Introductory speech by UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Narine Sahakyan on International Mother Earth Day

Green Transition Engagement Platform in BiH: Stakeholder engagement – Depollution

April 22, 2024

Narine Sahakyan, Resident Representative a.i. of UNDP in BiH


Excellencies, esteemed partners, ladies, and gentlemen, 

Thank you all for joining us today to discuss the crucial topic of transitioning towards a low-carbon, climate-friendly, and depolluted economy and society in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Allow me to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Mr Lulićfor hosting this vital discussion.

We are also thankful to the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina for their invaluable partnership with UNDP in organizing this event.

Additionally, I extend my sincere appreciation to Mr. Saša Magazinović and the Green Club for their unwavering support and participation in not only today's discussion but also in numerous similar initiatives throughout the country.

Moreover, I must acknowledge the longstanding partnership between UNDP and Sweden, who have been instrumental in supporting projects aimed at fostering sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina for over a decade.

At the core of today's discussion lies the Green Transition Portfolio development, a strategic framework that emphasizes the necessity of collective commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders involved in building a greener, cleaner, and more resilient future for all.

The Green Transition Portfolio encompasses policies, regulations, investments, innovations, and multi-sector cooperation, all geared towards realizing a long-term vision of transitioning to an economy and society with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in alignment with the EU Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.

Our aim is to expedite the green transition in Bosnia and Herzegovina through a comprehensive approach, bolstering cooperation and investments. This holistic approach is vital for stabilizing climate conditions, reducing air pollution, and safeguarding the environment and biodiversity.

This event is the third in a series of dialogues organized under the Green Transition umbrella, aimed at strategically addressing this challenge through four key areas: decarbonization and resilience to climate change, circular economy, reducing air pollution, and preserving the environment and biological diversity.

Today's discussion will focus on policy and strategy frameworks for depollution, which represents a significant challenge in the country. It is imperative that issues of waste management, pollution control, and environmental degradation in the country are urgently and effectively addressed, especially as it disproportionately affects vulnerable communities, exacerbating existing inequalities.

The Green Transition Portfolio aims to outline concrete solutions to these challenges, some of which will be presented today, along with practical examples of successful pollution reduction initiatives. By implementing waste minimization strategies, promoting green chemistry, and supporting circular economy principles, we aim to create a cleaner, healthier environment for all. Bosnia and Herzegovina has made some concrete steps in this area, but it is crucial to scale up and expedite these efforts. However, this is a challenging task, even for more developed countries, and the country needs support.

From energy to waste management, UNDP, with the cooperation of all partners in the country, most notably Sweden, has been supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina for a decade now in fulfilling its climate commitments and transitioning from fossil fuels to a climate-neutral economy.

By aligning our efforts, sharing knowledge, and mobilizing resources, we can accelerate progress towards a depolluted future. In addition to underscoring the importance of collective action, this process also requires significant investments. Furthermore, by viewing climate and environmental challenges as opportunities, we must ensure that the transition is just and inclusive for all members of society.

I look forward to discussing these issues today.

Thank you once again for your participation and dedication to this important cause.