USAID hosts the Third International Climate Change Conference in Skopje

Third International Climate Change Conference
Third International Climate Change Conference in Skopje
Milieukontakt Macedonia

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 3, 2017

More than 150 participants, including national and international experts, decision-makers, civil society organizations from the country and the region, scientists and practitioners in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation, experts on sustainable development and representatives from the private sector came together today to agree a collective way forward on how to tackle climate change at the Third International Climate Change Conference in Skopje.

The three-day Conference (Feb. 3-5), which is taking place at the FON University, is organized by USAID’s Municipal Climate Change Strategies Project, implemented by Milieukontakt Macedonia. It aims to facilitate discussions on critical issues related to climate change, encourage the decision-making processes to include discussions on climate change in local level development planning, and generate new ways to advance urban resilience.

Participants will establish regional links for cooperation on joint activities to advance climate resilience in the country and the region. In addition, this conference will acknowledge the results obtained from using the participatory “Green Agenda” approach in development of ten local municipal strategies for climate change and promote its application across the region.

In his remarks, USAID Mission Director James Stein noted: “This conference marks a key moment for USAID, and its partners, as we recognize the progress we have made together over the past four years to address local climate change challenges facing Macedonia. The main goal of the USAID Municipal Climate Change Strategies project is to prepare local communities for the impacts of climate change and strengthen their capacity to find solutions that work best for them.
Together with our partners, we have worked to strengthen the capacity of ten Macedonian municipalities to address local climate change challenges. Using the participatory “Green Agenda” approach, we have worked in partnership with citizens, the business sector, local authorities, and civil society organizations to better prepare for climate change through the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures.”

In recognition of the importance of academia in climate change, this year’s conference, in cooperation with the FON University, incorporates the role of science in the climate change debate, by debate academic findings on climate change and their practical application.

The conference also aims to increase momentum for development and implementation of converging de-carbonization pathways as discussed at COP 22 in Marrakesh. Decision-makers, CSOs, representatives from public and private sector, including the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the National Energy Agency, the Crisis Management Center, the Protection and Rescue Directorate, members of the Parliament, ministries and municipal governments will hold continued discussion integrated approach and coordinated actions needed in support of the Paris Agreement throughout the three-day event.

According to Mr. Igor Slavkoski, USAID MCCSP Chief of Party, “the focus of attention regarding climate change has shifted. Its impacts are not only perceived as detrimental to the environment, but are expected to undermine development, increase poverty, and endanger livelihoods. In regions that are already fragile, climate change adds a layer of complexity to existing development and democratic challenges, acting as an additional stress factor or risk multiplier. The scope of these challenges may soon outpace the problem solving capacities moving them towards decreased resilience in urban areas”. He added: “Climate change is a global problem, which requires undertaking individual responsibility and effective climate action on local level. Through this project, one of a kind in Balkan region, we succeeded to provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase their resilience to climate change and to strengthen their ability to engage in civic advocacy.”

This conference marks the accomplishment of the USAID MCCS Project. Beginning in 2012, the project took a proactive approach to climate adaptation that prioritizes strategies according to local needs. It worked together with local governments, citizens and civil society organizations to devise effective, home-grown, locally-owned strategies to lower emissions and promote adaptation. In addition, a total of seventeen capital measures were implemented in ten partner municipalities that help the most vulnerable citizens build resilience in the face of climate change. In addition to strengthening local resilience to climate change, this project strengthened civil society by promoting civic activism and increasing the community’s commitment to partner on issues of shared concern.

NOTE TO THE EDITORS:

USAID’s Municipal Climate Change Strategies Project, implemented by Milieukontakt Macedonia, is a four-year initiative that prepares municipalities to better manage local challenges brought about by climate change. Using an innovative method called the Green Agenda, the project brings together civil society organizations, citizens, and municipal bodies to develop consensus-based action plans that address the specific climate change issues facing their communities and in partnership to work toward mitigating their effects. While fostering resilience to climate change, the project strengthens civil society by enhancing civic activism. Activities are focused in ten municipalities: Pehcevo, Tearce, Bogdanci, Krivogashtani, Mavrovo/Rostushe, Bogovinje, Studenicani, Vinica, Delcevo and Prilep. Activities have included, but are not limited to, energy-efficient adaptations of public buildings and facilities, building of a new water storage tank, installation of a new filter in a municipal water treatment plant, installation of energy-efficient street lighting, cleaning/regulation/reconstruction of river beds, landslide prevention measures, construction of sewerage for atmospheric water and restoration of water catchments. The American people, through USAID MCCSP, will invest USD 2,800,000 for variety of actions in these selected municipalities. The project duration is 53 months in the period between 2012 and 2017. For more details on the project visit: www.mkm.mk(link is external) and MKM Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/milieukontakt.mk

Last updated: November 14, 2019

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