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European Western Balkans
Society

We want to breathe

Balkans united for clean air logo; Photo: EFB

WESTERN BALKANS –  In the past three months, the “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign has helped gather a network of more than 520 organizations, individuals and experts, with the goal of informing Western Balkans citizens about air pollution’s causes, consequences and possible solutions which could improve air quality.

With this campaign, we intended to point out the fact that all of us from the Western Balkans have sufficient potential, knowledge and capacity to work together in the spirit of solidarity, so as to solve the problem of air pollution.

The necessity of breathing clean and healthy air has united us in our solidarity-based struggle within the “Balkans United for Clean Air” campaign, which was initiated by the European Fund for the Balkans, in partnership with the organizations Right to the City, Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI), Belgrade Open School (BOŠ) (Belgrade, Serbia); Environmental and Territorial Management Institute (Tirana, Albania); Ekoforum (Zenica, BiH), Centre for Ecology and Energy (Tuzla, BiH); Sbunker (Pristina, Kosovo); Air Care (Skopje, North Macedonia), and OZON (Podgorica, Montenegro).

In cooperation with the region’s experts, we have dealt with topics including: air pollution and its consequences on citizens’ mortality and health; its impact on fertility rate; air pollution caused by the large polluters and the industry; air pollution in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from informing our fellow citizens, we wanted to build connections between regional organizations and activists and send a message that we all want to breathe clean air, and that the struggle to that end is one based on unity and solidarity.

Our campaign was joined by more than 520 individuals and organizations and activists from the entire region. Furthermore, our contents, articles and messages have reached 650.000 people in the Western Balkans via social media alone, while the traditional media have published more than 500 articles, announcements, interviews…

Our struggle for clean air continues. We will maintain our efforts to raise the citizens’ knowledge on this issue, as well as advocate for solutions, in order to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of life in the Western Balkans.

We, the citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, are equally exposed to airborne harmful substances, regardless of age, sex, religion, national affiliation and the language we speak.

Building on our achieved results, we, the organizations that have run the regional campaign “Balkans United for Clean Air”, have decided to take our campaign to the next level by transforming it into a regional network.

As was the campaign, so will the network remain open to all organizations committed to this solidarity-based struggle for clean and healthy air for all of us.

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