Ministers and the Heads of Delegations of the Central European Initiative (CEI) Member States adopted a joint Declaration last week in Skopje which reflects the readiness of countries to cooperate on achieving a ‘greener’ future for the CEI region.
The International Ministerial Conference on Climate Change "Climate Summit in Paris in 2015, challenges for the member states of Central European Initiative" was held in Skopje last week under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.
IUCN took part in the Conference together with more than 150 high-ranking participants, including nine ministerial delegations, 16 representatives of embassies in Macedonia, as well as many scientific institutions, international and national NGOs. The participants exchanged experiences and views on the challenges faced by the member states of the CEI in efforts to achieving low-carbon growth, as well as to present the positions of each state on their INDCs processes and how they will promote the synergies between climate, energy and other policies. Furthermore, the conference served as a platform for exchanging views on further adoption and implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“Our country is committed to integrate climate change considerations into other sectoral policies (energy, agriculture, transport), thus contributing to the so called green or low carbon growth and development. We are determined to promote growth and development that will at the same time provide sustainability that is without significant negative economic and social impacts,” said Nurhan Izairi, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning.
Director of IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO), Boris Erg, highlighted IUCN’s commitment on climate change issues, explaining that IUCN is working to help integrate ecosystem-based mitigation and adaptation approaches, centred on better conservation, management and restoration of natural ecosystems into both policy and practice.
”It is of great importance for South East European countries to start creating conditions for building economies based on low-carbon principles. Green growth is a common goal yet it couldn’t be reached if built at the expense of nature. Healthy ecosystems are not only the precondition for creating stable low-carbon societies; they are at the very heart of finding a long-term solution for minimizing climate change threats,” said Boris Erg.
The Conference underlined the need for strong cooperation between the CEI Member States through the integration of climate change into existing planning processes as well as institutional cooperation frameworks. In parallel, a roundtable discussion was organized where different stakeholders debated their views and approaches regarding their contribution towards lower carbon growth. The round table emphasized the role of science as a trigger for lower emissions of CO2, the need for reforms in the educational system aimed at helping future generations cope with challenges associated with climate change, and the importance of raising public awareness on low-carbon economy models.