Macedonia is launching projects in the forest sector with the support of Austria, aiming at sustainable management and environmental protection, Macedonian Information Agency said.
Žarko Karadžovski, head of enterprise Makedonski šumi (Macedonian Forests), which is implementing the projects, said a strategy on the usage of forest biomass as a renewable energy source is incorporated in the plans. “Austrian experts are prepared to help us in achieving higher European standards in forestry,” Karadžovski stated, adding they are leaders in forestry in Europe.
Ingwald Gschwandtl, director for forest policy and information at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, told the media almost 50% of Macedonia is under forests, adding there are many possibilities for cooperation. Economy, environment and management – these are the main sectors in the specific approach which was developed in Austria, he said and added forests are an important economic segment parallel to the significance for the environment and society. The sector brings EUR 4 billion a year in exports, mostly in semi-products, according to Gschwandtl. Continuous efforts are made for the protection from erosion and landslides and forests are important part of the tourism sector, he underscored.
Forestry is included in the action plan for bilateral cooperation, produced recently and signed by ministers of foreign affairs Nikola Poposki and Sebastian Kurz, the article said.