BGF part of the 8th Forum of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability

10 June 2022

On June 9th, Rinora Gojani, Programmes and Operations Manager at Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) was part of GPSAs 8th Forum. Rinora was a speaker in the session dedicated to ‘Climate Change: Social Accountability Matters’. The other members of the panel were: Vani Catanasiga, Executive Director at Fiji Council of Social Services and Nicola Bird, Executive Director at Integrated Health Outreach Inc (IHO), Anitgua and Barbuda. 

The panel session focused on how collaborative social accountability processes can strengthen climate responses, link-local, national, and global accountability mechanisms, and build synergies between the public sector and civil society-led social accountability interventions.  

Climate change is an existential threat to the world. Since the 1800s, society has relied on energy from burning fossil fuels, accelerating agricultural productivity, and intensifying urbanization in support of economic growth. These activities have increased pollution and undermined public and environmental health, are accompanied by loss of forest cover and a rapid decline in biodiversity. This has also resulted in heat-trapping gasses that warm oceans and trigger changes in rainfall causing flooding, landslides, extended drought and severe storms – all of which are most devastating to livelihoods and especially for the vulnerable.

Rinora stated that BGF started its work at a time when 'the Energy Strategy was focused on coal and when the country wanted to maximize the use of coal, by building a new power plant. Climate change was not a concern to policymakers! Due to civil society actions for awareness-raising and empowerment of citizens to engage in policy-making processes, now there are better policies in place that consider the climate effect. Currently, Kosovo is in the process of approving the new Energy Strategy whose focus is decarbonization too.' In addition to the role of CSO for climate action discussion, in working groups, Rinora stated that there is no 'one size fits all' mechanism - but rather country-specific actions - which must respond to the needs of the affected communities'.

The panel agreed that in long-term responses, collaborative social accountability plays a critical role in closing implementation gaps, strengthening stakeholder coordination, and in transparent allocation and use of funds to climate-related programs, including disaster risk management and crisis response.