15 September 2021
Balkan Green Foundation (BGF), in cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Development, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure, held the first joint ‘Breakfast Meeting’, a new innovative concept of stakeholder cooperation tackling joint issues in the environment and sustainable development domain. This created synergy enables the discussion of problems and the way forward in finding practical solutions to important policy measures.
As such, the first Breakfast Meeting gathered Members of the Parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, as well as CSO’s engaged in the sustainable development sector. Visar Azemi, Executive Director of Balkan Green Foundation, opened the session with the remarks that the state of Kosovo forests is not in good condition. Mr. Azemi emphasized that “the process of deforestation used as an energy source is widespread and that the level of illegal felling is higher than the legal set limit by the authorities”.
The discussion identified problems and measures that can be undertaken by each institution to tackle this process - be it in policy development or practical measures.
Lack of data, contradictory nature of the available data, the lack of coordination and cooperation between the various agencies, institutions, and local authorities, the need for monitoring of the implementation of the law on forests were some of the problems identified.
Participants agreed that there is a need for: assessing the true scale of the situation, and the production of data; zoning plans and proper sustainable management practices implemented; unification of reports of various agencies; and the need to incentivize people away from using illegal logging as a means of economic procurement, but rather concretely develop new district heating plants that run on biomass, tax incentives for energy efficiency measures, including heat pumps and property tax reduction for households that plant trees and the possibility of using drone technology for reforestation efforts by the ministry.
Breakfast Meeting is an activity part of the 'Multilateral Cooperation for Environmental Transformation Action' project, supported by the Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBS) and the institutional support by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).