New firefighting equipment for forest fires to contribute for protection of forests in the Maleshevo region

The new firefighting equipment for the TFFU in Berovo and the branches of PE National Forests in Berovo and Pehchevo for fighting forest fires was promoted in Berovo today, at the start of the period when the threats of wildfires are greatest.

The event was addressed by a representative of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Deputy Prime Minister for fighting corruption and crime, sustainable development and human resources, Ljupcho Nikolovski, who underlined the importance of forest protection. “Forests in Macedonia, including those in the Maleshevo region, are susceptible to fires, particularly during summer, so it is important to have timely monitoring, prevention and action in cases of critical events. We must not allow the renowned Maleshevo forest belt to be threatened, nor risk the citizens’ safety.

That is why the new fire vehicles as well as the entire donation from our international supporters are of exceptional importance not only for the equipment of the Berovo territorial firefighting unit and the branches of PE National Forests, but also for the safety of the citizens in urban and rural areas, for the firefighters and for environmental protection”.

In her address, the Swiss Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia, HE Sybille Suter Tejada, spoke about the importance of the Regional forest development plan for the Maleshevo region, as a developmental strategic plan developed with a participative approach, which helps establish a foundation for sustainable management of forests and forest land in the region, developed as one of the several pioneering activities on national level, as well as about Switzerland’s continued support in the past period. “Switzerland has been supporting North Macedonia in the field of environmental protection and conservation for many years. In the last ten years this support has been implemented through the Nature Conservation Programme, with a main focus on the Bregalnica region. Many pioneering activities were started and implemented in this region and wonderful results have been achieved, of which we are very proud”.

The Mayor of the Municipality of Berovo, Zvonko Pekevski, emphasized the importance of efficient fire protection for the preservation of forests in the region: “I am very happy with the fact that this project has equipped the territorial firefighting unit with new equipment and advanced the work for monitoring and protection of forests in the Maleshevo region. In this respect, the modern drone for monitoring and managing of forest fires will be particularly useful, and for this purpose the employees were trained by the partner institutions as part of the project”.

The Mayor of the Municipality of Pehchevo, Dragan Trenchovski, underlined that cooperation and multisector approach are necessary for sustainable use of natural resources and successful implementation of the pilot regional plan for development of forests in Maleshevo: “We adopted this plan together with the Municipality of Berovo as a strategic document, and its implementation in cooperation with PE National Forests will be the basis for a different approach to sustainable management of forests, which are a very important resource for us. For the first time these plans take into account all functions of the forests, with interinstitutional cooperation, in support of our commitment to sustainable use of natural resources”.

The event was also addressed by the deputy director of PE National Forests, Mrs. Mare Basova, who emphasized the importance of cooperation and coordination on regional level between the competent institutions for sustainable forest management. In this respect, the process of nature conservation is of particular importance: “In late 2020, with a Decision of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, PE National Forests was appointed as a Managing Authotity of the protected landscape Osogovo Mountains, and we are also actively involved in the initiative to declare Maleshevo a protected area. With this PE National Forests demonstrates its commitment to sustainable management of forests in the country. These initiatives give added value to the work of the enterprise, which we can freely say works in partnership with nature, Basova added.

The event was attended by representatives of the competent institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia on national and local level, ministries and public enterprises, which had the opportunity to get familiar with the complete equipment for monitoring, prevention and fast intervention in dealing with forest fires, that would contribute for greater efficiency in the municipalities of Berovo and Pehchevo and the branches of PE National Forests in managing forest fires, and would bring to a higher level the fire protection in the Maleshevo region.

The event was organised by the Municipality of Berovo and the Nature Conservation Programme in North Macedonia (NCP), a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), coordinated by Farmahem.

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