The Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) was established in 1972 with mission to bring together Macedonian ecologists, develop ecology and ensure more efficient solutions to environmental issues.
The Society was registered at a national level and began its independent work under the name of “Society of the Ecologists of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia”. This was the first time it identified and defined its mission, goals and tasks.
The period between 1972 and 1975 represented a time of communication and coordination among the membership with the goal to determine the direction that the Society will take.
Through UNESCO and UNEP the Society was included in the process of creating a joint programme for environmental education, with the goal to develop an international programme for curricular and extracurricular education. Part of this programme was the exhibition “Ecology in Practice” organized by the Society.
The Society participated in the international UNESCO gathering in Tbilisi, where the main subjects were ecological education and nature protection.
The Society organised the Yugoslav Colloquium on Education and Nature Protection in Ohrid with the support of UNESCO and the Yugoslav Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO.
Macedonia was going through a process of enlargement of the government and non-governmental organisations, thus in 1986 the Association of Ecological Societies of SR Macedonia was established and its only member was the Society of the Ecologists of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. In essence, the Society had grown into an Association but due to the lack of interest the informal sections of the Society never grew into new Macedonian ecological societies.
In the period between 12 and 16 October 1988, the Association of Ecological Societies of SR Macedonia organised the Fourth Congress of Ecologists of Yugoslavia (the last Yugoslav congress) in Ohrid as part of the activities of the Association of Societies of Ecologists of Yugoslavia.
The Association was registered as a non-governmental organisation in June of 1992 under the name “Society of Ecologists of Macedonia” thus abandoning the idea of an “association” which would unite several Macedonian ecological societies.
This period is significant for MES since it marks the beginning of research dedicated to studying biodiversity and it is a turning point for future activities of the Society. As a result in 1997 a complex ecosystem research was initiated targeting the beech ecosystem of the Mavrovo National Park with financial support of the Macedonian Ministry of Science. This research was carried out intensively until 2005.
The Society was re-registered and got its current name – Macedonian Ecological Society. The First Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation was organised in Ohrid.
The Second Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation was organised in Ohrid in the period between 25 and 29 October. This year also marked the onset of the Vulture Conservation Project, one of the most important MES group projects both because of size and continuity. The main focus of the program was monitoring and feeding of vultures, as well as education and strengthening of institutional capacities. The biggest challenge for this program was, and remains to be, the tackling of the issue of illegal use of poison bait. This issue is the largest and basic reason for the significant decrease of numbers of vultures, as well as other animals in Macedonia.
We established the MES office, which actively implements administrative and technical, professional, scientific and other aspects of joint interest in accomplishing MES goals and tasks. The same year, MES launched the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme, in cooperation with several international organisations. This project is truly important for MES, both because of the hands-on involvement in the protection of an endangered species and the strengthening of MES capacities.
The Third Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation was organised in Struga in the period between 6 and 9 October. The Congress marked the 80th anniversary of active scientific work of Professor Ljupcho Grupche, PhD. Moreover, MES started implementing the ongoing cross-border project “Osogovo Mountains in the Balkan Green Belt”. This project provides more efficient biodiversity protection and sustainable use of natural resources from the Osogovo Mountains with the primary goal to form a cross-border protected area with support from the local government and thus provide conditions for sustainable economic growth in the region.
Marking the 40th anniversary of active participation in ecology and nature protection, MES organised the Fourth Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation from 12 to 15 October in Ohrid.