On Thursday 15 June 2017 at the UN House (Bulevar Zorana Djindjica 64, New Belgrade), starting at 10:00, was held the kickoff event of the project “Climate Smart Urban Development Challenge”, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection in cooperation with UNDP and with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
The project which aims to achieve sustainable development of local municipalities and the support of local governments in responding to the challenges of climate change was introduced to public and relevant stakeholders. Climate change is a major challenge for humanity, is generally accepted attitude of this meeting. In this kickoff event, local governments, business sector, civil society organizations, scientific research institutions and all those who, in partnership, can offer and implement original ideas, was sent a challenge and an invitation to participate in the project.
On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the audience was addressed by State Secretary Stana Bozovic. She pointed out that the Government through the relevant Ministry to provide full logistical and financial support to local governments so that they can, according to their own needs and capacities, meet the challenges and take part in this project. The challenge of course is to find ways to apply a universal, accessible and sustainable solution to the problems at the local level, especially when local governments are not able to achieve individually and independently financed.
Deputy Resident Representative of the UN Development Program in Serbia, Steliana Nedera, has invited all local governments to engage in a program of challenges and stressed that innovation is a key way to achieve “balance development and preservation of quality of life and the environment.” Guests from Finland and Croatian presented their experiences related to the participation of local governments in the field of application of innovative ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as measures to adapt to climate change. Also, on this event were presented alternative ways of financing of the projects in this field. Exceptional response to this event contributed to the representatives of the banking, non-governmental and private sector. They all expressed their willingness for a direct contribution to this project, and the general conclusion of the participants of this meeting is that interdisciplinary cooperation is one of the main preconditions for its successful implementation.
It is planned that in the next five years of the project all of those ideas that are the basis for supporting sustainable local development are implemented and support the local communities to become more resistant to climate change. In this way, solutions that will have the best results, in addition to giving a great development and ecological contribution to their local governments, also will have the right to be awarded by this challenge program.
Presentations from the event: