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WWF and Eko-svest worried about constructions of ski centers in Jablanica in North Macedonia

Massive tourism complexes don’t belong in protected areas

Skopje - According to the statement of the Director of the Foreign Investment Agency, Dejan Pavleski for the planned construction of luxury ski centers on Jablanica Mountain, the WWF and Eko-svest issue a reaction that these plans are in conflict with nature protection and international standards.
Just two years ago the Monument of Nature "Vevcanski izvori" covering 1370 hectares of Jablanica Mountain received a Management Plan and active protection and conservation, after several years of dedicated work by the Municipality of Vevcani and Eko-svest. The importance of the area was confirmed by the decision of the Government to declare it a national park. We remind that according the Management plan, the area above Vevcani is not considered for the construction of ski centers or hotel complexes and general infrastructure for mass tourism is not allowed. 

"One of the reccomendations in the latest expert report from the Bern Convention for our country is that it is necessary to harmonize the spatial and sectoral plans, especially for tourism and urban settlements in order to prevent further urbanization and degradation in national parks and protected areas. At the same time, the report says that it's necessary to encourage sustainable, ecological forms of tourism, which are based on the IUCN standards for tourism in protected areas", said Ana Colovic Lesoska, WWF Adria Policy Coordinator in North Macedonia. 
"We must not constantly allow ourselves to disrespect the international community and ratified conventions and go against these recommendations. All our institutions have the responsibility to respect these recommendations, and such statements as the one of the Agency are an indicator for lack of coordination and information in the system," she adds. 

“According the report on climate change projections and changes in extreme weather events in Macedonia, the country will face a warmer and drier climate. This means frequent and prolonged droughts in the country as well as significant shifting / shortening of the autumn and winter seasons. Many countries in the world that have developed ski resorts in the past three years have suffered huge financial losses due to rising temperatures and lack of snow. The construction of new ski centers in the country will be an expensive and financially unprofitable investment ", says Elena Nikolovska, Program Coordinator for Climate in Eko-svest.
In addition, any investment in mass tourism unfortunately does not bring benefits at the local level and for the local population as often presented by the authorities and investors. Such projects bring revenue to large companies that profit from the destruction of nature and local resources. 

WWF and Eko-svest send their reaction publicly to the Foreign Investment Agency and request revision of the proposed projects related to ski centers in future national parks and protected areas. They propose that alternative plans for sustainable tourism are prepared, for which they offer their expertise and advice to the competent institutions.
Jablanica Mountain in North Macedonia

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