On July the 8th, at 11 am was realized the final conference of the project “Development and implementation of the health index for air pollution in the cross-border region” – (TRAP) held in the Capri hotel in Bitola. Within the framework of the conference, the air quality plans of the Municipalities concerned were presented, the results of the study on the proportioning of air pollutants in the cities, the inventory of emissions of air pollution substances for the Southeast planning region, as well as the air pollution health index were developed.
The study identified five main factors of air pollution related to the absence of a central heating system, where largest percentage of households are using wood for heating, which, together with oil and fuel oil, are one of the biggest air pollutants. Furthermore, industry, electricity production, and construction activities are responsible for air pollution in these regions. This means exceeding of the limit given by the World Health Organization – WHO, while the limit set by the European Union is slightly lower. With such analyzes and measurements, as well as the implementation of appropriate measures to reduce pollution, these deaths can be prevented. With targeted actions we can save lives, and therefore we need motivation for eco-actions that should not be organized only by politicians, but also by citizens and business entities, and to practice intersectoral organization of actions that is also in the plan of this project. At the same time, it must be mentioned that the new recommendations of the WHO regarding air pollution are even stricter and therefore it should be the number one priority that needs to be solved, regardless of other problems in the community” – pointed out Prof. Gjorgjev from the Institute of Public Health, who was actively involved in the project activities.
With the assistance of this project, the inventory of polluting substances in the air for the South-Eastern region was created with the help of which the potential air polluters in this region were identified, which makes the planning of measures and the creation of policies for better air quality in this region significantly easier.
One of the most important results of the project is the developed health index which is integrated on an IT tool (web platform) from where it will be available to the general public and will be used not only in policy making but also in the protection of human health.
The purpose of the project is to improve the management and protection of the cross-border area in RS. Macedonia and R. Greece by establishing an air quality monitoring network.
The project was supported and co-financed by the European Union and the National Funds of the countries participating in the IPA Program for cross-border cooperation between Greece – the Republic of North Macedonia 2014-2020.
ERFC, after such a successful collaboration with all partners, will continue to advocate for raising the awareness of the general public regarding air pollution, given that without quality air, cannot expect an improvement in the quality of life. Policy makers must be focused on clean technologies, green industry, e – mobility and energy transition. The paradigm of the classical economy grow first, clean up latter односно pollute first, clean up later is already past. All investments must be complementary to the principles of sustainable development. Otherwise, the price of the implicit costs that we all pay as a society by remediating environmental damage, illnesses, and of course premature deaths as a result of pollution is enormous.