State representatives and stakeholders from the Adriatic-Ionian Region met at a Side Event during the Rio+20 Conference to discuss past achievements and prospects for post-Rio interventions to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth in the region. Tomasz Pezold from the IUCN office in Belgrade presented IUCN’s role in this process.
The event “Green Economy: Achievements & Perspectives in the Adriatic-Ionian Region” gathered together high-level representatives from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and Bosnia and Herzegovina who presented the main findings of national preparatory processes and resulting strategic documents. This was followed by a panel discussion on the state of affairs in the field of the green economy, projected developments, and planned activities. High-level participants included Jan Dusik, Executive Director, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Franc Bogovič, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, Slovenia, and Oliver Dulić, Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning, Serbia.
Tomasz Pezold, Ecosystems Project Officer at IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe, gave a presentation on IUCN’s work in the region. He highlighted people’s dependency on nature and the ecosystem services it provides, and presented protected areas as green infrastructure which we should invest in. He also noticed that nature has to be at the heart of sustainable development (and the green economy), as without it, sustainable development cannot be achieved. His position was strengthened by Mr. Dulić who said that the Serbian government will work to foster regional cooperation and intends to cooperate with organizations such as UNEP, UNDP and IUCN to achieve that.
The meeting involving several representatives of the Adriatic-Ionian Region acted as a forum for promoting sub-regional cooperation and affirmation of the current environmental issues, sustainable development and green economy at the state level. As such it was an important step in strengthening cooperation for meeting the challenges of transitioning to green economy and improving sustainable development governance and it conitrbuted to harmonizing the positions of the countries in the region for the negotiations. The cooperation in this region, as presented in the event, could be used as model to be replicated in other regions of the world.
On regional cooperation, and in particular transboundary cooperation in Africa, South Eastern Europe and Mesoamerica, IUCN co-organized another side event during Rio+20. Read more here.