved in the community has been expressed though his participation in numerous activities organized within Macedonia and the Balkan Region. Some of the event he has participated include: The debate tournament EcoContest, EcoPatrol–NGO Zero Waste, Regional Youth Forum in NoviSad, and the 11th Euro–AtlanticCamp(REACT)etc.
Jovica, is a winner of the high school contest hosted by USAID for excellence in outlining a personal vision for Macedonia's future rewarded by US Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia JessL. Baily.