'Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation' - Day 3 of the KSDW 2021 Conference

03 June 2021

On June 3, 2021, Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) continued with the third day of the KSDW 2021 conference that addressed the topic of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation.

The discussion panel, moderated by Kaltrina Rexha, Project Coordinator at the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), gathered Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD), Prof. Demri Halil Ibrahimi from the University of Prishtina, and President of the Association of Beekeepers 'Nucleus' from Gracanica, Mladen Dokic, while, Miran Vatovec from the European Union Office in Kosovo was virtually connected.

The moderator of the panel, Mrs. Rexha from INDEP started the discussion with a summary of the current situation on agriculture and biodiversity in the country. "In recent years, investments in agriculture and state aid to this sector have multiplied. "But, on the other hand, in the Red Book of Species, 86 species are extremely endangered, 110 endangered, 60 endangered / deteriorated and 114 endangered", said Mrs. Rexha.

From MAFRD, Deputy Minister Demelezi went on to underline the fact that in order to initially understand the term sustainable development, we must comprehend that in any potential economic development the environmental component must be incorporated. In this regard, he marked that "The Kurti government has integrated for the first time the component of inclusion, ie the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the development of public policies." Deputy Minister Demelezi said that it is important to review the policies, strategies so far and the fact why there are no results so far. In this regard, the change of laws is the starting point for progress in this area. "Changing the current legislation in accordance with the Green Agreement and EU legislation is an important issue," concluded Deputy Minister Demelezi.

Mr. Vatovec from the EU Office in Kosovo made reference to the Green Agenda which, as one of the key components, has biodiversity and sustainable agriculture. "The EU has as a priority the consolidation of these topics and the EU constantly advocates for the drafting of strategic documents that help the sustainable development of these areas," said Mr. Vatovec.

Professor Ibrahimi from the University of Prishtina said he was happy that the topic of biodiversity in Kosovo is finally being addressed, because so far biodiversity in Kosovo has not been discussed at all. "Biodiversity in Kosovo is very rich, probably one of the richest in the region and beyond. "Since biodiversity surrounds us and has a great impact on human health, environmental policies and causes must be developed, always based on real data, and the latter in Kosovo are clearly lacking," said Mr. Ibrahimi. According to him, improvements are achieved only if the scientific work in the field is taken into account and put on the agendas of policy makers.

Whereas, Mr. Dokic marked that local products should be monitored and institutional mechanisms should be established to monitor categorized organic products that we use. He further added that it is important that the voice of farmers is heard and involved as stakeholders in drafting strategic documents such as budget, agricultural policy, etc. "Among other things, we need to raise awareness about the livelihoods of some insects such as bees, which are essential for the life cycle and humans. "Also, the education and awareness of farmers about the use of pesticides should be a priority", said Mr. Dokic.

The full video of this discussion can be found at this link.

Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW), launched in 2018, is organized by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Office of the Special Representative in Kosovo, GIZ, Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) and Balkan Green Foundation (BGF). KSDW remains the single largest event in Kosovo in the field of sustainable development. The fourth edition of Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) 2021 is held from May 31 to June 11, 2021.

For more, follow KSDW on social media at @KSDWeek and ksdw.rks-gov.net.