Concessions revoked for seven small hydropower plants on Shar Mountains

Concessions revoked for seven small hydropower plants on Šar Planina

Photo: Eko-svest / screenshot


October 6, 2022






October 6, 2022





The Government of North Macedonia revoked seven concessions for small hydroelectric plants in the newly proclaimed Shar Mountains national park. It is the first decision of the kind in the country and a good precedent for the protection of rivers, waters, and coasts, environmental activists said.

The Government of North Macedonia “delivered a very important and potentially revolutionary decision,” environmental research and information center Eko-svest said in a press release. 

Clean, free-flowing rivers are of the utmost importance for healthy ecosystems, the organization added.

The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning has decided to revoke seven concessions for small hydroelectric power plants in the Shar Mountains national park. Environmentalists remarked it could be a turning point for the protection of nature and rivers. The range is also called Šar planina, Šara and Malet e Sharrit.

It is a possible turning point for the protection of nature and rivers

The decision is significant for protecting the locations of great importance for the aquatic and riparian biodiversity at the Shar Mountains, Eko-svest pointed out.

Small hydropower plant projects there could be finished, but it is only one protected area in North Macedonia under threat. The environmental activists stressed the situation in the Mavrovo national park needs to be considered.

“This decision of the government shows that we can’t ignore the scientific knowledge about the huge negative impacts of the small hydropower plants in the protected areas. However, this is only the first step. In NP Mavrovo there are issued concessions that must be revoked as soon as possible, to enable sustainable and integrated management of the park,” stated Gjorgji Mitrevski from Eko-svest.

Mitrevski: Concessions for the Mavrovo national park must be revoked as soon as possible

Small hydropower plants cause irreparable damage to river ecosystems, therefore they must be banned in the protected areas, activists warn.

“In our legislation, but also through the international conventions that we have ratified, we have strong mechanisms at our disposal that, if properly applied, can help us to have clean and free-flowing healthy rivers throughout the country,” said Ana Colovic Lesoska from Eko-svest.

Colović Lesoska: In legislation, but also through international conventions that we have ratified, we have strong mechanisms for river protection at our disposal 

She highlighted the significance of rivers to the local communities, the importance of preserving biodiversity, and the unique landscapes that rivers have created for thousands of years.

Eko-svest called on the ministry to revoke concessions for small hydroelectric plants in the Mavrovo national park as well.

Šar Planina National Park/ Photo: Eko-svest / screenshot

National parks and protected areas are crucial for the protection and conservation of biodiversity. They have an invaluable role in maintaining and improving groundwater protection, air quality, and drinking water quality, said Eko-svest, which recently marked 20 years of work.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

HERMANN Petr_interview_Schneider Electric BGEN

Future of successful businesses relies on their digital transformation

30 November 2022 - Digitalisation changes everything because it connects all processes and provides a complete result, notes Petr...

vinca regional sanitary landfill sepa report

Vinča regional landfill improves Serbia’s waste management in 2021

28 November 2022 - The new landfill in Vinca started operating in August 2021, according to the website of its operator Beo Čista Energija

Liquid tree against air pollution in Belgrade

Liquid tree to combat air pollution in Belgrade

25 November 2022 - Liquid 3 is a photo-bioreactor with microalgae that cleans the air and serves as a bench in the Belgrade city centre

reri court order EPS sulfur dioxide air pollution

Court orders EPS to cut SO2 emissions due to harm to human health, environment

23 November 2022 - An earlier study showed that thermal power plants in the Western Balkans emit 2.5 times as much SO2 as those in the EU