The Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) was established in 1972 with the mission to unite the ecologists of Macedonia, to develop ecology as a science and more efficiently resolve environmental issues.
MES was registered at a republic level and started its independent function under the name Society of the Ecologists of Socialist Republic of Macedonia. This was the first time that the organization identified its mission, goals and tasks.
Between 1972-1975 the organization was communicating and coordinating its members in order to establish strategic guidance for the future.
MES became involved in a UNESCO and UNEP guided process of creating a joint education program for environmental protection with the goal to develop an international program for formal and informal education. As part of this program we organized the exhibition “Ecology in Practice”.
MES participated at an international gathering in Tbilisi organized by UNESCO where the main topic was ecological education and environmental protection.
MES organized a Yugoslavian colloquium on ecological education and environmental protection in Ohrid. The Colloquium was funded by UNESCO through the Yugoslavian UNESCO cooperation committee.
During this time there was a political process of enlarging governmental and non-governmental organizations. Thus in 1986 we established the Union of Ecological Societies of Socialist Republic of Macedonia with us as the only member. Essentially, the Society became the Union and new societies or sections were not established.
The Union of Ecological Societies organized the Fourth Congress of Ecologists of Yugoslavia (the last one to be organized in Yugoslavia) on 12th-16th October 1988 in Ohrid. This Congress was part of the regular activities of the Yugoslavian Union of Ecological Societies.
The Union of Ecologists was re-registered as a non-governmental organization in July of 1992 in recently independent Republic of Macedonia. The organization was registered under the name Society of Ecologists of Macedonia and finally abandoned the idea of being a union uniting more scientific ecological societies in Macedonia.
This is an especially important period for MES since this is the beginning of biodiversity research and a pivotal moment for future action. As a result from this initial research, in 1997 we started complex ecosystem research on beech ecosystems in the National Park Mavrovo with financial support from the Ministry of Science. This research continued with the same intensity until 2005.
The Society of Ecologists of Macedonia was re-registered and its name was changed to its current name of Macedonian Ecological Society in the same year we organized the First Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation.
- In Ohrid we organized the Second Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation on 25th-29th October
- In 2003 we started the vulture conservation program which was one of the most significant project activities for MES. This activity had a large scope and continuity of several years. The main focus of the program was the monitoring and supplemental feeding of vultures, as well as education and strengthening institutional capacities. The main challenge of this programs is still the use of poison bait, which is the largest threat and the main reason for a significant decrease of vultures and other animals in Macedonia.
We established the first office open to the public which had the goal to implement administrative, technical, professional, scientific and other tasks of joint interest in order to achieve MES goals and tasks.
During the same year we started the implementation of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Program in cooperation with several international organizations. This is another important project for MES because it focused our work on yet another critically endangered species on one hand and increased MES capacities on the other hand.
- In Struga we organized the Third Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation on 6th-9th October in 2007. The Congress marked 80 years of life and 60 years of scientific work of Professor Ljupcho Grupche, PhD., the founder of MES.
- MES started the cross-border project on the Osogovo Mountains and its activities are still on-going. One of the projects is “Osogovo Mountains in the Balkan Green Belt” and it provides more efficient protection for biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources. The main goal of these projects is the establishment of a cross-border protected areas with support from the local government and providing conditions for sustainable economic development of the region.
MES celebrated 40 years of existence and celebrated its existence and active work during the Fourth Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation on 12th-15th October in Ohrid.