TAI Macedonia reacts to government's lack of transparency
The Access Initiative Macedonia, along with several other NGOs, reacted strongly against the flagrant violation of several laws in the case of commercialization of a striclty protected zone, part of the National Park Galicica, for the purpose of buidling a hotel on the shores of Prespa Lake (the village of Konjsko). TAI Macedonia took part in a nationally covered press conference, and indicated all the violaitons of existing legislation and international conventions. Namely, the municipality of Resen (which covers the territory of the National Park) has made changes to the Detailed Urbanistic Plan of the municipality and has included the village of Konjsko for the purpose of building a hotel there. The municipality, against existing legislation, did not call for a public debate on the change of the Urbanistic Plan and by doing so, has violated the Law on the Environment and the Law on Decentralization. Furthermore, the Government disregarded the obligation to ask for an EIA/SEA. To make matters worse, the violations do not stop with lack of transparency but rather, the decisions made violate a strictly protected area that is home to rare breeds of cormorans and pelikans. Even though the intial reaction of the Ministry for Transport and Communications was to brand the press conference as politicized, the sale of the above-mentioned land within the National Park has been indefinitely suspended. TAI Macedonia continues to monitor this situation and will inform the domestic and internatinal public on the developments. The fight for transparency continues.