Committee Sittings outside of the National Assembly Seat
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
16th Sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee
On 24 September on Palic, the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee held a joint sitting with the Environmental Protection Committee, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
24 September 2013 Joint sitting of the Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee and the Environmental Protection Committee
Representative of the Agricultural Land Directorate, Vladica Bajic said that the entire Europe suffers from agricultural land pollution. The problem is regulated by the Agricultural Land Law, said Bajic, and the condition of the land is controlled once a year. Bajic presented the results of a research based on an investigation of the heavy metal content of the soil and, summarizing the results of the research, he said that the majority of the soil is not polluted. He drew the two committees’ members’ attention to the acidization and salification of the soil on territory of Vojvodina. He also said that the decrease of hummus and climate changes also lead to soil degradation, as do the ash dumps of thermal power plants and the use of pesticides.
The members of the two committees had further questions about the condition of the agricultural land, asking the Ministry representatives about heavy metal concentrations in the soil adjacent to roads and pointing out the need for cooperation with other institutions when investigating land pollution.
The representatives of the Provincial Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry said that Vojvodina is in need of forestation since only 6% of the land is under forests, thus necessitating forestation of another 14%. This problem calls for a clear state policy and defining clear criteria for a tender, said the Secretariat representatives.
A member of the Subotica City Council wanted to know whether the soil was tested for radioactive element content, and the Environmental Protection Committee Chairperson Milica Vojic Markovic asked how often the soil was tested, whether appropriate measures are applied and whether the results of said measures are followed.
Environmental Protection Committee member Ivan Karic spoke of the need to discuss genetically modified food and asked for exact data on the pollution.
Environmental Protection Agency Director Nebojsa Veljkovic spoke about the pollution of the waterways and presented the data from this year’s reports. The results of several years of monitoring show that the values remain within the allowable range, however, speaking of specific water areas one cannot escape the conclusion that the waters and river canals in Vojvodina have the poorest quality. Veljkovic said that 83% of the samples from the territory of Vojvodina have poor quality and out of the 10 most polluted waterways, seven are in Vojvodina. Veljkovic suggested that the condition of the water of lake Palic should also be included in the Environmental Report.
The participants of the sitting also raised the question of farmers working on protected farms, pointing out that the agricultural policy and environmental policy should cooperate more closely on these issues.
Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Committee member Ljuban Panic said that the local self-government lacks the capacity to address the pollution problems of lake Palic on its own, and that its rehabilitation calls for a long-term plan and strategy.
In addition to the members of the two committees, representatives of the Agricultural Land Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and Environmental Protection Agency, the sitting was also attended by representatives of Subotica local self-government, the non-governmental sector – Subotica Aarhus Centre and Subotica Ecology and Sustainable Development Centre.
The joint conclusions of the two committees’ sitting will be adopted at one of the upcoming sittings.
The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman, Aleksandar Senic.
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Committee meetings outside the headquarters of the National Assembly are being organized and this sub-site has been produced with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), as part of the project "Strengthening the oversight role and publicity in the work of the National Assembly." The views and content on this subpage do not necessarily represent the views of UNDP and the SDC.