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UNDA Project 1819AE: North Macedonia - Air Quality Management


The third EPR of North Macedonia stressed out the importance of establishing an efficient Air Quality Management (AQM) in order to decrease Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) levels. Indeed, air quality remains an important issue for the country. Industrialization, urbanization, motorization as well as population movements put pressure on the environment and the country faces a high level of air pollution. The population is exposed to PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations, threatening its health status with higher pressure in winter season due to residential heating but also meteorological conditions. The problem persists as coal-fired power plants are still using low-quality solid fuels, biomass is used for domestic heating, the industry is outdated, and the fleet of vehicle is old.

North Macedonia’s institutional and policy framework for AQM is composed by the 2004 Law on Ambient Air Quality as an umbrella law, completed by other laws as well as national plans and programmes. However, this framework is not totally operational, as the documents have not been updated, and there is a lack of institutional capacity and of human and financial resources which hinders the performance of a management system that could allow to assess and manage air quality. 

In this context, UNECE provided assistance to develop and improve a monitoring and evaluation framework for the progress towards the efficiency of legislation and policies on AQM. This framework was able to analyse key policy documents regarding their legal, economic instruments aspects as well as sectoral policies linked to air protection. Drawing on the conclusions, a new process of planning, execution and evaluation of policy documents was proposed. The roadmap includes recommendations on the preparation procedure, the structure of the documents, the monitoring and the indicators, the organizational institutional structure, and the assessment of the achievements and on the consultation process to evaluate AQM policies. This process also led to the testing of the model on the National Air Quality policy and other strategic programmes. It allowed to boost the achievements and address remaining challenges. Following these conclusions, the project recommended that further steps be taken to ensure the development of a new model for planning, monitoring and evaluating AQ policy papers, including relevant indicators for air quality and health. Efforts should also be placed to strengthen the organizational structure with capacity building, rulebooks and guide documents among others.