Climate resilient development must become priority at all levels of governance
Goal of the first, out of three awareness raising workshops held on Tara, was to increase the level of knowledge amongst stakeholders at national and local level in relation to climate change policies and programmes in Serbia with an eye towards their future involvement in development and implementation of climate change policies and programmes within their respective communities – potentially providing input into national-level policies and programmes as well as developing local actions to support national targets.
Workshop provided information on international and national policy framework on climate change, as well as on obligations derived from Serbia’s EU Accession process.
Brief information on International reporting obligations under the UNFCCC has been presented, along with the scope and content of the Second National Communication of the Republic of Serbia;
Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection presented recent legislation developments, GHG Inventory and other related project activities that support establishment of the sustainable measuring, reporting and verification systems when it comes to GHG emissions. Ms. Sandra Lazic, Senior Advisor in the Section for Climate Change of the Ministry, said that “The Ministry is conducting a number of projects that support compliance with the requirements of EU legislation in the field of climate change, such as Establishment of the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system for successful implementation of EU Emission Trading Scheme, development of the National Climate Change Strategy etc.”.
Particular attention was given to presentation of preliminary findings of SNC project related to Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptations to Climate Change at national level. This component of SNC has been prepared by expert team led by the Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment from University of Novi Sad. Main aspects of projected climate change scenarios, vulnerability and adaptation options in the water sector, agriculture and forestry were presented.
There was a common understanding that negative effects of climate change, including more intense occurrences of severe weather events (such as floods, droughts, forest fires, pest diseases, heat waves, etc.), will negatively affect social, economic and environmental aspects of life.
UNDP representative Mr. Miroslav Tadic quoted preliminary findings of the SNC that “According to the Climate Change Scenarios, it is expected that temperature change will be positive over the whole territory of Serbia, and increasing by the end of the century up to almost 3.6-4C. On the other hand, annual precipitation change is ranging from +5% to -20% by the end of the century”.
For this reason, decision makers, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, need to take urgent actions in terms of strengthening climate related aspects of strategic planning, in particular paying attention to possible adaptation options. Climate resilient development must become priority at all levels of governance. There is an urgent need for development of sector specific and climate resilient projects at national and local levels that will support sustainable development.
Particular attention should be dedicated to further awareness raising and education on climate change at formal and non formal types of education.
There must be better coordination between decision makers and scientists on taking preventive actions with regard to severe weather events and disasters. DRR concept should be fully developed and implemented at all levels of governance, including an effective early warning
Protected areas are particularly exposed to negative consequences of changing climate, especially forest areas. Climate change and severe weather conditions have a long lasting negative effect on biological diversity, ecosystems and services they provide, with consequent negative effects on human health and wellbeing.
International expert on climate change policy, Mr. Seth Landau, presented potential sources of financing actions and projects that contribute to either mitigation or adaptation to negative consequences of climate change. Among other issues, he pointed out possible UN financing (namely through GEF and its thrust funds, CDM mechanism under the UNFCCC, and specialized UN agencies), EU funds such as IPA, Life +, Horizon 2020, bilateral donors, etc, different credit lines (incl. EBRD, WB, KfW etc.), combination of grants and credit lines. However, it was pointed out that in almost all cases of available financing opportunities, there must be certain level of co-financing provided either from national or local level (cash or in-kind).
Interested participants were advised to refer to the Ministry of UNDP for further assistance in developing proposals for funding and seeking available funding options.
Two more workshops will be held in Vojvodina, Novi Sad (26 June) and in South Serbia, Niš (27 June).