North Macedonia

North Macedonia has an area of 25,713 km2 and a population of 1.836,713 million people. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Macedonia was worth 12.879 billion euros in 2022, according to official data from the World Bank (15.869,26 euro per capita). Forest covers about 44,35% of the total area of the country. The most dominant tree species is European beech (Fagus sylvatica) with about 44% of the total forested area while oak (Quercus spp) forests cover about 40%.


Land use data is crucial for sustainable land management, aiding policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders in informed decision-making. Collected through statistical surveys and expert estimates, this data helps monitor land use changes, inform policies, and promote sustainable resource utilization.

Agricultural Land
North Macedonia has 1,259,996 hectares of agricultural land, including 516,733 hectares of cultivable land. These categories include arable land, gardens, orchards, vineyards, meadows, and pastures.

Over a decade, wheat and tobacco cultivation decreased, while barley and native grape cultivation increased as primary agricultural products. Moreover, tomatoes and apples remained relatively stable in production.

Over two decades, various livestock populations significantly declined, with horses, sheep, and poultry facing substantial reductions. However, goat populations increased during the same period.

Forests and Forest land
North Macedonia’s forests and forest land cover 1,159,926 hectares, with 1,049,300 hectares designated as forested areas. Approximately 88% of this forested land is state-owned, while the remaining 12% is privately owned, divided among around 220,000 small properties.

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Agricultural land

million ha

Forest area

million ha

Land Cover Map of North Macedonia (Source: Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning;  Environmental statistics 2021)
Land Cover Map of North Macedonia (Source: Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning;  Environmental statistics 2021)


North Macedonia has seen significant shifts in its population over the years, with demographic trends shaped by factors such as urbanization, emigration, and aging. Since the last census in 2021, the country’s population has been estimated at 1,836,713 people, reflecting a slight decrease compared to the 2002 census when the population was 2,022,547. This shift can be attributed to various factors, including emigration and an aging population.

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Planning regions in N Macedonia

Climate Change

Climate Characteristics
North Macedonia’s climate exhibits considerable variation depending on its geographical location. Summer temperatures range from 20.6°C to 24.3°C, while winter temperatures vary from 0.9°C to 4.9°C. However, extreme temperatures can reach highs of over 45°C in summer and lows of -30°C in winter. The western part of the country receives more precipitation, with an average annual rainfall of 733 mm, ranging from 400 mm to over 1,000 mm. North Macedonia is divided into eight distinct climate zones based on factors such as altitude, valleys, lakes, and regional weather patterns.

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Climate zones in Republic of North Macedonia (Trendafilov B., et al 2010)
Average precipitation map period 1981 - 2010 (mm) source: developed by BM
Map of Maximum (left) and Minimum (right) annual Mean temperature in North Macedonia (Source: Ivan Mincev<br />
(FAO), Map conforms to UN world map, February 2019, Dashed lines on maps represents approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement)<br />


Major Stakeholders in the Existing LFM System
In the implementation and functionality of the Crisis Management System and Fire Protection, several key stakeholders are involved. The most important among them include:

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    System set-up

    At the national level, North Macedonia has a unified mechanism for monitoring and mitigating natural disasters, including wildfires. This mechanism aims to protect the population, vital infrastructure, wildlife, and culturally significant sites.

    Government bodies oversee relief efforts for natural disasters, including wildfires. These bodies, such as the Crisis Management Center (CMC) and the Directorate for Protection and Rescue (DPR), coordinate actions to prevent and minimize wildfire impacts within their jurisdictions. More details on these measures are outlined in the National Strategy for Protection and Rescue.

    The DPR is part of the Assessment Group, while the CMC is part of the government’s Steering and Assessment Groups. These bodies form the core of North Macedonia’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) system, which includes wildfire risk management. They coordinate national-level activities and work with eight regional centers across the country.

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    The following legislations and strategic documents are regulating Landscape Fire Management in North Macedonia:

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    Landscape fires

    History of Landscape Fires (2000–2021)

    Over the past two decades, forest fires have been a major threat to North Macedonia’s forests and natural resources. The extent of damage varies from year to year, including the number of fires, burned areas, damages, and causes.

    Based on the data on the number of fires and the total burned area in North Macedonia for the period 2000 to 2021, a total of 4811 fires occurred in North Macedonia during the period, resulting in over 201,121 hectares of land being burned. The number of fires and burned areas varied significantly from year to year. For instance, in 2007 the country experienced a high number of fires (652) and significantly burned an area of 35,248 hectares.

    The total burned area fluctuated significantly in different regions over the years. For example, Pelagonia’s burned area ranged from 779 hectares in 2012 to 2,010 hectares in 2018. Data from the State Statistical Office indicates that wildfires significantly affect North Macedonia, with the Southeastern region experiencing the most frequent and extensive fires. Other regions like Eastern and Southwestern also faced high burned areas in some years.

    The total burnt forest growing stock over the 23 years was 2,495,835 cubic meters. This highlights the significant environmental impact of forest fires and their destructive nature.

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    Burnt areas:


    Number of forest fires:


    Forest growing stock loss:


    Fire risk assessment

    The Law on Forests mandates the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Economy (MAFWE) to establish and maintain an information system for recording forest fires. This system aims to enhance forest fire monitoring. The specific procedures and conditions for recording forest fires are outlined in the Regulations (Regulations on Data Collection Methods, Forest Fire Register Maintenance, and Data Usage Conditions, Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia number 82/2015).

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    SWOT Analysis

    • Existence of legal regulations, rules, programs, and plans
    • Natural hardly accessible area

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    LFM guidelines

    • Inclusion of the principles of Landscape Fire Management (LFM) in the Spatial plan of the Republic of North Macedonia and Operational and management plans (in all planning documents);


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