It takes us about seven years to halve air pollution in Serbia

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“The problem of pollution is complex, and the first is inadequate information to the public, since information exists but is not available in the right way,” said Bojan Simisic, a representative of the informal organization Eco Straza, which deals with pointing out air pollution problems and directing people to the right sources of information through social networks. He told FoNet that we should not “invent hot water” when it comes to looking for a solution to pollution, but adapt the models of countries that have reduced pollution.

“Another problem is that decision-makers create a narrative that pollution affects health only when pollution values ​​are high,” said Simisic, who referred to data from the World Health Organization that 6,000 people die in Serbia every year as a result of air pollution.

As he noticed, people turn to the Eco Straza because of local problems, such as a bakery or butcher who creates smoke on which they are hit or because of a landfill that ignites itself. However, it is often difficult to do something at the local, Simisic pointed out and stated that there is a lot of pollution in Serbia, and not just one.

“Our example is that we have a pot with eight holes, and in order to pour water, you have to close all the holes,” Simisic illustrated.

He said that the new leadership of the Ministry of Environment has established communication with the Eco Straza, but he believes that the Ministry is only a small part of the problem. For example, as he specified, the Ministry of Mining and Energy is asking about the entire energy transition, which has not been implemented for years, and “the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, which is the biggest isolated polluter, is under their jurisdiction.”

Asked if he expects anything from the mixed commission of the two ministries, which should deal with common environmental problems, Simisic reminded that commissions and working groups are constantly being formed in Serbia that do not do their job to the end. According to him, the Eco Straza is trying to suggest that these bodies should be made up of professional people, who will have determined hands to analyze the situation and say what measures need to be taken.

When asked how long it takes to solve the problem of air pollution, he answered that it takes about seven years to halve the pollution.

“It took so much for the countries that dealt with solving the pollution problem, although Serbia might be able to speed up the process a bit, since solutions already exist, but it is necessary for the problem to start being solved immediately,” Simisic concluded.