Balkan Green Foundation part of the panel discussion on “COVID-19 and Green Economic Recovery”

01 September 2020

Within the third edition of Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW), a panel discussion was held on the theme “COVID-19 and Green Economic Recovery”.

Present at the panel were officials from government, international experts, and civil society.

The discussion started with Visar Azemi, Balkan Green Foundation’s Executive Director, stated that KSDW from the beginning has been bringing together key actors from government and civil society to work together and bring focus to a green agenda for Kosovo.

For the recovery to be green, policy support should come from both central and local government. On the other hand, civil society should continue to push for these policies which ensure a green and sustainable recovery in Kosovo, claimed Mr. Azemi during the discussion.

During the panel discussion, Alexandra Linden, Project Manager “Sustainable Municipal Services” at GIZ Kosovo emphasized the impact the pandemic has had not only financially and economically, but also in health and wellbeing.

“Now is the time to strive jointly with the broad range of actors, to invest funds that can lead to a more resilient recovery of the economy with the creation of jobs and initiatives on those field of the economy that are striving toward green and sustainable investment,” Ms. Linden stated during the discussion.

Ismail Hetemaj from the Ministry of Economy and Environment and Learta Hollaj, Advisor for Sustainable Development and Partnerships at the Kosovo Assembly participated in the panel discussion on green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Hetemaj said that the government has created legal frameworks and strategies for different sectors such as pollution, climate changes, energy, water, biodiversity, and waste. “The frameworks are created with the help of international partners and include short and long term objectives,” added Mr. Hetemi.

However, Mr. Hetemi pointed out the challenges the ministry is facing, which are mainly related to the implementation of action plans.

On the other hand, Ms. Hollaj, showed the steps that Kosovo’s legislative body is taking to achieve the environment and sustainability goals. One major action that the assembly is taking is the visits to citizens from different municipalities by the speaker of the assembly together with committees such as the one for economic development, environment, and health. The main objective of these meetings is to understand the concerns and issues citizens have as well as to monitor the implementation of the legislation by government institutions.

A short term action that the assembly is seeking is also the activation of the council for sustainable development which focuses on implementing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in Kosovo.

To watch the full discussion, check the video below: