“GREEN CROSS – Towards Local Green Economies with Smart Investments" is funded by the European Union and implemented by Balkan Green Foundation, Qendra EDEN/EDEN Center, Municipality of Has and Municipality of Klina.
The project is implemented for a period of 40 months in: Albania, Has Municipality and Kosovo, Municipality of Klina and aims to contribute to an overall sustainable economic growth in the cross-border region by enabling transition of municipalities into the sustainable green economy through integrated policy, smart public investments, and capacity development.
Each stakeholder in Has and Klinë Municipality plays an important role not only as a direct beneficiary but also in the successful implementation of the project. This project is under the Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) Programme for Environment between Albania and Kosovo.
- To contribute to an overall sustainable economic growth in the cross-border region by enabling transition of municipalities into the sustainable green economy through integrated policy, smart public investments and capacity development.
- To drive sustainable growth of municipal incomes by aligning local policies with green economy principles to enhance resource efficiency, and by investing in smart green energy projects to provide low cost and access to non-polluting and good quality electricity to the population of urban and rural areas in Has and Kline municipalities.
- To raise capacities and stimulate green economy and entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, and green practices among the general public and different parties as key to eco-touristic potentials and sustainable economic development of the transboundary area.
Energy Transition and Decarbonisation in the Western Balkans
“Energy Transition and Decarbonisation in the Western Balkans” is a regional project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in cooperation with Germanwatch, Belgrade Open School and Eko-Svest.
The project aims to support the Western Balkan countries, in particular Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, in accelerating their energy transition and decarbonisation. This includes building strong civil society networks in the region that can themselves - in close coordination with academia and the private sector - work together for national and regional reforms.
The project brings together national and local stakeholders from the region to:
- Establish domestic and cross-border civil society dialogue for a socially just energy transition in Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, that provides the political impetus.
- Ensure that Climate policy proposals by civil society have supported the further development of national and regional energy and climate policy.
Some of the main activities include capacity development for local CSOs in the climate sector; study tours for decision-makers and journalists; monitoring of the local politics in the energy sector; providing recommendations for the national and regional energy transition; and fostering dialogue between all the relevant stakeholders through forums and cross-border discussion events.
Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) - Phase 2
Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) Phase 2, is a continuation of the ‘WB6 Lab project’, which intends to open new spaces of reconciliation for the youth of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) through social entrepreneurship. The project is implemented by Balkan Green Foundation in cooperation with the Consortium consisting of GROUPE SOS Pulse, RYCO, SEEYN, and the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), and supported by the Agence Française de Développement, Erasmus + Programme and Regional Youth Cooperation Office.
The project focuses on the implementation of a regional program of support for social entrepreneurship ideas for young people. The program is composed of an ideation phase and an incubation phase, aiming to enable project leaders to develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by their communities. This way, it empowers young people to become actors of change within their community(ies) by developing solutions with high social and environmental impact, and confronting them at the regional scale. The program is implemented three times in three cycles called “RISE Journeys”.
Over the RISE project, partners will work together towards the capacity building of 6 local incubators (VET providers). Partners will co-construct several innovative pedagogical tools and materials on social entrepreneurship and on interculturality. Capacity-building activities will be organized to improve the knowledge, technical and pedagogical skills of VET trainers and coaches and enable them to enroll high quality and innovative social entrepreneurship support programs fostering reconciliation and the building of a common future in the region. This, in return, will contribute to a better alignment between VET structures and the emerging social entrepreneurship market in the country. Further by implementing the project throughout all of the Western Balkans, by fostering mobility and by sharing and showcasing the results of the project, the project intends to foster cooperation within the region and strengthen the regional ecosystem.
Balkan Green Ideas
Balkan Green Ideas (BGI), a project initially supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and now by ERASMUS+ as well, stimulates and encourages ambitious entrepreneurs within the Western Balkans in generating green business ideas that utilize local resources and revitalize disappearing traditional production chains and community-based markets.
BGI aims to contribute substantially to building a peaceful, competitive, and prosperous region of the Western Balkans, by constantly pursuing regional environmental sustainability, align with the new WB Green Agenda, and provide a support program for sustainable green enterprises that will contribute towards a green Balkans and economically sustainable small rural and urban areas in our region.
The objective is to promote the principles and values of sustainable and green policy among young people in matters related to the economic, social, and political development of Western Balkan societies, as well as to connect young green activists and help them to identify potentials within their communities to create green and sustainable youth initiatives and businesses in the Western Balkans and Greece and ultimately contribute to strengthening their role in the vision for sustainable development within the region.
BALKAN ENERGY PROSPECT
Balkan Energy Prospect is among the tools created by Balkan Green Foundation, with the idea to represent an open, powerful, and informative platform for discovering and analyzing the key insights accentuating the capacities of each Western Balkans country in terms of their respective energy sectors.
Ultimately, this platform is drafted with the idea to offer a brief yet comprehensive reflection of the developments in the energy sector in each of the 6 countries of the Western Balkans, respectively Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
The platform provides a visual representation of data, denoting that an efficient electricity access and connection of strategies within WB region will drive the cooperation process and contribute regionally towards the advancement of their energy systems, guided by the shared commitments, obligations, and targets of the Energy Community Treaty.
With the establishment of cooperation and an integrated energy infrastructure amongst each other, countries will increase cross-border cooperation and develop regional projects and lower their carbon economy.
As such, this platform provides valuable information about six WB countries in terms of their energy technologies, potential synergies for a future integrated energy market, and capacities for energy diversification within the WB region.
Balkan Green Academy
Balkan Green Academy (BGA) is a project supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and USAID. BGA aims to educate young people on three main pillars: policy-economics-society, using a cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach, encouraging knowledge building and at the same time combining modules that will explore the policy perspective, the economic and social impact of businesses.
The main aims are:
- To promote principles and values of sustainable and green policy in issues related to the economic, social, and political development of the Western Balkan societies (with special focus on 2030 Agenda - Sustainable Development and Green Agenda for the Western Balkan)
- To connect grassroots green activists, CSOs with green sustainable initiatives and potential or existing rural and urban green entrepreneurs.
- To stimulate regional cooperation on green principles, values and experience-sharing through cooperation with international and European stakeholders.
- To prepare local and regional actors to identify potentials within-in their communities for creation of green and sustainable initiatives and businesses.
Multi-Stakeholder Cooperation for Transformative Environmental Action
Through the Multi-Stakeholder Cooperation for Transformative Environmental Action project, supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation, Balkan Green Foundation seeks to intensify its work with energy and environment relevant stakeholders and closely work with Members of Parliament to promote the Green Deal and advocate for cleaner and sustainable policies in the country.
Accounting for the holistic and all-round approach of the project, actions are geared towards inspiring a need for change and steering the public towards green practices by stimulating discussion on environmental issues, but also involving new evidence-based educational component which aims to improve the awareness and knowledge of MP’s about the importance of the Green Deal, Energy, Environment and Climate issues and drawing up of comprehensive political representation on issues of sustainability, explore opportunities for the advancement of green policies in the country, whilst emphasizing the importance of environmental protection and improvement of public health.
Environmental Capacity Building on Data use in Kosovo
‘Environmental Capacity Building on Data use in Kosovo’ project is implemented through the support of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Swedish EPA).
The project responds to the request on the establishment of local presence in pursuit of environmental capacity building in Kosovo and advancement of the EU accession process in the environmental area.
Through this project, Balkan Green Foundation, as a Local Partner Administrator, will be a connecting link between the Swedish team and partners of the project in Kosovo in delivering this aim and contributing to environmental policy being implemented and developed effectively, with high quality, as well as addressing issues regarding climate and air, biodiversity, polluted areas, recycling and waste, environmental supervision, as well as environmental research.
Green Debate Tournament
Through the Green Debate Tournament project, we aim to strengthen the skills of youngsters in critical and creative thinking, by training them in the British Parliamentary debating format. The project contains training activities, and a debate tournament, focused on green issues, to raise the awareness of the youngsters on the importance of environmental issues in society, thus becoming green activists themselves.
Furthermore, the project contains a positive example of green investment efficiency. It ends with the investment of solar panels in the school from which come the winners of the debate tournament organized within the project. This project is implemented with the financial support of UNMIK.
Green Rural Deal
Green Rural Deal is a project initiated between Balkan Green Foundation, Wuppertal Institute, Germanwatch, Regional Association of Local Government of Western Macedonia and RES Foundation, with support from European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The project’s objective is to develop local capacities for a transition to a zero-carbon economy in three target regions: Western Macedonia (Greece), Kamenica (Kosovo), and Priboj (Serbia). The project centers on supporting and empowering municipalities in rural regions in the said countries in cooperation with German municipalities through local capacity building, peer-to-peer learning and co-creation of concrete projects.
Looking forward, Green Rural Deal will produce recommendations for each target region and work with core stakeholders in each region to co-create sustainable project strategies.
Green Rural Deal will bring together regional and local stakeholders of different types and from different policy arenas to:
- Co-create their own future.
- Provide a manual to support other regions.
- Compile policy briefing targeting decision-makers at the national and European level in an attempt to raise awareness for the need of rural regions.
RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs)
The RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs) supports young change-makers in developing their impactful ideas into sustainable social businesses. The tailor-made support program is developed and monitored by the Consortium consisting of RYCO, GROUPE SOS Pulse, SEEYN, the Institut français, and the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), and supported by the Agence Française de Développement and Regional Youth Cooperation Office. Balkan Green Foundation is one of the six local incubators in the Western Balkans region responsible for implementing RISE activities.
The objective of the project is to address a specific and crucial need in the region in relation to its current context and history: opening new spaces of reconciliation for the youth of the Western Balkans through social entrepreneurship. The project, due to its very regional nature, will tend to increase the number of cross-border interactions around social entrepreneurship during the 3 years of the project and thereafter.
- The first specific objective is to enrich the capacity of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Western Balkans region. This specific objective is aimed at local support structures (RISE incubators) who are promoting innovative and social projects and project leaders.
- The second specific objective is linked to the very nature of the project: to encourage reconciliation through social entrepreneurship, it is necessary to encourage a favorable context for the development of entrepreneurial projects. Raising awareness of social entrepreneurship in Western Balkan societies is a key element in the development of the project and should generate a dynamic and informed community of young social entrepreneurs.
Road Map of Social Enterprises
Road Map of Social Enterprises responds to the needs of the partners and their communities in the field of social entrepreneurship by using digital tools at youth work to address youth unemployment and empower young people. 8 partners from 8 countries will work for 24 months on the digital tool for knowledge exchange and networking in social entrepreneurship.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the creation of a supportive social entrepreneurial environment in participating countries; to develop a durable, tool, a MAP, website and application for networking, knowledge exchange about social entrepreneurship with concrete examples of social enterprises and tools supporting cross-sectorial cooperation; to support cooperation between Programme and Partner countries and development of new project initiatives addressing youth unemployment and developing the entrepreneurial mindset of young people. Furthermore, the foreseen activities are dedicated to the growth of capacities of the youth organizations (training and online learning), mapping social entrepreneurial practices and development of the digital tool, a MAP, and contributing to creating a supportive social entrepreneurial environment in participating countries by making social enterprises visible and accessible (international and national multiplier events).
PROMOTING GREEN ENERGY IN KOSOVO
“Promoting and supporting the inclusion of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources in Kosovo’s energy mix” project is financed by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and implemented by Balkan Green Foundation.
The overall objective is to contribute to a better understanding among the general public and public officials of the benefits brought by investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in Kosovo; increasing the general awareness on the importance and the concrete benefits of energy efficiency measures; contributing to improved societal behavioural change towards energy spending and savings by using new technologies and measures, achieved through new fiscal, administrative and public policy measures.
More specifically, the objectives of the project are:
- To advance the public dialogue, raise awareness on the importance of energy efficiency and seek effective ways to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources while at the same time advocating for green growth.
- To advocate for green economy principles, energy savings and the speeding up of the adoption of policy measures in governmental strategies, administrative measures and academic papers.
EMPOWER - ENGAGE - BUILD OWNERSHIP
Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) in cooperation with Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), are implementing a three-year project ‘Empower – Engage – Build Ownership’ supported by the EU Office in Kosovo.
The project objective is to enable Kosovo‘s civil society sector to fulfill its role in the democratic environment by acting as independent interlocutors, monitoring public institutions, increasing accountability and transparency in policy development and decision making processes regarding concerns of communities and civil society groups in the area of environment preservation, green energy and sustainable economic growth.
Among others, project purposes include:
- Improving the skills and information-sharing capability of CSOs on policy monitoring, advocacy and campaigning on the targeted thematic priorities;
- Increasing the incentive to improve participation of CSOs in policy making and policy implementation, advocacy and grassroots activities through funding organizations in the whole Kosovo;
- Increasing citizens’ awareness on sustainable development in Kosovo through supporting activities that especially promote environment preservation, green energy and sustainable economic growth. In a nutshell, the project aims to provide continuous support to public institutions and CSO's by engaging in activities that promote environmental preservation, green economy and sustainable economic growth in the whole Kosovo; and simultaneously, contribute in increasing citizens’ awareness on sustainable development in Kosovo.
MULTI-ACTOR PARTNERSHIP (MAP)
Germanwatch and Balkan Green Foundation (BGF) jointly started the initiative of planning the Multi-Actor Partnership (MAP) project which tackles the transition of Kosovo's energy system and in particular, its electricity system, towards a more sustainable state, increasing the share of renewable energy, and improving local energy efficiency, - urgent issues with direct and indirect economic, ecologic, health and peacebuilding consequences for at the 1.8 million citizens of Kosovo as well as the neighboring regions.
The project effectively fosters a local multi-actor partnership as an ideal means to create resonance and support from key local actors, to develop their vision of a sustainable energy transition as a shared societal project. The project aims to transfer knowledge amid key local actors and other experienced knowledge carriers from around Europe to enable Kosovo to leapfrog on lessons learned in implementing sustainable energy transitions and integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
The target group of the project involves all those parties who are relevant for designing, implementing, and executing a sustainable energy transition in Kosovo and the Western Balkan: Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Government, the private sector, local municipalities, media, and university students. The project is developmentally effective because an economic, secure, socially acceptable and sustainable electricity supply is at the heart of any long-term economic development and specific to Kosovo is the peacebuilding aspect of ensuring a well-functioning electricity system.
Furthermore, the project will seek to invest in local capacity development and tangible pilot projects that will persist over the time frame of the project. Ultimately, it is the citizens of Kosovo who are meant to profit through the project in the long-term, through the positive direct and indirect economic and health effects of a sustainable energy transition.