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The artifiscial Prilep lake is situated near the city of Prilep, in the locality known as Gladno Pole. The lake which was created in 1967 is used mainly for irrigation and technical water. Vey often it is a place for a picnic and entertainment to the residents of this city.
Besides the beauty of the site, major environmental problem the city of Prilep is facing continuous illegal cutting of the trees and deforestation. The problem is caused by the residents of the city of Prilep who illegally cut the trees in this area, thus destroying the nature. The main reason for this is money. This way the "wood thieves", without any ecological conscience choose the easiest way of earning and supplying their basic needs. Usually cutting trees occurs late at night. The real solution to this problem is undertaking appropriate measures, such as: raising environmental awarness among citizens living in the area, placing security cameras in order to find the perpetrators of this act, appropriate penalties for anyone who commits an offence. Illegal deforestation can be regulated by frequent controls of the forest police as well as providing more staff to secure the place.
We have talked to the authorities about this environmental problem and we found out that the conscious destruction of forests is not a problem only in the area around the artificial lake but wider in the Prilep area.
In an interview with the deputy commander of the Forest police station, Prilep, Petreska Olivera, she said that "wood stealing" i.e. deforestation has started long ago, but in the recent years it has turned into devastation and the problem that is caused this way is common to all legal entities in this area. Wood thieves now are well organized and cause irreversible damage to the nature. To prevent this problem some rigorous measures have been indertaken, such as: confiscating tools, carts, cars, trucks and all kinds of vehicles that are used to transport firewood. However, it often does not prevent the perpetrators of these illegal acts and they still continue. The main reason for this is low environmental awareness and the fast way of earning money. Measures that have been suggested, were: organizing lectures to raise environmental awareness and implementing other sanctions.
About this problem we talked with a representative of the Public Enterprise "Makedonski shumi" who believes that in order to improve the situation, it is necessary to improve the working conditions of the forestry police and the public enterprise, to have ready and available vehicles that will be used according to the needs, to provide greater presence and coverage of the field, since according to statistics, the population of the municipality of Dolneni has been suppling firewood through wood stealing for more than 15 years. Public Enterprise has foresters, but they can not always meet the needs since their number is not sufficient to cover the area, they do not always have available vehicles and can only inform the forest police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for further actions.
One way to restore the forests is afforestation of bare surfaces. About this, we talked to the head of the Department of Public Affairs at the Local Self - Government in Prilep and coordinator of the campaign for schools "Tree Day", Marjan Matrakoski who introduced us to the action "Tree Day". This action includes 2,000 students annualy who plant a variety of trees depending on the place. The most common locations are exposed places, such as: the area around the artificial lake, Alinci, Selce, Pesjobrdce, Pletvar and Lenishte. Each year a lot of trees like black locust, ash, cypress and pine are planted. The main goal of this action is to conduct massive reforestation and raise environmental awareness among students.
In the conversation with the former coordinator of this action “Tree Day”, and now inspector for environmental protection within the Local Self- Government, Cvetanka Nikoloska, we concluded that deforestation causes environmental problems and irreversible loss of an ecosystem. The reason is low environmental awareness. Global warming is also caused by deforestation. Enhancing controls regarding cutting trees is a measure that can prevent this serious phenomenon. The “Tree Day” was first conducted in 2008 and the high school "Mirche Acev" was the first school where the first trees were planted.
Planting a tree is a noble thing.
The youth organization of the Secondary Municipal School "Mirche Acev" is actively involved in the resolution of this problem, usually by planting new trees within campaigns such as "Tree Day". Despite that, some of these planted trees do not grow because of insufficient tilled soil , some of these areas of reforestation are also pastures, so some of the planted trees are destroyed by livestock or by burning the stubbles of agriculture.
Of all these interviews with the authorities we concluded that deforestation is much bigger environmental problem than we thought. We believe that the main factor for this destruction is low environmental awareness, and that is why it is necessary to work on educating and involving both, youth and elderly in these activities. We as young journalists-reporters are actively involved in solving this problem. We suggest a ban on logging, such as in Albania, which prohibits logging within 10-15 years. Cutting trees not only distorts the beauty of the site, but also directly affects the ecosystem that exists here. Since the lake is located near the town of Prilep, surrounded by hills, cutting trees contributes to the erosion of the soil, and it impairs the configuration of the terrain. What is the most important and what we can first feel is the clean air, because we can name this site as "lungs" of our city.
What you do to forests is nothing but a reflection of what you do to yourself, since the cleanest way to the universe is by discovering the beauties of your own country.
Deforestating means cutting the branch we sit on.
Ivana Dukoska I-3
Verica Hristoska I-3
Mentor profesor: Vesna Mihailovska
SMS Gymnasium "Mirche Acev" Prilep
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