Whoever pollutes it and "earns" from Shara, will pay

Photo: Free Press

Currently, only eight people are employed in the new National Park "Shar Planina" and they take care of the entire Shar Planina massif.

Ibrahim Dehari, the director of this facility established last year, says that the park is being staffed, and the government has promised them new jobs so that they can function normally and cover the mountain completely.

"We have responsible persons, rangers, legal service, now we somehow function, but to control this mountain with 8 people is impossible. However, Shara of 62.702 hectares needs to be covered with more people, with these people we cannot have Shara under control. Because our first pillar is nature protection, the second pillar is development, now this component needs to be developed. We are in contact with the locals and the municipalities. We also have a council of stakeholders, all municipalities have their own member, with whom we discuss protection and development. To function normally, we need at least 25 employees. We have been promised by the government that now in 2023 we will have a minimum of 10 jobs, plus some with a contract #, said Ibrahim Dehari, director of the Shar Mountain National Park.

The National Park "Shar Planina" will be financed by the Government in the first three years of its establishment, but after that the institution will have to find ways to sustain itself financially. From there, they say that they also have help from donors, but they are making plans for financial independence in stages.

"We are talking about having income from free skiing, i.e. skiing outside the Popova Shapka ski center. We are negotiating with the groups that organize such tours, where they can ski, where it is allowed and where not, and they will pay a fee for that. they pollute the park, so a person who walks will not pay, but the person who will be in a vehicle and pollute will pay. Or an activity that is commercial, that is, if someone makes a profit from the National Park, they will pay for themselves. We need means, such as fire extinguishers, we also need motor vehicles. We currently only have some combilosons and condors. We have three off-road vehicles that we received from foreign donors," said Dehari.

Photo: Free Press

Hunting in the "Shar Planina" National Park is completely prohibited. But this season, with the decision of the Government, a memorandum of cooperation was signed with the hunting societies for hunting the wild boar of Shara, due to the disease that appeared in this animal.

"Any other hunting will be punished, as recently when a group of hunters from Italy and Macedonia were punished, i.e. prosecuted before the Basic Court of Tetovo," added Dehari.

Mountaineering societies welcome the initial activities of the Shar Planina National Park for the protection and development of the Sharplanina massif. From there, they point out that the local population living on Shara should not be left out in the whole process.

"What the Shar Mountain National Park has the capacity to do is establish cooperation with the local population and educate people, for example, who throw garbage on the Shar and damage and pollute it in any other way. To establish movement control. The locals and the local communities from the Sharplanin massif can help in all this, which will benefit," says Snezhana Novakovska from the "Tetex" Mountaineering Club.

At the beginning of this month a large forest fire broke out on the territory of the national park above the village of Tearce, He. devoured over 60 hectares of forest area. Due to the inaccessible terrain, as well as the lack of sufficient employees, funds and equipment, the employees of the park could not bring it under control, and the fire was extinguished only on the fourth day after the outbreak, with the "help" of the snow that fell on Shara.

VIDEO: The flames have been raging on Shara for three days, 50 hectares of forests have been consumed, the announced rainfall is a solution

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