The local and state institutions must inform the citizens in a timely manner, similarly to when the water quality in the supply system drops, or when the solar ultraviolet radiation increases. The public pressure remains a crucial factor in improving the monitoring system and fulfilling one’s right to be informed about the pollution levels, stress the Balkans environmental organizations through a press release that is part of the “Balkans United for Clean Air.”
“The states and the local self-governments are legally obligated to allow access to information about air pollution at any time. We would like to remind them, that this issue is equally important as informing about natural catastrophes. The data should be timely and easily available and its presentation to the citizens has to be clear. The Western Balkans citizens have the right to know the current levels of air pollution and to be informed about any subsequent actions,” states the campaign led by the environmentalists.
They stress that Despite significant advancements that took place since the establishment of the air quality monitoring stations, they still don’t have enough territorial coverage.
„Even in urban surroundings, they do not have information about certain polluters, especially the fine PM2.5 particles, which is one of the most dangerous matters. Many stations in the region are late to publish their data even though these would be relevant for the population only if they are available every hour, said the environmentalists.
According to environmental organizations, the lack of serious investments in monitoring stations prevents the adoption of appropriate measures for the improvement of air quality on part of the countries in the region that do not have a precise registry of pollution sources and defined levels of emissions of hazardous matters.
The environmentalists remind that by signing the Sofia Declaration in November 2020, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia have agreed to endorse the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, which defines the WB6 states’ obligations in improving monitoring and reporting efforts, and opens a path towards EU funds.