Macedonia Valandovo local community mobilizes against copper mine exploitation
Civil initiative “Spas za Valandovo (Save Valandovo)” is launching a campaign for the preservation of environmentally clean Valandovo valley, for a reasonable and transparent management of its resources and for suspending all activities related to the mining complex for the production of cathode copper.
According to activist Daniele Mircevska, the Valandovo basin is one of the last environmentally clean areas in Macedonia and it has a wealth of natural resources that should be preserved.
Although a consulting company from Skopje conducted the Environmental Impact Assessment Study of the mining complex for the production of cathode copper Kazandol, in the municipality of Valandovo, for the need of investor in June 2015 the initiative “Save Valandovo” believes that it should not be let that the supposed economic progress jeopardizes thousands of citizens in the municipality of Valandovo.
“I just think that the risk is too great, because Macedonia has no strategy on how to deal with potential disaster and we take a firm stand that “we do not need a mine”. Meanwhile, similar civil initiative has been launched in Gevgelia and international public has been informed through the media about the impact on the climate. We believe that this problem affects all of us,” says Mircevska, who believes that citizens of Valandovo are not well informed about the consequences of the mine operation in the future.
“In the case of smallest human error or natural disaster the planned mine can become a disaster of enormous proportions. In addition, it is not in accordance with Development of the Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP). Detailed studies foresee citizens’ health checkup and emergency evacuation of settlements under certain conditions. Handling toxic waste is not included in Macedonia National Strategy, and the fate of the whole country will literally be placed in the hands of a dozen people who work there. Are we ready to risk?”, ask people from civil initiative “Save Valandovo”.
They announce that in the future they will directly address the citizens of the municipality, the public, interested individuals and legal entities, media, institutions, Macedonian and foreign experts in this field.
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