United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo, supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation in Kosovo, and the Municipalities of Prizren and Suharekë/Suva Reka launched the “Strengthening Local Climate Action” (SLCA) project which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to accelerating green transition.
The launch took place at the Innovation and Training Park (ITP) in Prizren, in the presence of Mr. Niels Knudsen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Sandra Horina, ADA Head of Office, Mr. Shaqir Totaj, Mayor of Prizren and Ms. Mihrije Suka, Deputy Mayor of Suharekë/Suva Reka municipalities, and representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure; Ministry of Economic Development; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; University, and representatives of Embassies. Representatives from Civil Society Organizations, youth groups, local communities, representatives of private business, and representatives of other municipalities also participated through virtual attendance.
Mr. Niels Knudsen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative said on this occasion: “Climate change is the defining global challenge that can only be effectively addressed if we take strong action locally. For more than a decade, UNDP with partners has supported Kosovo take climate action and build community resilience. Based on best practices drawn from across the globe, our focus is to support inclusive and gender-responsive climate action. Special focus will be on those in vulnerable situations who are hardest hit from the impact of climate change the hardest. We are proud that we together with our longstanding partner ADA can continue to support Kosovo advance sustainable development and local climate action. We would also like to thank our municipal partners, Prizren and Suha Reka, for your commitment towards climate-resilient future and look forward to working closely together.”
Sandra Horina, Head of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation in Pristina highlighted that “it is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and to tend to the world in which we all live. Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever. ADA is very happy to support Kosovo municipalities in their transition towards zero emission development by building on the results of the previous project “Supporting for Sustainable Prizren – Initiating Urban NAMAs”. With this project we aim at reducing greenhouse emissions and contributing to carbon neutral development through an integrated and gender-sensitive approach. We will be targeting minimum 620 direct beneficiaries from the public institutions and private sector with capacity development and awareness raising activities, of which at least 340 will be women.”
Shaqir Totaj, Mayor of Prizren emphasized the importance of the project: “In my capacity as the Mayor of Prizren, I have a distinct pleasure that at the beginning of my mandate, together with our partners initiate a very important project such as "Strengthening Local Climate Action", a project with a focus on environmental protection, growth of the quality of life of people and building of local capacities for sustainable development in urban and rural areas. The Municipality of Prizren will be engaged with all the capacities it has to achieve the implementation of the project and its operation in the long run. We are convinced that protection of the environment and sustainable development of the city and rural areas is extremely important. Therefore, it necessarily remains one of our priorities and at the same time one of the challenges of our time, not only for us but for the whole world.
Our plans for a Green Prizren consist of numerous projects such as: projects for environmental protection, development of alternative transport, construction of pedestrian and bicycle paths, purification of water from pollution, better waste management, construction of green spaces and tree planting, and this project is the starting point towards the development of many other projects. We are grateful to UNDP for supporting this project, we also thank the donor Austrian Development Agency and all project partners, including the Municipality of Suhareka.”
Ms. Mihrije Suka, Deputy Mayor of Suharekë/Suva Reka in her remarks said: “The Municipality of Suharekë/Suva Reka and its residents have welcomed the start of the implementation of the project: "Strengthening local action for climate". In recent years, we have implemented many activities in the regulation of the environment, especially in environmental protection, with a wide involvement of people, schools, public and safety and security institutions, as well as private businesses and international organizations. We have plans to expand projects with a focus on environment, so this project will enable us, with the support of UNDP, to take concrete action on climate and green development. We are grateful to the donor of the project Austrian Development Agency and strategic partners such as the Municipality of Prizren for cooperation.”
During 2018-2021, UNDP and ADA, through the Urban NAMAs project, supported Prizren municipality to establish the Green Growth Centre which led the spearheading of important innovations on creating GHG Inventories for public buildings in Prizren, developed a climate change Cross-Sectoral Intervention Plan and piloted smart green city solutions, enabling a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pathways to green development.
The Strengthening Local Climate Action project will be implemented in Prizren and Suharekë/Suva Reka municipalities. The goal of the project is to support municipalities in their transition towards zero emission development pathways and shifting to sustainable urban-rural development dynamics.
The ADA contribution to the “Strengthening Local Climate Action” project is one million Euros with Prizren municipality co-financing 100,000 Euros and Suharekë/Suva Reka municipality 50,000 Euros as testimony and commitment to work together in promoting rural development and fighting climate change at the local level.
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