It takes courage to fight successfully for a healthy environment

Photo: National Ecological Association

In April this year, environmental experts and professors formed the “National Environmental Association” (NEA). This might not be news that attracts special public attention if it were not for the fact that, despite the activities of numerous and diverse institutions and associations that put the fight for a healthier environment in the foreground, there is still an unequivocal need for independent assessment of problems in this area.

The founders of this association say that they will represent the necessary independent professional institution that will realistically present everything that should be done in order to overcome mistakes and shortcomings in the field of environmental protection. Our citizens have shown great interest in solving the problem of air, water and soil pollution. They expressed readiness for changes and a desire to contribute to those changes through their participation.

NEA is here to guide them, advise and help solve problems, says meteorologist Milenko Jovanovic, one of the founders of the association. However, what exactly is the help that NEA offers?

“People of experience, sufficient knowledge in this area, but also personal integrity, not chasing the positions and affection of superiors, decided to position themselves in the professional sky of ecology and give a selfless, at least modest, contribution in a situation marked by inaction and status quo. Let us refuse to politicize our future actions in an area that, due to, mostly wrong decades-long policy, has fallen into a serious impasse when it comes to exercising the legal and constitutional right of citizens to an acceptable level of environmental quality. In other words, we put professional reasons in the first place “, explains Milenko Jovanović.

Since there are no or late reactions of decision makers to the continuous deterioration of the quality of the environment, Milenko believes that the National Environmental Association did not have much choice. “Serbia must be a healthier and cleaner place for the life of its citizens,” he said, emphasizing that the mission of the National Environmental Association is a constant, persistent and joint struggle, through institutions, activism and, above all, professional support, to reduce pollution in our only and most beautiful country. . In nature, among the animal world, there are no cases when individuals or communities endanger their living space as the human species does.

Therefore, if we view environmental pollution only as a threat to the natural habitat of the human species, says Milenko, and not as a combined blow to human health, it can give an alibi to incompetent decision makers not to continue to deal with these problems in the right way. NEA brings together a large number of responsible and professional people from different segments of environmental protection. However, the key trait of these people is courage, an increasingly rare trait, our interlocutor emphasizes.

“Among the members, there are many doctors, professors who can help analyze and explain the impact of excessive pollution on human health, especially vulnerable categories, such as children. If every year in Serbia about 7,500 people die from excessive ambient air pollution (according to the WHO methodology), there is no greater priority to reduce that number by measures that are known, feasible and professionally justified. The founders of the association have big plans, and will soon sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with a dozen organizations dealing with environmental protection. They want to strengthen the network of information exchange and help associations in professional interpretation of problems and solutions.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

“For every special case of endangering the environment and the health of citizens, there is a solution, often complex, expensive and unplanned. However, for each such situation, the initial non-recognition of that problem and the lack of determination to take action are common. This is exclusively in the domain of institutions, which do not seem ready to face the recognition of previous shortcomings. In fact, they should bravely start the fight that must be won for the sake of the citizens “, says Milenko and advises us to look to Slovenia, Croatia, Romania or Hungary as soon as possible, where dealing with the environment is a question of democratic rights of citizens.

As a rule, in our country, only after the pressure of citizens and associations, the reaction of the competent institutions occurs, although reluctantly. “It is still unclear who the advisors are who proposed a certain measure,” says Milenko.

“I want to emphasize that it is unrealistic to expect politicians to be professional, just as it is unacceptable for them to make decisions on behalf of the profession.”

Prepared by: Milica Radičević

You can read the full text in the Magazine of the Energy Portal WATER RESOURCES.

Source: Energetski portal Srbije by

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