On November 23, 2011, representatives of the Local Action Groups and municipalities of Peja, Klina, Decani and Istog were part of the Tree Day action in Macedonia. This is the most mass forestation action in Macedonia and probably in the region, organized since 2007. This year 5 million young plants were planted. The visit was organized for experience exchange and organizing similar action in the region of Western Kosovo.
The visitors from Kosovo had chance to plant in Mrsevci, location near Skopje. Forester engineer from the Macedonian Forest Company showed them the location from the previous actions. “This is nice experience for us”, says Mehdi Mulaj from Peja LAG, “we are planting evergreens plants on the locations that are very high in the mounting and not always approachable for citizens.” His impression was that Tree Day is a very big andwell organized action. They were satisfied to see this positive experience. “There are forestation actions in Kosovo but not that mass”, says Mulaj.
On the meeting with the representatives of the Tree Day association the visitors from Kosovo were interested how the action started and how all organizational aspects were managed. “This is the most effective way for environment awareness building”, says Zorica Stefanovska from Tree Day association. “Not one commercial is that efficient. You will be surprised how positive people will react on this action. They really want to do something worthy for themselves”, says Stefanovska. Related to beginnings of the action, she explains that the idea came from the citizens after the wildfires in 2007.
The idea was accepted from some of the ministers and then the whole Government provided its support. The number of the plants rises in each next action. They started with 1 million plants. “We thought thare werre too many plants but there were too many people on the field, so at 10 am there were no plants any more. This year 5 million will be planted”, she says. According the information from the organizers, between 60 % and 70% of the plants are successfully enrooted and it also depends from the local climate as well as the people.
“Cooperation with citizens’ organizations is a good experience”, says Mehdi Mulaj, “it ensures increase in number of involved in the action. In Kosovo, this kind of action is still a matter of the state and is not mass at all. It is good that we came, now we have more information about the action” says Mulaj.
The hosts offered sharing all of their experience for organizing similar action in their region. “We jointly aim to be greener. The nature and the air have no borders”, says Stefanovska.
The guests from Kosovo express their gratitude for opportunity to be part of the action and willingness to organize similar action in West Kosovo region.