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The pandemic has made people appreciate clean nature

Prof. Ivica Milevski
Institute of Geography, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics – UKIM

The pandemic that is still going on, and has been going on for months, despite the negative consequences, made us think about the values of nature and our approach to it. We can see that, by reducing or limiting human activities, nature is gradually returning to some kind of normalcy. This, in turn, means that the humans put enormous pressure on it, suppressing it, degrading it and reducing its positive effect.

When the pandemic occurred and we were confined to our quarantines, more and more people felt the need to go out and take a walk in the nearby forest, mountain or enjoy some interesting natural landscape. At the same time, it became clear to many what a powerful effect clean nature has on our health. It is no coincidence that in the last two months the interest for living in a rural area, as close as possible to untouched nature, has sharply increased. The condition may soon return to normal, but the need and even greater commitment to preserve, improve and protect the natural environment will remain, which in turn directly or indirectly affects our health.

Therefore, the only segment of tourism that has grown in the last two to three months was the rural tourism. Those who felt all the benefits of nature in the past, probably understood and realized the need for its maximum preservation and protection. We hope that everyone else should understand that.

In that sense, the excessive logging of forests and the destruction of plant and animal species should be reduced to minimum and, if possible, start a reverse process of restoring forests, especially on our beautiful mountains. There is also a need for greater promotion, popularization and commitment to development of a healthy body and a healthy spirit by ensuring more frequent hiking and visiting clean natural landscapes. In all of that, care should be taken in terms of pollution of nature, avoid littering, avoid creating fires and other negative effects, which will degrade nature.

The institutions should provide real functional protection of our legally protected areas through promotional campaigns, but also through penal policy. Here we refer to areas such as national parks, natural monuments, etc. The expected soon-to-be proclamation of the national park “Shar Mountain” is in that direction.

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