Saturday, January 23, 2016

Air Pollution in Macedonia

Thousands of people protested in front of Macedonia's government building on December 28, 2015, demanding new measures to alleviate the country's suffocating air pollution. The first speaker to address the crowd was Gorjan Jovanovski, a developer of the Web-based and Android application “Moj Vozduh” (My Air), which uses open data to display levels of air pollution throughout Macedonia.

High pollution levels have been plaguing Macedonia for years, especially the cities ofSkopje and Tetovo, which are among Europe's most polluted areas. In 2012, Global Voices reported on activists’ efforts to make the results of air-quality monitoring more visible, following a decision by the nation's authorities to stop publishing the data online.

In December 2015, Macedonia's government continued to ignore demands to take new measures against air pollution, leading to protests by environmental associations and their supporters. After a mass demonstraton in Tetovo, citizens organized under the motto “We can’t breathe,” later holding a mass protest in Skopje, as well.

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