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EACEA National Policies Platform
Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of North Macedonia

9. Youth and the World

9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption

Last update: 21 March 2024
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  1. Green volunteering
  2. Green production and consumption

Green volunteering

Currently there is no national programme that aims to help young people to engage in green volunteering activities. Young people can be part of volunteering activities only through programmes carried out by Civil Society Organizations, but not as part of the school curricula, therefore, there are no mandatory activities for high schoolers in regards to green volunteering. 

When it comes to the non-formal activities for students, there are numerous youth organizations in North Macedonia (Eko-ZivotEko-logikGo GreenEko-VitaZelen Okrug) that mobilize young people from all around the country, and engage them in activities regarding the climate change and environment. 

From 2007 to 2017, previous Macedonian Government organized “The day of the Tree” campaign, supported by Public Enterprise Macedonian Forests (Јавно претпријатие Македонски шуми) and Association of the units of local self-government of the Republic of Macedonia. Within the reforestation actions, the government involved children and youth from primary and secondary education institutions as volunteers across the country. “The day of the Tree” was a non-working day in North Macedonia and in reforestation were also included all citizens, as well as employed in the Public Administration.

On the 36th session, in November 2017, the Government canceled the action "The day of the Tree" due to unsatisfactory results.

The CSO Go Green, in 2023 has conducted a research “Familiarity, opportunities and barriers among young people for participation in green policies at the local level”, which indicated that young people are not familiar with the environmental and climate change responsibilities of the local self-government and most of the young people do not communicate with the local self-government, and those who do so do so through personal contact. Furthermore, the research showed that a large group of young people would be part of green events and become involved in policies if they are timely informed and substantially involved, and also,  They do have a poor knowledge of green policies and existing documents related to the environment and climate change at the local level. 

Research has shown that 38.2% of respondents have heard about LEAP (Local Environmental Action Plan - the main document that plans environmental protection activities in the municipality), but do not know anything related to this document, while 35.9% have not heard of such a document at all. Only 1.7% are well acquainted. This document is not implemented in every municipality in the country, but all of the bigger municipalities in the country have successfully implemented it.  ​​In these municipalities, local authorities have local action plans (with measures and activities) for the environment (LEAP), but most of them are either not updated, or not published. Prilep has promotions plan from 2003, Demir Kapia from 2011 year, Ohrid from 2012 - 2017 (with preparation for 2019 – 2022), Bitola from 2016, a only Strumica (for the period 2016 – 2022 year) and Resen (for the period 2017-2022 year) current action plans. According to The Environmental Law, the local action plans are adopted for a period from 6 years (Article 60).

Green production and consumption

There are no top-level programmes or action for green production and consumption that target explicitly young people (15-29 years old).

Most of the actions and campaigns supported by local-self-governments and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning about green production are targeting primary school students up to 15 years old or the whole population.

Most of the campaigns are organized by civil society organizations or companies and some of them are supported by governmental institutions and some embassies. For example, in 2011 the project for waste batteries “Go Clean” started. It was initiated by the Swedish Embassy, supported by the Swedish Agency for Environmental Protection, the Embassies of Norway, Slovakia and the Ministry of Environment of Republic of North Macedonia and implemented by CSO Go Green. The aim of the project was to support the implementation of the Law on Batteries and Waste Batteries, to develop the awareness about the harmful effects of the batteries and to initiate a system for collecting waste batteries. The second pillar of the project was the informative educational campaign, which included the municipalities, the schools and the universities to develop awareness among the local authorities and young people about the harmful effects of waste batteries and to encourage responsible behavior.

CSO Go Green in 2019 started by implementing the project “Youth for climate change and air quality Education” This project is aimed at schools and the education system and will emphasize the importance of energy efficiency of school buildings and the use of solar thermal collectors for heating and electricity. Finally, education on climate change and air quality must be deeply integrated into the education system. The requirements are supported by detailed research and analysis and awareness-raising and advocacy activities.